Sicily once again hosts an important international garden design event inspired by Mediterranean gardens and environments. The second edition of the biennal Radicepura Garden Festival, promoted by Fondazione Radicepura, will open on April 27th in Giarre (CT), Sicily. The festival is one of the best international event dedicated to Mediterranean landscape, and involves leading landscapers, artists and architects, young designers, scholars, institutions and enterprises. In the botanical garden of Fondazione Radicepura until October 27th, it will be possible to visit 14 installations, 2 gardens plus the Mediterranean Diet vegetable garden. All will specifically use the most original plants grown by Piante Faro, which collects 800 species and over 5000 varieties, thanks to the activity carried out for over 50 years by Venerando Faro, at the helm of the company together with his sons Mario and Michele. The theme for the 2019 edition introduces a current very relevant topic: PRODUCTIVE GARDENS.
One of the most important garden archetypes comes from Homer’s description of the garden of Alcinous’s palace, an enclosed space where pear trees, pomegranates, apple trees, sweet figs and luxuriant olive trees grew. Even today that description finds correspondence in the idea of a natural space which produces fruits, flowers, biodiversity, smells, emotions, oxygen, a sense of relaxation, fun, regenerating energy: an archetype that never fails. A garden that knows how to creatively conjugate, in the third millennium, the ancestral need for utility with the new aesthetic needs of contemporary society and, at the same time, not neglecting man’s quest for the garden as an intimate place in which to find himself and regenerate. Many associations and organizations have joined this call (among them: ARS, Fondazione Federico II, Università di Bologna, Università di Enna, Orto Botanico di Palermo, Giardino della Kolymbethra, Grandi Giardini Italiani, Etna Garden Club, SOI, UGAI, APGI, Accademia Zelantea, Federalberghi, Camera di Commercio del Sud-Est Sicilia), with the shared goal of increasing exposure of the botanical heritage of Sicily and of all other countries overlooking the Mare Nostrum, creating an active and proactive network around the theme of the garden. In harmony with this ability of the gardens to facilitate and stimulate thoughts, THE PRODUCTIVE GARDENS of the Radicepura Garden Festival, for 6 months in Giarre, will explore art, culture, history and environmental protection as constituting elements of such an extraordinary land as is Sicily. Two great names of international landscape design will interpret the concept: Antonio Perazzi and Andy Sturgeon, who will each create for the festival site-specific gardens over 100 square meters large. The italian landscape designer will take us to his Home ground, a garden capable of both shaping and taking the shape of plants. At the centre is the house, in simply cut basalt, as the ideal body of a welcoming place. Andy Sturgeon in Layers reflects on man’s dependence on nature to satisfy his basic needs. The english garden designer guides visitors through the garden, offering them selected views of productive plants emphasizing the necessary dependence that binds man to nature. Another ten gardens, smaller in size, about 50 square meters each, will be designed by young landscapers selected through an international call, which closed with over 150 applications from 15 different countries. Arcobaleno di spighe (Rainbow of spikes), designed by the group “Colori nel Verde Garden design”, Carmine Catcher by the garden designer Anna Rhodes, with the collaboration of artist Clare Fatley; Come back to Ithaca by NaCl team, a sicilian architecture lab; Il giardino delle essenze (The Garden of Essences) by the designer, Giulia Baldin; Giardino della Signora (The Signora’s Garden) by Guillaume Servel, french landscape artist; Planta Sapiens by Domenico Dipinto (landscape agronomist), Marica Succi, Enrico Turini and Elena Varini (landscape architects); Polifilo incontra Candido (Poliphilo meets Candide) by the author Marco Vomiero; Può un giardino produrre acqua? (Can a garden produce water?) by landscapers Lorenzo Decembrini and Ilaria Tabarani; The Babylonian Cradle, by the designers Elena Gazzi and Peter Grant and The long path, by the spanish designers Rebeca Nuevo Mayán and Adrián Oubiña Esperón. Art, culture, cinema and environmental sustainability will be the pillars around which the exhibits, workshops, walks, educational activities and all the events of the festival will rotate. Events that for six months will tell the story of a place and a land – Sicily – historically harbinger of important moments of reflection for Western thought thanks to the Mediterranean experience.