‘Nativus’ is a garden consisting of two plant species, both native to Sicily: Genista Aetnensis and Eugenia uniflora ‘Etna Fire’. According to the taxonomic classification, both plants are Sicilian natives; however, their genesis is slightly different. Genista Aetnensis is a large shrub or small tree, endemic to Sicily and Sardinia. Unlike the common Eugenia uniflora – also called Brazil Cherry – which is native to South America’s tropical east coast, Eugenia uniflora ‘Etna Fire’ is native to Sicily. In fact, this species has been created by the Sicilian nursery Piantefaro, thanks to the plant breeding technique known as New Plant Varieties.
The hexagonal shape of the garden references the archetypal medieval structure, and is physically restricted by the basalt gabion walls that delineate the boundary between the inside and the outside. The interior of the enclosed space is covered by mirrors that offer an unbounded horizontal view, extending the optical perspective of a landscape comprised of two native plants surrounded by artificial expanded clay pebbles. Furthermore, the view of Mount Etna standing out beyond the garden’s enclosure contributes to stretch the vista by adding a contrasting verticality.
‘Nativus’ aims to shift the perspective between natural and man-made, neutralising the hierarchy that normally regulates their relationship, thus questioning the notion of native itself. Latin nativus is derived from natus – be born, arisen, made. Similarly as in Sicily’s layered and heterogeneous cultural heritage, this garden interweaves the preservation of biological legacies from the past with high-tech new natives, blending them on the stage of the present.
Radicepura Garden Festival 2021, Sicily, IT. 2021
Application for Open-call
Radicepura Garden Festival 2021– Application for Open-call
Sicily, IT. 2021
© Minji Choi 2023