Water lilies, monkeys, sheep and shepherds, giant reptiles and fantastic creatures of the woods; these and many others are the subjects of the fifty living sculptures present here.
It is the art of nature mosaics, which consists in creating living masterpieces using plants, branches and colored foliage to form two-dimensional drawings or 3D sculptures. The foliage used, usually evergreen but sometimes even perennial, continues to grow gradually changing the appearance of the works of art and giving life to everchanging landscapes that seem to come out of a fairy tale book.
A dreamlike place set among perfectly groomed paths, fragrant flowers and impressive statues all composed of sculptured botanical varieties. This botanical garden in Canada is one of the most fascinating places in the region, as well as the third largest in the world, after the Kew Gardens in London and the Botanischer Garten in Berlin.
First opened in 1935, inspired by the idea of a local friar, the garden contains 22 thousand species and varieties of plants, arranged on 75 hectares, with 10 exhibition greenhouses, an Arboretum and an Insectarium containing bugs and butterflies. Furthermore, in the green meadow there are twenty themed gardens that reproduce the botanical varieties typical of the whole world.
To crown all this, Vikings, geishas, pianos and turtles decorate the area, all very green and perfectly groomed.
Such mosaic masterpieces are spread along an over 2-kilometer walking path and they are visible all year round.
The exhibition promotes gardening and horticulture by hosting some of the world's most listed botanical artists and many sculptures are inspired by the country of origin of the artists who created and exhibited them.
Mother Earth, Pachamama for the indigenous people of South America, Gaia for the ancient Greeks, wonderfully represented in this magnificent work of mosaics.
The lemur sculpture was among the most difficult to achieve, due to the small size of the animal and the effect of movement that was sought. Gorillas are the subject chosen to represent Uganda's wealth of biodiversity. In particular those carved here in the park are the mountain gorillas, an endemic subspecies from the Virunga Mountains, now restricted to just 700 individuals and threatened by extinction. The aim of the park is also that to promote respect for nature and for the environment and, everywhere around the park, it is possible to read news about conservation of plants and parks as well as to read information about plants species and habitats.
The work which represents Shanghai is inspired by the true story of a Chinese girl, Miss Xu Xiu Jua, who is said to have drowned in a swamp to save a crane from Manchuria, an animal that was particularly cherished by Chinese ancient cultures. The use of leaves of different colors makes the woman's clothes look like feathery plumage.
Every year the park also organizes a competition for horticulturists and gardeners named Mosaicultures International during which new – smaller – mosaics are created. The winner, besides winning a prize, can have the honour to display his work of art in the park grounds as a temporary or permanent exhibit.
The park also displays a courtyard of the senses dedicated to blind people and, during the winter, access to the outside gardens is free although most of the gardens are closed but you can go through the lanes to practice sports such as cross-country skiing or towing children in a sleigh. The lush and fragrant greenhouses are open all year round.
To visit the huge spaces of the botanical garden it is advisable to take a trolleybus that runs a complete tour of the structure in about half an hour.