The build-up - Creating Switzerland’s biggest ‘live your garden’ event in 9 days
Published on 2/23/2017 by Giardina
Preparations for a garden event unrivalled anywhere in the world get under way on 6 March 2017. The 270 exhibitors and creators of the 22 show gardens will be hard at work setting up displays that promise to wow visitors. Gardens that would normally take months to create will be built in just nine days in the halls at Messe Zürich, a feat that not only involves lengthy planning, but also presents a logistical and structural engineering challenge. These impressive garden landscapes will be on show to the public from 15 to 19 March 2017.
Exceptional show gardens are about to spring into life at Giardina, presenting a wide variety of interpretations of the ‘new naturalness’, the biggest trend in gardens this season. Creating garden displays of up to 600m2 in size in just nine days requires an almost superhuman effort from everyone involved. More than 1000 lorry-loads of deliveries and hundreds of helpers have to be precisely coordinated as several thousand tons of plants, trees and construction material are conveyed into the exhibition halls – efficiently and without damage – to be transformed into perfectly laid out gardens.
Japanese magic in Zurich
The most difficult project to set up this year is the Japanese garden designed by Germany’s Reinhold Borsch, who specializes in koi ponds and exclusive gardens. A huge, traditional teahouse built from larchwood and bamboo, five 3.5-metre-high trees, 10 highly sensitive and valuable koi, a seven-metre-long topiary and 3000 ground cover plants will make the 630km journey from Kempen to Zurich on board 15 articulated lorries. Around six months of planning and preparation have gone into this visionary project, which will be brought to life over the next few days.
Gigantic multimedia spectacle
Long-standing company Spross will present the largest installation at Giardina 2017 on around 600m2 of space. To mark the company’s 125 years in business, 25,000 specially formed concrete blocks will be fashioned by hand into a dream landscape. Transparent lengths of cloth, pools of water, giant rope swings and multimedia light and sound effects will help ensure that this gigantic project not only satisfies the highest professional standards but is also an artistic hit. This exhibit is a marvellous spectacle for all the senses and a first of its kind for Giardina in terms of size and complexity.
Massive stone barbecue direct from the mountains of Graubünden
The supports, walls and flooring of Sirnach-based Egli Grün’s 360m2 show garden are all made of Calanca gneiss. A massive rock forms the centrepiece of the “new natural” garden, doubling as a one-of-a-kind barbecue and cooking pit, which was developed by the landscape gardeners in collaboration with Graubünden’s Alfredo Polti SA over several months. This unique item is a truly inimitable piece of craftsmanship: the stone masons have carved out a fully functioning cooking structure, complete with fire pit, water basin and worktop, especially for Giardina. The large boulder, which weighs many tons, had to be hollowed to the maximum to make it fit for transportation – the only way to make conveying this heavy load to Giardina logistically possible.
Apprentice gardeners build urban piazza
This year, the “greennotgrey” project of JardinSuisse, the Association of Swiss Gardeners, is being realised by the apprentices of the Aargau chapter of JardinSuisse, while Lustenberger Schelling Landschaftsarchitektur takes care of planning and site management. Planning the display featuring more than 7700 plants and 38 trees reaching a height of 4-6 metres called for a great deal of intuition, and maximum precision is now required to set it up for the show. Custom-made seating elements and 340m of steel will be transformed by the apprentices from Aargau into an urban piazza within a matter of days.