The classical composition of outdoor space is how I often describe my work as a landscape architect, so I was of course attracted to the beautiful symmetrical elegance of the year 2002 and chose that date as the time I would commit my thoughts for this work to paper. The 147 watercolor drawings that form Privet Lives were initially presented as an outdoor exhibition in a nursery field of privet on the edge of town. Combining the rich history of Southampton and the notoriety of its residents, the privet shrub offered an amazing potential for pictorial invention that allowed me an opportunity to express an opinion on a wide range of subjects that affected the town’s future. The drawn images, titles and written captions each offer a running narrative on the town’s evolving social, cultural and physical development - often enlivened with a healthy dose of humor. Starting with expansive scenes in a new world, the introduction of privet signifies the beginning of man’s attempts to subdue the wildness of nature. The story progresses as the privet shrub is imagined in relentless compositions of symmetry - symbolically portraying a built environment becoming ever more complex and crowded. Later scenes depict a tragic breakdown of order as the town struggles with continued change and ecological disaster. In the end, the mighty hedges provided a metaphor for the physical and psychological barrier the town’s residents placed between themselves and the natural landscape along with a greatly diminished appreciation of the larger world beyond.