Suvorov Pharmacy, Pushkin’s poetry and a tectonic fracture: Flower Jam finalists tell about their gardens

July 3

Flower Jam festival of landscape design is held in Moscow for the third time. It started on June 20, when the festival summer gardens opened. 42 projects by Russian and foreign landscape designers will decorate the city throughout the summer. One can visit them to view the designers' original solutions till mid-September.

Traditionally, the festival includes a same-name contest. The jury assess projects in the following five categories: Big Exhibition Garden, Medium Exhibition Garden and Small Exhibition Garden, Student Projects Competition and Landscape Project for Social Areas (it is a new trend of the festival). has met with authors of five gardens to speak about their inspiration and find out whether it is simple to create a green area in a megacity.

Garden as an open book

Polina Solomatina, Page 19:

I have a dream to concern with landscape design and to create gardens, where people could have a good time. Last year our team was managed to win the first place in the student category. This time I was not sure that I would make it into the final; I did not hope to have luck twice in a row. Frankly speaking, I’m really glad an opportunity to work again in this fabulous atmosphere of the Flower Jam.

Such festival is a great experience for a young specialist. It includes work within short timeframes, and days when people, whom you was not acquainted with only yesterday, become your fellows and friends as well as unplanned tasks which you have to solve instantly.

For example, we changed the colour of a runway for several times – before the festival opening and during assembly. It was glaring and was out of the external environment, so we had to improvise

Generally speaking, the main goal of any competitor is to insert a green area into the urban environment in a logical way. This time the circumstances were perfect because location and idea concurred. We received a platform in New Arbat Street near the “Moscow Book Centre”, and the garden is exactly made in the shape of a giant open book. During the season flowers and plants will replace each other so that the installation will be constantly developed like a story of a literary composition

But a city garden should not just serve as a street decoration. In my opinion, it should accomplish additional functions. For this reason, at our place people have the opportunity not only to take rest but also to read: there are several shelves of bookcrossing on the platform. One can find necessary book, pick it up and leave a previously read book in return. This is an accessible and beautiful reading. I will come to the platform and renew it during the whole season: tend plants, add new books to the shelves and simply take rest.


'Eugene Onegin', 'Monument' and courtesy to Ann Kern

Yelena Fedosova, 'Green Fluff' garden:

Green Fluff garden is devoted to 220 anniversary of the birth of Alexander Pushkin. He was born is Moscow, spent his childhood walking in the gardens of German Quarter, in the streets boulevards and parks.

The name 'Green Fluff' is a reference to 'Eugene Onegin' and lines “The smile of nature so fair// Meets early morning of the year.//The sky is blazing going blue.// The forests in transparent hue //Are with a greenish colour covered”. The conception of garden with linden trees is courtesy to Ann Kern alley in Mikhailovsky. We also wanted to describe feel of Russian manor house, so we used herbs, geranium, veronica, spikelet, rose, lilac and mock orange. There are also several decorative elements in the garden, such as concrete sculpture in the form of screwed sheet of paper. (Ivan Pushchin wrote about Pushkin: “Sheets of paper and chewed parts of quill are scattered everywhere.”) And columns with lines from the compositions remind of the poem “The Monument”. By the way, my mother chose quotes for the columns. Of course, there are more famous lines as well as those lines that one could not remember out of hand.

We were first to open the garden — by June 7, just for the Times and Epochs festival. So young ladies with their gentlemen, dressed in historical costumes, took rest in the shade of our linden trees. At present there are also a lot of people. Kamergersky Lane is a very noisy place, and the garden by contrast is chamber, conducive to rest, reading, calm conversation.

It will be more pleasant here in late summer – early autumn, the season that Pushkin liked so much. Meanwhile, the garden will get a completed landscape and bright colours.

Return nature to the megacity habitants

Yelena Markitantova, Flower Jam competition sponsor, about garden of Lucia Nusiner “Healing Landscape in Nature”:

— This project belongs to a new category for us - “Gardens of social nature”. Similar gardens we placed in medical and educational institutions (I hope, on permanent basis). For the second time, a wonderful landscape designer Lucia Nusiner takes part in this contest with us. Having learned that we would have such category she said: “I really want to create a garden and I would like to locate it in the school for children with developmental delays.”

Everything is adapted here so that children with physical and mental features could get acquainted with nature.

For us, professionals, nature is a material, but it is living environment for a human. And city people are deprived of it, and we are to bring nature to their sill.

The garden consists of two parts. The first one is a vegetable garden, in autumn tomatoes, sweet basil, lettuce, dill, parsley and pepper will grow there. All pupils of the school will be able to observe growth of vegetables and herbs. The second part is a flower garden. It is created in trendy natural style. White weed, asters and herbs grow here. Of course, all of them are from a nursery-garden, but composition creates feeling of wild nature or overgrown front garden. By the way, this is a garden of continuously flowering plants: first echinacea will open, then asters and other flowers. Almost all plants are perennial, so in spring they will open again.

I would like to add that all gardens for children should be interactive. Visual pleasure is rather for adults. Children need to do something, contact with nature, touch it, and even better - create something new. Our garden is just like that. And we were pleased to enter into this space also a mini-class with a blackboard and chalk; classes may be carried out there in good weather.


Wild meadow with Artemisia and Saint-John's wort

Marina Tsay, Suvorov Green Pharmacy therapeutic garden:

- Therapeutic garden is a new trend in Russian landscape design. And our team wondered what could be done within the framework of the Flower Jam contest in this category. We also wanted to include an educational element - hence the interest in Alexander Suvorov and his fascination by medicinal herbs. It is known that he collected medicinal plants, introduced a system of herbal medicine in the army.

Thus the general concept of Green Pharmacy was born. At present plantain, willow, wormwood, motherwort, and St. John's wort grow here; herbs that can be found in any pharmacy. It was not easy to get live plants. It turned out, for example, that in nursery-gardens almost nobody grows yarrow. So it was a kind of challenge.

Our garden is planned to be left after the festival, therefore its installation required more time and effort. It was as a matter of principle to make this small space functional, so that it was still a garden where one can walk, but not a flower bed, which can only be walked around the border. To achieve this, we laid small paths so that guests could walk through composite relief and feel themselves in a wild meadow.

South landscape and tectonic fraction

Anastasiya Ostroumova, New Earth garden:

Our project is the result of many years of work. It contains three main themes. The first is the feeling of warmth, south landscape of Greece, Mexico and Brazil. We achieved this effect with the help of specific flora - junipers and perennials. Moreover, we specially brought agave from Sochi; they are to be sheltered in winter, because cold Moscow weather is too severe for them.

The second idea is movement of tectonic plates, a facture. It is not enough to create a south garden, it is necessary to give it dynamics, movement. We tried to visualize the geological process. Contours of garden itself remind of Socotra Island in the Indian Ocean, near the coast of Somalia. There is a mountain range on this island. And all this is reflected in our relief. We have schematically depicted fraction of the Earth's crust and magma, from which emerges something new - cacti of coloured threads and ribbons.

And of course, we wanted to make an unusual garden. There is no area of outdoor games for children, but there are interesting objects. For example, special pipes sticking here and there. This is a “communication tube”, like in the film 'Assa'. Each pipe has a pair, which shall be found. To find, one should shout from one side and understand where a sound came from. And when the pair is folded, it will be possible to whisper through the pipe and everything will be heard. We have also built a collection of minerals. There are granite and coal, they lie in special boxes scattered throughout the garden. To build this collection, we had to travel throughout the Moscow region. And the third area, with cacti, is, in fact, a new Earth — a playpit for the smallest ones.


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