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New Naturalness - The magic of natural gardens

Published on 1/23/2017 by Giardina

The largest international indoor garden exhibition promises visitors a unique garden event from 15 to 19 March. Giardina 2017 will focus on the theme of new naturalness in garden design. Renowned garden designers will be demonstrating how they combine construction measures, a careful choice of plants and the use of choice materials to bring this gardening trend to life in Swiss gardens. Visitors will be able to immerse themselves in this world of new naturalness and derive inspiration from the broad range of show gardens on display.

The use of vibrant vegetation with a natural appearance is currently in fashion. Garden, patio and balcony owners alike are looking to celebrate naturalness and enjoy it with a minimum of effort and expense on a lasting basis. With careful planning and construction measures, landscape architects and garden designers are able to make these aspirations a reality. It is not only the plants which are inspired by nature, however. Paving and furniture made of local natural stone, woven screen walls and wooden or metal sculptures are just some of the features used to create harmonious garden scenes. This trend for incorporating the natural into gardens lives off conscious intervention. Lush, frost-resistant climbing plants such as Virginia creeper, clematis and rambling roses soften hard architectural edges, while distinctive trees or bushes with unusual shapes can lend an appropriate sense of drama to an idyllic household garden.

Plant trends

The current fashion is for plants which create the look of a field of flowers. Hardy yet delicate-seeming plants with a branched structure and simple, graceful flowers are particularly popular. Whereas it would once have been inconceivable to leave flower heads on a plant after they had wilted, today people consciously choose shrubs and ornamental grasses which grow attractive seed pods after blossoming. Early-flowering local and late-flowering exotic plants provide food for beneficial insects from March to November. Perennial shrubs with a natural appearance have attractive names such as sedum, gaura (Gaura lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’), Jerusalem sage (Phlomis russeliana), melic (Melica), bronze fennel (Foeniculum vulgare ‘Rubrum’), woodland sage (Salvia nemorosa), heath aster (Aster ericoides) and maiden grass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Graziella’).

New naturalness in its many facets

Thurgau garden designers Egli Grün and Winkler & Richard Naturgärten demonstrate two ways in which the new naturalness trend can be interpreted. While Egli Grün has mastered the art of creating gardens with an exceptionally natural feel despite their modern design, Winkler & Richard’s visitors will be able to immerse themselves in an urban yet highly romantic courtyard. Both show gardens combine modern elements with natural vegetation to create a wonderful overall image.

“Our gardens are intended to be sources of strength and energy for our customers, where they can experience nature and the elements of fire and water and become aware of the different seasons. Our gardens are both orderly and dynamic, varied, lively and natural at the same time. We use a broad range of plants with different leaf and blossom shapes, expressive solitary plants, natural stones from Switzerland with unworked surfaces and Swiss wood.” Marcel Egli, Egli Grün AG

“People feel secure in our gardens because we create spaces which give their users both places to retreat to and room for development. With plant compositions of native wild shrubs and trees, we purposely contradict the cliché that you can leave everything to its own devices in a natural garden. Even “wild and romantic” natural gardens are designed gardens based on a concept.”
Peter Richard, Winkler & Richard Naturgärten

Landscape architects Lusterberg Schelling demonstrate on behalf of the Association of Swiss Gardeners, JardinSuisse, how today’s town planners design public spaces. Environmentally friendly, multifunctional urban piazzas flow into natural green areas, providing oases of green for the urban population. The gardening poet from Baden and Kobel Gartengestaltung have a common theme: literature. Their two gardens combine natural design with surprising elements such as a disused tool trolley which has been transformed into a book pavilion or a bench constructed from stone and old books. Having travelled from Italy specially for Giardina, garden designer Leonardo Magatti will use granite elements to turn his garden into an oasis of calm that contrasts with our hectic everyday lives. He won a Gold Award at last year’s Giardina.  

“Naturalness arises when a garden fits in with its environment from a design perspective. The conditions that the environment offers have to be brought into harmony with the desires and visions of our customers. It is the interplay between these two factors which makes for a natural, high-quality garden design.” Robin Lustenberger and Jan Schelling, Lustenberger Schelling Landschaftsarchitektur.
“A natural garden design has a certain holistic quality. It blends with the environment harmoniously, through the use of natural materials from the local region. A natural garden design is dynamic and full of life. It stirs emotions and makes you feel at home.” Christoph Wegelin, gardening poet and natural designer.

Giardina 2017 runs from 15 to 19 March 2017 at the Messe Zurich exhibition centre. Opening hours are Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., on Friday until 10 p.m. and at the weekend from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Highlights of Giardina 2017
•    30,000 m2 packed with inspiration and an exceptional selection of objects and products for garden living
•    Some 250 exhibitors from eight European countries
•    Varied show gardens of up to 600 m2 showcasing the New Naturalness garden trend
•    Novel products and unusual items for garden living from national and international brands
•    Artisans from all over Switzerland present their one-off pieces  

Image captions:

1.    Gardens with a natural feel despite their modern design (photo: Giardina / Egli Grün Sirnach)
2.    Even wild and romantic gardens require careful planning (photo: Giardina / Winkler Richard Naturgärten)
3.    Natural gardens blend harmoniously with their environment (photo: Giardina / Lustenberger Schelling Landschaftsarchitektur)
4.    A bench made of old books makes for a surprising focal point in the garden (photo: Giardina/Kobel Gartengestaltung)
5.    The use of natural materials from the local region in natural garden design (photo: Giardina / Gartenpoet)

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