A beautiful display of colourful flowers in the Princess of Wales Conservatory at Kew Gardens in London, England, this March 2017.
The Chinese Garden at Jardin Botanique de Montreal in Canada was inaugurated in 1991 and inspired by the magnificent private gardens of the Ming Dynasty (14th to 17th century) and is considered the largest of its kind outside of China.
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This was the most spectacular of all the horticultural designs at the Mosaicultures Internationales de Montreal 2013 in Canada. The Bird Tree symbolises the theme of earth’s endangered species and ecosystems. It depicts 56 threatened species of birds emerging from the branches of a tree, including Quebec’s indigenous Red-Headed Woodpecker and Piping Plover, while at its base among the roots are six endangered species of reptiles and amphibians including a turtle and an iguana, plus the Kakapo flightless parrot. The tree arises from a water-filled basin representing the Sundarban mangroves and other threatened coastal ecosystems.
The project team responsible for this horticultural work of art took six years to design and plan The Bird Tree. Despite using aluminium in the frame for lightness, the whole structure weighs about a 100 tons with one particular bird (Egyptian Vulture) having a wing span of 3 metres and a weight of three tons. A special lightweight growing medium had to be created; and there were challenges to find plants that were the right colours to approximate the plumage of some of the birds.
The Bird Tree, like the other mosaiculture designs displayed in the competition at the Jardin Botanique de Montreal, requires intensive maintenance. The foliage needs regular watering and trimming. It was interesting to see gardeners at work on the tree. Some stood on step-ladders placed in the water to reach up to the lower branches and bird models – while others with hard hats, who had received special training in climbing and scaling techniques, climbed up into the huge branches and secured themselves with safety harnesses and ropes to tie-down rings on the structure. All their gardening equipment such as shears and containers to catch the clippings were tied on to them with ropes.
The Bird Tree was totally amazing!
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