New designs in portfolio

Lipiec 9, 2010 00:17
posted by Marta

New designs in the portfolio section have been published – you are welcome to view them.

In addition to that, you can see the garden being built on the basis on my design on the blog of its owners –

… and the gardeners like animals!

Czerwiec 22, 2010 00:35
posted by Marta

The plants do not go to a hairdresser, however, sometimes a hairdresser comes to them. The art of trimming trees and shrubs to achieve certain, sometimes really elaborate shapes has been known since the times of Ancient Rome. Plants shaped like that are called  „opus topiarum” – topiary. This art was hugely popular in the Renaissance, started to decline though with the growing popularity of landscape gardens in XVIII century. It was also fashionable in China and Japan, albeit in a slightly different form. It came back to Europe in a reign of  glory in the XIX century and is still visible here and there today. The trimmed plants are often placed in places designed for children. Here animals’ shapes are often used – and that’s what I would like to write about today!

I noticed that the fashion for animal shaped plant sculptures is doing well – especially in the UK, but definitely not only there.

While browsing the web today I found a wonderful whale from a sleepy seaside town in Kent. The impressive animal was made by a lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University, Nicki Leggatt. One can argue about tastefulness of such objects, but one cannot deny the time and patience needed to achieve such a spectacular effect. The owner started to prune it from an overgrown privet hedge in 2003. now she’s growing its tail. I, personally, find it endearing!

You can find the full article here:

Animals appear also in English parks, for example the lion and the peacock from the castle park in Colchester, Essex.

A Dangerous Lion

A Proud Peacock

It’s worth noting that where the lion is traditionally sculpted from a box shrub, the peacock has its tail made of flowers. Definitely such objects enrich the park for the visitors and attract the children.

Finally, I found some sculptures in the zoo – where they seem to fit really well. The squirrel and the dog (or IS IT a dog?) welcome the visitors to the Budapest Zoo, that I visited  a few weeks ago. The decorations add to the attractiveness of the garden, especially for the children. They are not as impressive as the whale from Kent, but still nicely introducing the aim of the park to the visitors.

A squirrel among the flowers

I suppose it’s a dog…

And finally,  opus topiarum for the XXth century – the moss sculptures. You can see them here:

Have a nice sculpting!

The animals enjoy greenery as well!

Czerwiec 7, 2010 19:36
posted by Marta

However overworked, I finally found some time to update my blog and write a few words about the 10th Anniversary Conference of EAZA Zoohorticultural Group in Budapest, Hungary.

For those of you who are not familiar with the subject, I  will start with a short explanation. In short, all good zoos in Europe belong to the EAZA, which stands for European Association of Zoos and Aquaria. This organisation groups the zoological gardens together ; helping them with mutual cooperation, dealing with breeding programmes, keeping issues and all the other important and complicated subjects. Those of you who are interested should visit .

Why am I writing about it? 10 years ago some people working in the zoos, but dealing with plants and exhibitions design decided that their role is important and they should organise their own, separate conference. Since than the group meets every year in May, talking, sharing new projects and experiences and trying to mark their presence  and the importance of plants in zoological gardens.

This year the conference was held in Budapest in the last week of May. Apart from presentations, speeches and discussions, all very wise and educational, the guests were welcome with truly Hungarian spirit – given palinka and Tokay, fed plenty of goulash and finally forced to learn some traditional Hungarian dances (although after palinka no one had to be truly forced to dance anymore).

The presentations included, among many others, the new masterplan for the Paris zoo and a very entertaining presentation of the new Arctica exhibit in Rotterdam zoo. The author of this blog shyly presented her design of the greenery for the new elephant house in Poznan New Zoo (you can find it in portfolio section).

The development of landscape architecture in zoos is of huge importance for our gardens, which are now more and more seen as tourist attractions, and therefore given more funds for development. We can observe it as the elephant house in Poznań, investments in Wrocław or even revitalisation of  Toruń Zoo. I must add that I had my part in this latest development. The drawing will be available in portfolio after the tender is finished.

For now, please enjoy a few pictures from Budapest  – they show a ring-tailed lemur sculpture and its living counterpart and the new and very green gorilla exhibit in Budapest Zoo.

Please support your local zoological gardens!

P.S. In few days time there will be more drawings of current designs available in the portfolio section.

A new design in portfolio

Kwiecień 19, 2010 21:04
posted by Marta

Jadorna has just finished a project in cooperation with the owners of a terraced house in Biedrusko, near Poznan. I hope that the garden built on the basis of our design will be a green oasis for the whole family in the coming years.

Please look at the drawings in the Portfolio section.

Spring has come, dear Sir and dear Madam!

Kwiecień 4, 2010 00:55
posted by Marta

The entry probably isn’t connected at all with gardens and greenery, but with my other passion – animals and zoological gardens (it’s a family trait).

A weekend visit to Wroclaw Zoo resulted in several sightings of the youngest inhabitants of the garden – including a newborn lamb, tiny goats and a multitude of young monkeys, among them the incredibly loudly howling… howler monkeys!

Verily, the spring has come to Wroclaw garden!

Roman Holiday

Luty 21, 2010 20:53
posted by Marta

After the grey-covered monotony of the Polish countryside, I arrived in Rome (after less than two hours of travel!); only to be shocked by the kaleidoscope of colours and enthralled by the scent of spring.

The bus journey from Ciampino Airport already reveals an insight into the national character – the bus driver without care for regulations or indeed rules. But the most important thing – the temperature! Oh, what a surprise… Romans wearing fur coats and wooly hats, while us, the incomers from the North wearing much less in the way of winter clothes – and still feeling much too hot! Temperatures of about 15 degrees not only shock the body, but also the mind – especially after 50 days of snow.

Rome is a colourful city, even in February. This contrasts beautifully with Poland, with the aforementioned 50 days of snow and seemingly endless winter. Immediately on arrival, we see palm trees, which are to be a prominent companions throughout our stay. We see palms everywhere – in the city and outside the city. We also see pine, adorning the walls of the Vatican and towering over the ruins of the Roman Forum together with  haughty cypresses. Among the ruins of the Forum, we can also see green, green grass – again a novelty after the harsh Polish winter. Vegetation is everywhere – behind fences, covering walls and even roof gardens – all of which feature vegetation growing not only on the surface, but also through the cracks in the walls.

If you explore a little within the streets of Rome, you can see small elements which are specific to the city. Small, delightful gardens adorn minature balconies – which are stuck to the walls of houses like birds nests – all the while featuring large swathes of greenery to be admired!

It would seem that many of these balconies feature pots on the verge of falling – yet somehow, they stay. No accidents were recorded during my stay, and it would seem that they have mastered the art of utilising as much space as possible within a very confined area.

Another dazzling characteristic of the Eternal City is courtyards of houses and churches, filled with vegetation. We can not only see plants in pots, but also orange, lemon, banana and other trees growing freely within the closed courtyards. Some also feature miniature fountains situated mostly across from the entrance – another particularly Roman characteristic. But to admire such courtyards takes some difficulty – you often have to peer through the gates, or hope that a friendly resident will allow you to look. But persist – they are worth the effort, especially in winter.

A special feature is the ability of Roman gardeners to fill their narrow gardens with plants, only to leave a tiny passage for their car to occupy in the evenings. It would therefore seem that the residents have mastered the art of sharing with nature in these small, narrow alleys.

In Rome, you can easily fall in love – but you can also draw inspiration from her ability to produce a green paradise from the most boring, drab alleyway. And from this – we should learn.

freshly baked businesswoman

Grudzień 28, 2009 08:55
posted by Marta

Marta; garden designer and biologist – both in education and with passion. I am fascinated by gardens, the rules for their design and the myriad of ways in which they affect human souls. I am also interested in programmes for graphic processing and design, it is amazing what you can use them to create!

I hate working from 9 to 5. I can’t stand an orderly way of life, every day the same routine. I hate it when someone tells me to do something without an ounce of sense and is a complete waste of time.

And so, my very own company.

At some point I came across the British school of Garden Design and I was struck by one thing: „Landscape & Garden Design” at university in Britain is in the department of design, along with interior design, graphic arts, and the visual arts. In Poland, it is exclusively a specialisation in horticulture or sometimes architecture fields. Therefore, the majority of companies are involved in both design and construction, whilst in the UK – design agencies often operate quite separately and independently of construction companies!

I have the overwhelming impression that such strict combination of horticulture and design affects the quality of the projects. It is not from my side pure megalomania or thoughtless copying of the West – just we can still learn a lot from the country of Gertrude Jekyll and Capability Brown.

That is why my desire, ambition and purpose of my business is the design of green gardens equal  in professionalism to the gardens at the Chelsea Garden Show. Or higher! Why not?

Contact Us
Jadorna Green Area Design Marta Ratajszczak
61-251 Poznań, os. Orła Białego 55/7
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