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Mosaiculture. The art of sculpturing plants

The giant plant sculpture titled, 'The Legend of Mother Earth,' is displayed at an international mosaiculture exhibit in downtown Montreal, August 12, 2003. The exhibit titled 'Myths and Legends,' features 60 sculptures from participants representing 32 countries. REUTERS/Shaun Best

Mosaiculture is defined as the art of composing a motif, an image, a picture or a sculpture using carefully selected and pruned plants.

Mosaiculture és the fruit of a symbiosis of several artforms that have borrowed their main elements from three dimensional structures. From paintings we get the multitude of colours and from horticulture, the passion of flowers and plants that blossom in the right environment, creating constantly transforming and living pieces of artwork. Mosaiculture illustrates the most spectacular and difficult horticultural technique

Mosaiculture remains the most spectacular form of horticultural expression. The creation of highly complex designs, geometric or imaginary figures, scenes, numbers or letters, using flowering or foliage plants, remains however an art form for experienced horticulturists. It has its origin in the embroidered flower beds (often termed ‘carpet beds’) which composed Renaissance gardens.

This true horticultural technique meets precise standards in terms of plant variety and density of planting and pruning. It has generally been associated with parks and public spaces for reasons of visual impact and upkeep costs. Nowadays, mosaiculture has evolved into different forms including elaborate floral three dimensional sculptures. The floral palette has integrated traditional annual plants, enabling the creation of detailed artistic renditions. 

Before becoming a solid metallic structure filled with sphagnum moss and covered with plants, a three-dimensional work first begins with a drawing and a technical design. The metal structure must be constructed in accordance with very strict building standards and requirements, and such a structure, containing thousands of pounds of wet soil and plants must be stable enough to support its own weight, not to mention withstanding inclimental weather. By virtue of different principles, the structure must contain the sphagnum moss that becomes its fertile soil, thanks to constant and careful irrigation. Some of the more complex structures even have their own built-in irrigation systems.

 

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