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Vermont Garden Journal:

Friday, August 23, 2013 at 5:57 p.m. & Sunday, August 25, 2013 at 9:35 a.m.

I'm Charlie Nardozzi and this is the Vermont Garden Journal. As my wife Wendy and I walked through the trees, I felt like we had entered another world. We recently were at the Montreal Botanical Garden to see the Mosaic culture exhibit and it is truly amazing! Mosaics are the giants of the horticultural world. Think of it as part engineering, part art and part gardening. The effect is astounding. Plants are grown on enormous frames to depict figures, scenes and stories. Thousands of plants are grown on these frames creating 2 and 3 dimensional living sculptures. Some of these figures span more than 50 feet wide.

The modern, mosaic culture movement began when a Montreal landscape architect saw a mosaic sculpture in China and was so moved she decided to start an international competition. The first was held in Montreal in 2003, with the last two competitions in China and Japan.

The theme of this year's competition is the Land of Hope and features 50 creations from more than 30 different countries. Each creation depicts some story of hope for our planet. They include the 40 foot tall Bird Tree that features 50 different species of birds growing on the limbs of the tree, a depiction of  the story of a Chinese girl who died saving a red crowned crane, and a scene from the famous Man Who Planted Trees story that uses 800,000 plants. There are mosaics that symbolize water conservation, wildlife preservation, and respect for Mother Earth.

In addition of my horticultural wonder at how they built, grew the plants and maintain such elaborate sculptures, I was heartened by the beauty and positive message these art works invoked. The mosaic culture exhibit lasts until the end of September. Go see it!

And now for this week's tip, start preparing areas of your lawn now for grass seeding. Remove weeds and dead grass, add a layer of compost, sow seeds and cover with straw. Water regularly and the seed should germinate quickly.

Next week on The Vermont Garden Journal I'll be talking about reviving old fruit trees. Until then, I'll be seeing you in the garden.

Montreal Botanical Garden Mosaics

Charlie Nardozzi is a nationally recognized garden writer, radio and TV show host, consultant, and speaker. Charlie is the host of All Things Gardening on Sunday mornings at 9:35 during Weekend Edition on Vermont Public. Charlie is a guest on Vermont Public's Vermont Edition during the growing season. He also offers garden tips on local television and is a frequent guest on national programs.
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