5. “5”

Mario Mariani, landscape designer

The concept

The idea comes from the butterflies and continues with reptiles and amphibians, up to the plants. A journey through colour, between animal and plant kingdoms, across the 5 continents.

The interview

What is the last book you read? And what will be the next one?
I constantly read update books. But the other day a friend of mine threw “Titus Groan” by M. Peake on my sofa; in this book, the only vegetable presences are a huge oak and some lichen. This will be the next one.

Your next trip?
Incredibly, I like the deserts where the eye and the soul wander to infinity. I was in the Sahara, now I’d like to see the Gobi Desert. One has to take a vacation from the nagging daily presences.

Favourite colour?
Green. 50 shades of green …

What is the plant that matters most to you?
Do I really have to confess it?  Well, the plant I care most about is a red rose concealed in the most neglected corner of my garden. It is so trashy that I dare not show it to anyone, so it’s just mine!

Where would you live?
I live on the banks of the Ticino in a beautiful house with glass walls. I enjoy living there.

What is your favourite historical era?
As a child, one day my aunt took me to the Botanical Garden and showed me around the greenhouse. She told me that those were the dinosaur ferns and that they were tall as trees at the time. I asked her how I could go and live in that time.

Can you describe in short a scene that represents “beauty and elegance” for you?
A lady I met in Rome. Very tall, of a certain age, with a dirty turban on her head, she was dressed in a sack and a crumpled greenish tunic. Haughty. In Via Dei Giubbonari she moved like a queen.

What is a garden for you?
I know I should give a philosophical answer, but I don’t care. The garden is what sustains my mind, it’s me. I live in a glass house to be in constant contact with it. We are always together and we support each other.

What is the journey for you?
It’s the plants that take me along on a journey. I am like Salgari: I have a lot of imagination and gather information.