A Garden Fades Back into Nature

As part of the International Festival des Jardins de Metis, which is held annually in Quebec, Berlin-based landscape architect Thilo Folkerts, 100 Landschaftsarchitektur, and Canadian artist Rodney LaTourelle created a fascinating 250-square-meter garden using about 40,000 books to show how “culture fades back into nature.”

The Jardin de la connaissance, which was actually installed in 2010, was designed to change and decay.  According to Dezeen, old books were piled up to create walls, rooms, and seats. Books laid on the forest floor created platforms.

Then, eight varieties of mushrooms were introduced and “cultivated on select books” in order to spur the decay of the book landscape.

The mushrooms include: Coprinus comatus (Shaggy Mane); Grifola frondosa (Hen of the Woods, Maitake); Pleurotus citrinopileatus (Yellow Oyster); Pleurotus columbinus (Blue Oyster); Pleurotus djamor (Pink Oyster); Pleurotus ostreatus (Pearl Oyster); Pleurotus pulmonarius ((Phoenix) Indian Oyster); and Stropharia rugoso-annulata (Wine Cap).

In addition to being philosophically interesting, the garden creates “micro-environments for a range of local creatures,” writes Folkerts. “Seedlings and insects have activated the walls, carpets, and benches.”

Recently, to update the piece, the designers amplified the sense of decay by applying “sampled moss from the forest” to the walls of the garden as a “paint mixture.” They call this “moss graffiti.” Folkerts writes: “The cover of moss material will aesthetically expedite the slow disappearance of the garden back into the forest.”

See a 360 degree tour of the site and more photos.

Another artist who explores nature and decay is the ceramicist Christopher David White.

Image credits: Thilo Folkerts / Dezeen

3 thoughts on “A Garden Fades Back into Nature

  1. scientiste 12/18/2012 / 11:29 am

    Reblogged this on The Art of Science and commented:
    Great combination of science and art…
    I know this blog is supposed to be retired, but I have a sneaking suspicion it may be coming out of retirement in the new year…

  2. Emily 12/31/2012 / 9:23 am

    This is strange and magical for more than one reason. This scene was in Kings Quest IV (a computer game from my childhood)! Here’s a screenshot of the game: http://www.skyrender.net/lp/kq6_8_57.png

  3. itsagirl 01/09/2013 / 10:31 am

    This is an amazing project.
    Emily – wow! I had that game as a child, too, but never played for more than five minutes before it froze up. Thanks for giving me a glimpse of what I never got to!

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