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Call for Ideas The Garden of Plants: Radicepura Garden Festival IV edition

Italy Architecture News - Jul 29, 2022 - 13:46   1803 views

Call for Ideas The Garden of Plants: Radicepura Garden Festival IV edition

Radicepura Garden Festival announces the Call for Ideas to participate in the fourth edition of the biennial dedicated to garden design, which will have as its theme 'THE GARDEN OF PLANTS', from an idea of Antonio Perazzi, artistic director of the event. To stimulate reflection about this theme, with his own contribution, would be Paolo Pejrone, who will create a garden for the festival. The landscape architect has always been a promoter and advocate of an "untidy" garden capable of growing strong, autonomously and spontaneously, a place of respect and care, as well as hospitable, as told in the book Un giardino semplice. Storie di felici accoglienze e armoniose convivenze (Einaudi).

"When we talk about a garden, we are talking about a living, growing, fast-changing entity; there is nothing worse, in fact, than an immobile garden. We have been accustomed to a bourgeois stereotype that has accompanied us for almost two centuries, the English garden, with organised but free spaces... We have grown up with this idea of green, which, however, costs in terms of the sacrifices we ask of our neighbours," comments Paolo Pejrone. "We must be careful with resources, the garden must be a small example of homegrown ecology; the English lawn is an act of selfishness because it is harmful in terms of water consumed, treatments needed, hours of mowing. Let the gardens grow in the Italian way... let's use Mediterranean plants, in the garden you cannot go against the nature of places."

"Having Paolo Pejrone as a teacher and guest of the next edition makes me very proud, we are happy at Radicepura to be able to give a home to one of his projects because he has always been a supporter of a vision, as he himself defines it, of 'good garden sense' that today we call ecological, a garden that speaks of places, of happy cohabitation and adaptation processes, in short, a garden that tells of life. Putting plants back at the centre means going in search of the deeper meaning of this life," says Mario Faro, President of the Radicepura Foundation.

"The theme we are proposing this year focuses on the botanical element: no longer a corollary or mere decoration, but a starting point and professional inspiration. Designers, irrespective of their training, will be called upon to grapple with a botany for landscape architects, well-designed and elegant projects that are able to demonstrate the benefits of a quality, modern, functional, poetic and serene artistic garden. This is intended to encourage debate around a different style of garden capable of promoting a conscious belonging to the natural world, gardens in which a sincere relationship with plants is implemented on a daily basis," concludes Antonio Perazzi, artistic director of the Festival.

With this in mind, Radicepura Garden Festival launches the Call for Ideas 2023, inviting students, landscape architects, agronomists, garden designers, botanists, nurserymen, urban planners, engineers, artists, students, curators and all those with the skills to design and create a garden, to participate in the fourth edition of the Festival that will explore the theme 'THE GARDEN OF PLANTS'.

Gardens should be a celebration of biodiversity, the natural landscape and the Mediterranean man- made landscape. The gardens should be innovative, attractive, usable, capture the attention of visitors and clearly illustrate their design idea and message. The Festival encourages interaction with the public, an innovative approach with new ideas that support and develop a positive relationship between people, their culture and the natural environment where they live. The diversity of the Mediterranean climate zones and the complex cultural history of the area offer a wide range of creative ideas.

The Festival will be open for a period of six months and, therefore, it will be necessary to consider the evolution of the garden during this period, minimising maintenance requirements. At the end of the edition, the garden that has evolved best over the six months of the event will receive the Gardenia Prize, a special award from the garden magazine.

The international call for entries is open to under 36 years old - individual professionals or teams of emerging architects - for the creation of 6 gardens addressing the proposed theme. There will also be 1 garden reserved for the over 36 category. The gardens will be created at Radicepura, the botanical park in Giarre (Catania) - between Mount Etna and the Ionian Sea - in close communication with other gardens designed by internationally renowned landscape architects and works of art. 

The garden designers will have the opportunity to express their creativity, making use of the most original plants cultivated in the Piante Faro nursery, which has more than 3000 different species of tropical, succulent, aromatic, Mediterranean and citrus plants. Participation in the competition is free of charge, and the 7 projects selected by the jury will have a budget of 10,000 euro between plant supply and materials.

In the first phase, designers will be invited to join the Call with an idea that is convincing enough to allow access to a selection, from which a short-list of participants will be selected, who will be invited to produce a detailed project for a specific area that will be assigned to them. From among these, the final selection will be made of 7 winners who will be called upon to create their garden in the park of the Radicepura Festival. 

The list of the 7 winning gardens will be communicated to interested parties by 27 January 2023.

Applications for Phase 1 will be accepted until 14 November 2022.To participate, download the call for applications at:


The Sicilian festival is the first international event dedicated to garden design and landscape architecture in the Mediterranean, which since 2017, the year of its first edition, has involved young designers, institutions, companies, and major players in the fields of landscape design, art and architecture.

The festival is organised by the Radicepura Foundation in collaboration with Piante Faro.

Radicepura Garden Festival:
Giarre, Catania [email protected]

National and international press office
Stilema, Turin [email protected].

Top image courtesy of Radicepura Garden Festival.

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