Gardens in the desert and on the roof, in the air and on the water. We invite you on a tour of the most extraordinary orchards and vegetable gardens in the world, where flowers are fragrant and vegetables ripen.
Plants can be planted in the most exotic places and there should be a desire to do it successfully. To survive, even on Mars, it is possible to grow potatoes, Matt Damon from the movie “The Martian” is sure. The main thing is to get down to business with skill.
1. Kitchen garden in the White House
It was started by Eleanor Roosevelt during World War II, sowing the first seeds of green and vegetable crops in the garden. The goal of the president’s wife was to show citizens that even in difficult times of crisis, it is possible to provide households with vegetables and herbs from their own garden.
The first lady of the United States, many years later, was enthusiastically continued the initiative of Michelle Obama, who had a great love for gardening and deftly wielded garden tools. With her personal participation, dill and spinach, radishes and broccoli were planted and grown here. The wife of the then president was focused on instilling healthy eating habits in her daughters and children their age, and even appeared on television talking about the benefits of vegetables.
After the change of power in the White House, Melania Trump became the landlord. She retained the beds, but her presence on them is rather nominal – the former model is unlikely to be as skillful as her predecessor, to be controlled with a shovel or a rake and will wear ordinary rubber boots for growing vegetables. Part of the harvest, which the wife of the current head of the White House traditionally gathers with schoolchildren, goes to the presidential table, the rest are supplied to local charities.
2. Roof garden in Warsaw
The roof garden of the Warsaw University Library, created in 2002, is one of the largest and most spectacular structures in Europe. During its existence, not only students, but also numerous tourists have visited it – admission is free for everyone. The space of the roof is, as it were, united with the “earthly” green slope and a system of cascades, along which the water collected during the rains flows down. You can get upstairs via ramps, stairs and bridges lined with plants. The Vistula, the old town and the picturesque surroundings of the Polish capital are clearly visible from the numerous observation platforms of the garden.
A layer of earth with a thickness of only 30 cm, laid on the roof, was enough for the plants planted at a height to develop normally and create a unique flavor. The 1 hectare garden is divided into four parts – “Gold”, “Silver”, “Green” and “Violet”. For each of these, landscape architect Irena Baerska has selected plants that differ in color, shape and smell.
Plants with yellow leaves and flowers adorn in the Golden Garden: forsythia Malukh, cinquefoil Goldfinger , Japanese spirea Goldmound , clematis Tangut, barberry Thunberg Green Carpet , yellow acacia Pendula.
The green part is dominated by a gamut of green shades: it is created by the seaside armeria, cinquefoil Abbotswood , Dammera Major cotoneaster .
The Silver Garden is decorated with a whole-leaved willow Hakura Nishiki of a beautiful spherical shape, gray spiraea Grefsheim , Pfitzer ‘s juniper Mint Julep . The basis of the composition is made up of ornamental grasses – fescue, gray keleria and shaker, or cuckoo’s tears.
In the Purple Garden, pink and lilac shades prevail – Thunberg barberry Atropurpurea Nana , flowering weigela Folis Purpureus , Meyer’s lilac, Dammer Stockholm cotoneaster , rugotida rose, Sargent apple trees. Floral and herbaceous plants are a wonderful framing of the composition – stonecrop, creeping thyme.
The rooftop garden is open to visitors from spring to autumn, and it hosts dates, picnics, and excursions.
3. Garden of unusual plants in France
Have you ever tasted the oyster-flavored plant, smelled flowers that smell like candy or resin? Can you imagine what “snake plants” look like? All of these are “exhibits” of an extraordinary vegetable garden in France, of which more than 10 thousand are collected here. Delighted visitors stroll in themed gardens among lianas, giants and “flying plants”. In this land of magic there is a collection of sunflowers, a maze of corn, a gallery of lagenariums – “bottle” pumpkins hanging from long and flexible lashes like curly lanterns. The pumpkin, familiar to everyone, is the main “character” here – it appears in all the variety of species, varieties and memorable images.
There are many exotic plants in this fabulous vegetable garden. Crotalaria is a plant of the legume family, from which ropes, burlap and fishing nets are made, and which is not inferior in strength to jute fiber. Herbaceous liana kirkazon giant with heart-shaped leaves and unusual variegated flowers, with their curved shape reminiscent of the trumpets of a saxophone. Shy mimosa, which folds its thin leaves when you touch them. Ekbalium springy, or “mad cucumber” with a special property of “shoot” seeds. Climbing trichozant with fruits that simultaneously resemble pumpkin and cucumber. In length, such “cucumbers” can reach one and a half meters and weigh up to 5 kg!
All plants can be examined, touched, sniffed, and some even tasted – special signs with the image of eyes, hands, nose or mouth warn about this.
4. Vegetable garden in the desert
It is a titanic work to arrange a vegetable garden in the desert. The people of Israel know this firsthand. In this small country, there are as many as three deserts – Judean, Negev and Arava and they occupy more than 60% of the entire area. Special greenhouses occupying 150 thousand hectares of land, a special protective net and a unique drip irrigation, brought up literally under each bush, help local plants not to perish under the rays of the scorching sun – without this, not a single stem will grow on lifeless sandy soils.
About 1000 kibbutzim and moshavs (as farms are called here) supply fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs not only to the entire population of Israel, which is almost 10 million, but also to European countries. 15% of all products are exported. And this despite the fact that only 20% of the land is considered suitable for farming. It’s hard to believe that avocados and bell peppers, grapes and mangoes grow right on the sand! And also mini-watermelons and melons weighing from 500 g to 2 kg, super-sweet and crispy cherry tomatoes (a local celebrity), black tomatoes, which are not inferior to black currant in terms of vitamins and microelements, Kiwano cucumbers with banana flavor.
Despite the total lack of water and quotas for its consumption, the almost complete absence of fertile soil and harsh climatic conditions, Israel’s agriculture is recognized as one of the most high-tech in the world.
5. Park High Line on the flyover
City Park High-Line (High-Line) length of 2.3 km was created on the site of an abandoned elevated industrial railroad, passing through an old viaduct in New York Manhattan. All parts of the bridge, i.e. the park built on it has been fully accessible to visitors since 2014.
The project was made possible by the local community, who managed to convince the city authorities and sponsors to set up a state-of-the-art park on the old railway line. Moreover, nature itself has inspired the enthusiasts to do this, having arbitrarily “mastered” the space of the abandoned bridge overpass. Wild grasses and self-sowing trees successfully fit into the industrial concept of the park, one of the authors of which was the famous landscape designer Pete Udolph. In the heat, willows, acacias, birches, chokeberry bushes and apple trees create a pleasant shade here.
The promenade at the height of the third floor has become a favorite place for rest and meeting of citizens. In High Line Park, you can admire the city, rising above the usual street noise. Walk along the paths among the herbs, hide in the thickets on a secluded bench, sit at a table in a cafe, listen to street musicians and even sunbathe away from the bustle of the city. For this, special beds are provided here. And in the evening, when the lights turn on and the wooden flooring underfoot turns into a kind of ship deck, it becomes especially picturesque and cozy here. And I want to dream of distant wanderings.
6. Floating gardens in Myanmar
Gardens on the water, or chinampas, are an invention of the ancient Indian tribe of the Aztecs. This way of growing vegetables was not a tribute to fashion and not a compulsory necessity. Everything was explained much more simply. The lake silt formed at the bottom of the reservoir is an excellent organic fertilizer for moisture-loving crops and not only. This property of bottom sediments began to be used in agriculture. How does the method work?
The unusual hydroponic system is still being successfully used at Inle Lake in Myanmar. The process of creating such a vegetable garden is not quick and laborious. Water “beds” are specially prepared for planting. To do this, bamboo piles are stuck in a section of a lake with a muddy bottom and special rafts of algae, cut reeds and plant roots are arranged between them. The entire wicker structure is covered with a layer of fertile soil and generously flavored with lake silt. It turns out a kind of embankment, towering above the surface of the water.
Then the plants are planted in this makeshift “vegetable garden” so that their roots are slightly in contact with the water, from where they will receive all the necessary nutrients. When the fertile layer subsides, sinking into the water, add earth with silt. Floating plantations with tomatoes, cucumbers, paprika and sweet potatoes (sweet potatoes) supply fresh vegetables, fruits and even berries with fresh vegetables, fruits and even berries almost all year round, not only to all surrounding villages, but also to large cities.
7. Flower gardens on barges in London
From the deck of old barges moored along the Thames waterfront near the Design Museum, there is a beautiful view of the Tower Bridge. But even this is not the main attraction here. The quirky apartment complex couldn’t do without green mini-gardens on board. This oasis on the water is full of lush greenery, trees and flowers. The plants are planted both in special metal containers running along the center of the roofs and in ordinary pots.
The greenery here is varied in character: sedums, carefully trimmed boxwoods, acacias, climbing vines of honeysuckle and climbing rose bushes. Euphorbia almond, feather grass and other ornamental grasses have also adapted well to the local climate and strong winds. Ferns and geraniums grow on some boats, irises and badan live on others. The barges are interconnected by pedestrian bridges and form an entire square, which is called the Garden Barge Square.
From early spring to late autumn, the vegetation on the barges plays with different shades of flowers and foliage, creating a unique flavor of the Mediterranean garden on the banks of the Thames.
Rooftop gardens, vertically oriented beds, hanging and floating gardens are not an invention of science fiction writers, but a very real way to transform the surrounding space with benefit.