Space “L’acqua che non c’è: il giardino sostenibile” (The water that is not there: the sustainable garden)

The concept

It is the manifesto of a garden in times of climate change. The key elements are a dry stone wall, a World Heritage Site since 2018, and a selection of plants that do not need much water to express their beauty. The wall and the plants are the metaphor of the ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions 

Project and set up
Katarzyna Pieniawska | landscape achitect and Miledù .

The interview

What is the last book you read? And what will be the next one?
Katarzyna Pieniawska: I read a book by Sylwia Ziętek entitled “Polish women in Montparnasse”, which tells the story of Polish female painters who lived in Paris in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Now I am reading a book by Piet Oudolf and Henk Gerritsen “Planting the natural garden”. The next book will be: “The Intelligence of Flowers” by Maurice Maeterlinck. 

Your next trip?
My next trip will be to Sardinia to see the most beautiful wild beaches. I also intend to visit the eastern part of Mexico. The culture of this place intrigues me: the art, the traditions, the cuisine, the colours and the beliefs.

Favourite colour?
K.P.: Colour is a very important means of expression for me. I do not have a favourite one, I choose it according to my mood and the season, and I often combine different colours so that they harmonise with each other. Right now, spring is leading me towards blush pink and fuchsia.

What is the plant that matters most to you?
K.P.: The Dahliae is one of the plants closest to my heart, with its various shapes and colours. When I walk in the forest, I also like to come across a spot of Viola odorata.

Where would you live?
K.P.: I would like to live in a place where there are no divisions and where access to basic goods is not limited. I would like a place where the air is clean and green spaces are respected and maintained in a sustainable way. I moved from Wroclaw (PL) to Erba (IT) for almost a year and I am happy to live here.

What is your favourite historical era?
K.P.: When I think of my favourite era, I think of art. I admire the buildings of the Italian Renaissance, the Baroque of Northern Europe with the master Rembrandt at the forefront, and the 19th century – painting and literature of Young Poland.

Can you describe in short a scene that represents “beauty and elegance” for you?
The smell of a frozen morning, the silence, the trees and bushes under a feather of snow.

What is a garden for you?
K.P.: The garden is a meeting place for all the elements and creatures inhabiting it. A place that inspires you to dream and make your dreams come true. A real garden is a place where you can experience harmony and peace, where we are all equal and equally important.

What is the water landscape for you?
K.P.: The water landscape is a sustainable landscape. In an age where not all people have access to water, it is a symbol of paradise, well-being and happiness