2008 International Garden Festival, Chaumont-
sur-Loire, France Premiated Design
Given our ever-increasing world population, the theme of “Sharing the Garden,” may take on darker connotations than the obvious, delightful ones. We have, after all, both the opportunity to share abundance and joy and the responsibility to share the burden of limited resources. In this garden vignette, installed as a competition-winning entry, the concept of varying population densities, each with the same amount of space and resources, opens an interesting discourse on how we share the planet. In the four equally-sized squares, the first has one very large tree, the second has four large but somewhat smaller trees, the third contains 16 small specimens, and the fourth has 64 seedlings. The planting bed with only one tree enjoys the space and nutrients to spread out and grow broad and strong. In this design, as the populations increase in each bed, the growth habits—size and appearance—of the “inhabitants” are directly affected. When individual space decreases, specimen size decreases as well. Must sharing limited resources necessarily result in a population’s detriment? Or can there be a symbiotic balance reached as a result of sharing?
Photographs: LAB; Renderings: LAB