The idea of making small scale landscapes based on big scale landscapes, has been brewing for several years now. The making of big gardens lay behind us but gardening is still a part of land art. Only a narrowboat does not have much space and a roof garden was a big question. How will a garden effect the roof? Think about the rust it could create. A small roof garden was the compromise with a bit of experimenting in mind. The garden came on some wood so water could flow away or on some rubber matt to let in air, plus protecting the paint.
After two years the paint was fine, no more rust under the roof garden than on the rest of the roof. So the old idea of ‘Zen-Scapes’ came back on the agenda of the Wanderlust as a part of making our products more diverse. Landscape inspire many artists in just as many ways; photography, painting, poetry, land art, sculptures and gardening. The Japanese gardens reflect on landscapes and in certain ways garden-design in Europe also show small scale landscapes. While standing on the cliff tops in Pembrokeshire by Trefin looking down on the small beach surrounded by a rocky landscape something started to develop.
How can you “terrascape” a landscape like that in a pot, micro landscaping. You see the big rocks yet there are so many small pebbles, pieces of driftwood and even drift glass. While writing a land art poem on the beach the collecting of material started, small material to create small landscapes.
The beach by Trefin relaxes the mind and body just like so many other landscapes, just like zen gardens. The simplicity of emptiness shows in every Japanese garden, they use just a few plants with not too many flowers. The opposite of an English cottage garden which is filled with flowers of every season except during the cold winter months. The Japanese always use rocks and gravel or sand, they create a relaxing atmosphere while behind the wall the hassle and bustle of life goes on. The Japanese garden becomes a place to relax, a place to escape.
How to get that relax atmosphere of water over rocks in a pot, how to get the colours and reflection into a pot?
In this example only one rock is used washed on the sand and the glass pot represents the water.
The air-plant can’t be placed outside, it is more something for on the coffee table. Air-plants do not need any soil and can be used in a creative way but will not survive outside. We only have very limited space inside the boat and most windows are filled with sculptures some discussions later, better look at outdoor solutions.
Succulent plants survive with very little soil and even grow right on rocks. The problem with these plants is: too much water will kill them and some can only handle a little frost. We are now working on a system to protect the plants which will also protect the roof. The roof will be filled with ‘Zen-Scapes’ each reflecting a landscape somewhere in the world using special little objects found in that landscape. At times they will be simple and others will be big.
The wing will fly away as the ‘Zen-Scapes’ need the light and not the red light of the wing, which function was to give some shelter from the elements yet still look like a boat. The wing also made people aware of us, we are more than a moored narrowboat. We are back to the drawing board how to fit all the different elements on the boat.
The Mercia Marina will create a bee garden and the boaters will place some bee attracting plants on their boats. There are many succulent plants who flower and many who attract bees and butterflies. We will arrive at the Marina around 25 March and will start trading not long afterwards. The roof top garden with the many ‘Zen-Scapes’ will be developed right there, right than.