4 ways to see a garden

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The garden provides food and flowers and brings happiness to those who cultivate or walk around. It also allows us to commune with nature in a way that is very personal to us. Here are four, designed by gardeners from New York, Berkeley, Paris and Kyoto; each plays a special role and allows those who visit it to live a unique experience.

A garden is a friend that can be visited at any time.

As living art …

This garden without soil rises against a wall on a metal and felt structure. French-born gardener and botanist Patrick Blanc created his first vertical garden at the age of 12. Since then, hydroponic plant walls have been found in museums, hotels and office buildings around the world. According to him, if his botanical creations are so successful with architects, it is because the plant walls are even more energizing in a fundamentally urban environment than in a garden. The exterior wall of the musée du quai Branly (http://www.quaibranly.fr/fr/accueil/index.html) hosts one of its most famous achievements. It comprises some 15,000 plants belonging to 150 species from Central Europe, China, Japan and the United States.

As a place of worship …

In this garden outside the Taizoin Zen temple in Kyoto, Japan, the rake gravel simulates the movement of waves and currents of seas and rivers. According to the specialists of the question, this garden of pebbles and stones represents the small scale universe, a key concept of the Zen philosophy which also sees there the ideal place to reach a state of deep meditation. Created more than 400 years ago by Kano Motonobu, painter and master zen, the garden welcomes 50 000 visitors each year.

As a classroom …

what’s more appetizing than a fresh, ripe strawberry in the middle of summer? ”

As a scientific laboratory …

Do humans and hydrangeas have anything in common? This is one of the many mysteries that Charles Darwin sought to break through by carefully observing what was happening in his backyard in Kent (England). Her massive primeroses, flax and hollyhocks were certainly breathtaking, but behind this beauty lay the foundations of her most famous theories. His cross-pollination experiments led him to formulate his hypotheses on natural selection and evolution in his revolutionary work, The Origin of Species, published in 1859. The naturalist’s garden was faithfully reproduced last spring by the New York Botanical Garden in anticipation of the 200th anniversary of its birth, in 2009.

Dr. Monika Mathur

Ph.D Yale University

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