A mosaiculture is a form of art which consists of creating patterns, words, images or characters using plants varying in colours and shapes. This ornamental method is commonly used for two dimensional pieces. There are many on display in public gardens and multiples municipalities. Three dimensional mosaicultures are more complex since it requires knowledge concerning sculptures and horticulture. For this reason, these structures are vegetal art pieces!
The first three-dimensional mosaiculture was built at the Parc Marie-Victorin of Kingsey Falls. Now a horticultural signature and the stars of the Parc Marie-Victorin, the giant three-dimensional mosaicultures consist of one of the principal attractions of the site, especially due to the fact that there are ten of them. The Park is the only garden to host so many permanently... Come and see for yourself!
Everything began in 1997 when horticulturist Normand Francoeur and Daniel Paradis, a technical counselor of Cascades greatly implicated in his community, produced the first three-dimensional mosaiculture. It was a gardener who’s main function was to welcome the visitors during the popular “Festival des jardiniers” of Kingsey Falls. This mosaiculture was later reprised by the “Jardin botanique de Montréal”. A similar art piece can now be found near the tropical greenhouse. This first mosaiculture rapidly caught the attention in the horticultural domain, especially in China. This country demanded the exchange of expertise for their arrangements. Year after year, new mosaicultures are added which gives the Parc Marie-Victorin a distinctive signature.
The arrival in 2006 of the one-eyed sphinx caterpillar, a truly colossus mosaiculture with its three meters high and five meters long, marked an important date. The same goes with the addition of five mosaiculture in 2008. The inauguration of the Giant’s path, the sixth themed garden revealed in 2011, enables the visitors to discover an impressive collection of those vegetal artworks, including a representation of Brother Marie-Victorin finding the dwarf thistle. This three-dimensional mosaiculture is almost six feet high and is composed of 13 400 plants. Considered as one of the builders of the Parc Marie-Victorin, this passionate is the chief horticulturist for “Mosaïculture internationales de Montréal” and as of today, his expertise is recognized world-wide.
The mosaicultures are placed on a structure of metal covered with a geotextile fabric. The gardeners fasten the fabric to the structure and fill it up with soil, granular fertilizer and compost. The fabric is then perforated with a dibber and the plants are inserted in a way to allow them to branch out and eventually cover the entire surface. This long process can take up to three weeks at twelve individuals depending on the size of the artwork!
The alternanthera is communly used for this type of art due to the different sizes, shapes and colours of the leaves which brings the mosaicultures to life. The alternanthera originates from the tropics. It can easily support partial shade and different cuts. This plant needs a good soil and constant humidity. The althernanthera, santolina, echeveria, hemigraphis and sedum are the main plants used for the mosaicultures of the Parc Marie-Victorin.
The horticulturists favour those plants since they expand as the season goes by, vigorous and tolerate the shape and cut imposed upon them every week. On the other hand, they have to look out for fungal diseases which could ruin all their hard work. Since it’s an artificial environment, the use of fertilizer is needed. However, our horticulturists only use natural fertilizers mixed with water directly pumped from the river. The same procedure is used throughout our gardens. Finally, since these are annual plants, the plants freeze during the fall and the whole process has to be restarted in the following spring. A meticulous and grandiose work to visit!
Nearly 20 years after the first construction of a three-dimensional mosaiculture, the Parc Marie-Victorin is a great place to admire numerous vegetal artworks, each grandiose and amazing. Come and visit them from June 24th to October 12th.