Reflections and landscapes: Flower Jam festival started in Moscow

June 21

Flower Jam is held in Moscow for the third time. The main events are scheduled for 23 August through 8 September. However, the festival started as early as 20 June.

Previously, the gardens created by the best landscape designers from all over the world used to decorate the city streets a mere couple of weeks. Now, however, they will gladden the eye of Muscovites and tourists all through the warm season. Today, 42 exhibition gardens have been opened on the city’s sites. One can visit them and appreciate the designers’ original solutions till 8 September.

This time, the theme of the contest is 'Moscow Summer Gardens.' The projects presented at the festival have been developed by designers from 11 countries: Russia, Italy, France, Slovakia, China, Uruguay, Finland, Latvia, Estonia, Georgia, and Kazakhstan. The winners of the competition in five categories will be chosen towards completion of the festival, i.e. in early September.

'Moscow Summer Gardens' event has been designed taking into consideration the blooming of different plants. So the gardens will look differently throughout the summer. The designer Kairi Meos from Finland, author of the garden 'Topographic Flower Stories' in the Muzeon Park, using the changeability of landscape as a composition basis, has designed his garden, so that it would look differently not only in different seasons, but also depending on the time of the day, weather, and illumination. The flower composition is supplemented by sculptures, i.e. a topographic panel that symbolizes the link between the nature and the city.

 Topographic Flower Stories. By Kairi Meos. Design concept

Another urbanism-themed garden is 'Harmony of Diagonals' in Rozhdestvenka Street, created by the Finnish designer Haidi Hannus. The place of the composition is arranged as a city map, i.e. in their connection the street lines form differently shaped polygons of different sizes with certain flowers growing on each of them. The project presented by the Georgian designer Alex Solomnishvili on Moskvoretskaya Embankment is inspired by the megacity’s panorama. Thus the garden 'Reflection' reflects the outlines of the city’s buildings.  

Reflection. By Alex Solomnishvili. Design concept

The theme of reflections was also used by the Italian designer Alessandro Trivelli in his project 'Landscape Is You.' The mirrors are an important part of his composition, as well as the books one can find and read in this garden amid its trees. According to the author’s concept, the space embodies a dialogue between man and the city, the nature, the history, and culture. The garden is located in Kuznetsky Most Street in front of the Central Department Store (TsUM).

Landscape Is You. By Alessandro Trivelli. Design concept

Another garden where the mirrors are installed has been devised by the Russian Yelizaveta Kozyreva. It has staircases symbolizing the basic periods in man’s life, from youth to old age, and adjustable illumination by which one can observe the way he has covered in different lights. Also, here are vacation spots where one can sit down for a while and talk about 'Life', that’s exactly how this project is called. The garden is in New Arbat Street.  


The work of the Russian designers 'The Architecture of Nature', dedicated to the future of megacities, is also presented in New Arbat. Its authors have built the city’s outline in miniature, filling the metallic frames with vegetation like shrubs and decorative trees. So, they have shown the closeness between nature and industrialization. Hidden in the core of the composition is the mysterious 'Black rectangle', a secret message from the authors.  

Another garden, 'The City’s Pastoral', has been opened not far from this object. Its authors have chosen the motif of harmony between the city and nature. The chief element of the composition is metallic pergolas entwined with lianas, which symbolizes a unity of things artificial and natural. Also, one can rock on the swings here. This, the designers believe, will bring the visitors back into their childhood which many of us spent in the lap of nature. The idea belongs to Dmitry Bochkov and Denis Batashev.

Traditionally, New Arbat has become one of the 'greenest' sites of the festival. A further two exclusive gardens are located here. Russian landscape designers have employed the Oriental subject. Their composition 'The Silk Road' is a reflection on the subject of centuries old history of relations between Europe and Asia, while their garden 'Origami' is an attempt to convey the exquisiteness of the Japanese art of origami in the city’s landscape.

Close to Arbat is the project 'Over the Roof' presented by the Russian Patricia Garcia Alayo. This object is a simulated image of an abandoned building, which had lost its roof. In summer, it overgrows with flowers, shrubs and birch trees, turning into a reminder that nature suffers no emptiness and is prepared to make itself felt everywhere.

Green Fluff. By Yelena Fedosova. Design concept

Several so-called literary gardens, designed by Russian experts, are in the city centre. The 'Green Fluff' garden, devoted to Alexander Pushkin, emerged in Kamergersky Lane, and in Myasnitskiye Vorota Square near Chistye Prudy Metro station a space appeared under the name 'The Suite Plays.' Its concept is based on the plot of Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel 'Master and Margarita.' The pavilions in the garden remind of 'the evil apartment', variety shows and other images used in that work.   

Sea Monster Whale. By Yekaterina Novitskaya. Design concept

Worth of special note are landscape projects for social areas singled out in a separate category. Next to the children’s boarding school in Academician Pavlov Street the 'Sea Monster Whale' garden will appear soon, symbolizing the marine kingdom. It is fitted with functional areas like a lit site for entertainments, a recreation zone with warm sand to walk on barefooted, chalk boards shaped as waves and the chief attraction – a playground in the form of a huge whale.

A special playground, 'Hope', for children with speech impediment, will be opened in the kindergarten’s courtyard in Academician Anokhin street. Neurotypical children, too, will be able to play on it. This project will help in conducting, by way of a play, floral therapy and sensory integration of the establishment’s fosterlings.  

Hope. By Svetlana Gorbatova and Inessa Kaushakite. Design concept

The professional international jury will choose the best competition gardens of the 'Flower Jam'. Its chairman, Andy Stegen, is among top ten landscape designers of Great Britain. 

In 2018 the 'Flower Jam' competition became one of largest in the world. So over 1,500 competitors’ and amateurs’ exhibition gardens decorated the territories of Moscow. Three projects of the 'Flower Jam' open international competition of the urban landscape design were included in laureates of the 9th Russian national prize for landscape architecture.


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