The Second Annual Mosaiculture

The Magicians' Garden

Montreal Quebec, Canada

July 29th, 2001

So, what would you do with a pile of straw, a mound of clay and bushels of horse manure? Well, if you were the internationally acclaimed city of Montreal, Quebec, you might round up the best gardeners from around the world and challenge them to a contest to make the most spectacular living designs along the two mile park that runs between the St. Lawrence river and Old Montreal. Artists from such intriguing places as Geneva and Hong Kong would compete against some good old home town garden clubs such as Boston. You would then end up with what is called the "Magicians' Garden", the theme for the second annual Mosaiculture. Stretched out almost a mile along the meandering riverside park, in neat little square areas laid out in a pleasing visual balance are hundreds of plant and floral shapes held together with wire and aluminum frames. The large ones require a built-in irrigation system, the smaller ones getting a daily dousing from an old fashion garden hose. They stretch down both sides of the old lock system that once supported the river trade. The vast diversity of thought and design was apparent from the varied approaches each city used in creating their individual masterpieces. Many carried themes that reflected time old images or traditions of their city or country. Some were relatively simple while others were immensely complicated. China sent a rather spectacular offering in its "Two mythical creatures". The dragon and the phoenix, one the symbol of the emperor and the other of the Empress. It also represents the union of yin and yang, and can also be regarded as the marriage of perfect harmony and happiness. In Chinese alchemy, the dragon is the symbol of mercury "liquid money" and the circle depicted here by the phoenix reflects the powerful cycle of life. The phoenix, the firebird is continually reborn from the ashes and has come to symbolize immortality. According to legend, the dragon coughed up a pearl from its stomach to expose it to the sun and moon and thereby increase its power. The two butterflies around them represent a happy marriage, while the column symbolizes the proud Chinese people. At 9.99 meters high the column is also a reminder of the importance of the number nine, representing celestial power in China. The creation took the Public's Choice Award. From Boston, the parks department honored their parks. Strewn like jewels throughout the greater Boston area, nine public parks and a parkway form a magnificent green belt appropriately called the Emerald Necklace. One of these green spaces, the Public Garden, is the oldest public botanical garden in the US. Its famous Swan parks Department has sent a magical gift to the sun, the moon and stars. and a family of swans, which have become a traditional icon of the parks open spaces and natural wetlands of the greater Boston Area. As the god that helps overcome all obstacles, Ganesh is the god of new things. Hindu mythology has it that his father Shivo, the god of destruction, cut off his head and replaced it with the head of an elephant. Since then Ganesh has been able to clear a path through the densest jungles. A symbol of wisdom, this famous elephant head is also associated with the macrocosm and the enormous belly of the divinity represents prosperity and kindness.


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