Vertical garden to be created at Kochi Biennale

French botanist Patrick Blanc, who has created over 250 vertical gardens around the world, Saturday said he will showcase one at the second edition of the Kochi Muziris Biennale to be held here later this year.

IANS| Last Updated: Oct 04, 2014, 23:55 PM IST

Kochi: French botanist Patrick Blanc, who has created over 250 vertical gardens around the world, Saturday said he will showcase one at the second edition of the Kochi Muziris Biennale to be held here later this year.

But the garden that he creates for the Kochi event will be only the second one that he has made in India after the first nearly 10 years back at the French Embassy in New Delhi. "And that was not open to the public," said the Frenchman while addressing a gathering of architecture students here.

Blanc, 61, took the audience through an enlightening presentation of his gravity-defying gardens - ideal green stretches for crowded cities which cannot afford the luxury of spacious gardens.

He expressed hope that his Biennale installation will be a permanent work that evolves into something useful over the years.

The Veli gardens has been chosen as the location for his creation for the Biennale because it was originally where the study for the Hortus Malabaricus (a comprehensive treatise that deals with the medicinal properties of the flora in Kerala) began. Originally written in Latin, it was compiled over a period of nearly 30 years and published from Amsterdam during 1678-1693.

"For a start, I will use the plants that I find in local nurseries," said Blanc, who uses anything from 100 to 450 species in his gardens.

"I hope we can then slowly introduce native plants, as this would be a great learning ground to the local people and to visitors to the region," he added.

Blanc recalled going around the Nilgris, Munnar and Periyar a decade back and loving the bio-diversity.

"Kerala and India, probably has the largest variety in the world. I found a range of colours and a variety with only one leaf, which I have not seen propagated anywhere," he said.

On his site visit to the Veli gardens, Blanc, who began tinkering with the idea of the vertical gardens as a teenager, felt that the Kerala climate would be well-suited to his creation.