Plantarium

GARDEN FOR WEEDS, BEES, AND TEAS

Work in Progress 2017

 Mildred’s Lane

517 Plank Road, Beach Lake, PA, 18405

 

Kristyna and Marek Milde, Plantarium – Garden for Weeds, Bees and Teas, a developing site-specific project at Mildred’s Lane, 2017

wild flower meadow designed with transplanted uncultivated local  plants and weeds

 

 

Plantarium – Garden for Weeds, Bees, and Teas, a new developing site-specific project taking a form of a wildflower meadow around Mildred’s Lane bee yard, featuring a spectrum of uncultivated local plants transplanted from the wild. While serving the plants animals and humans alike. Plantarium is an open platform promoting an active experience of wild plants through use, consumption, and interpretation to explore our relationship to the environment.

Plantarium – Garden for Weeds, Bees, and Teas explores local wild plants and flowers its use and cultural significance. Mildes gather and transplant uncultivated plants, and weeds on their walks and foraging trips on site and in the Upper Delaware River region. The garden surrounding local bee yard is designed to accommodate bees and insects, while also serving humans to educate and provide culinary and medicinal herbs for teas and cutting flowers for wildflower bouquets. Plantarium is part of series of site interventions and participatory projects in which Mildes engage themes of environmental alienation, and connecting modern lifestyle with the wider context of nature.

Plantarium aims to recall the significance of wildflowers and weeds overlooked in our culture and to explore its usefulness and role in daily rituals, traditions, and symbolism. In traditional cultures, wild plants were an inseparable part of everyday life, and a valuable resource crucial for survival, connecting natural knowledge and sensitivity to the environment, common skills we largely lost in the western world. The project addresses our vanishing access to natural resources, its mystification, and institutionalization, such as the restriction of harvesting wild plants on the public lands and criminalization of its medicinal use. While our relationship to plants today is dominated by its idealized images, representations, and cultivated forms, Plantarium highlights the wild and uncultivated, bringing them back into the center of our attention. The project is a window into the unique local environment and shifting narratives both natural and cultural, in which the native plants are mixed together with the specimens introduced in the colonial era.

The project evolves in series of walks, studies, and workshops gradually establishing a wild flower garden reflecting the natural diversity through the seasonal change. The wild plants are planted in a circular form around the bee yard containing 14 different varieties of weeds and uncultivated plants and at the later stage, will be allowed to transform into a wild meadow to blend with its surroundings. The project reverses the idea of a garden, based on growing crops as a monoculture in isolation separated from each other by a mulch, in the Plantarium plants are allowed to go wild and grow as in nature, connecting and interlocking with each other, creating a living social network.

Mildred’s Lane is an arts center on a rustic, 96-acre site deep in the woods of rural northeastern Pennsylvania, in the upper Delaware River Valley, which borders New York state. It is an ongoing collaboration between J. Morgan Puett, Mark Dion, their son Grey Rabbit Puett, and their friends and colleagues. It is a home and an experiment in living, hosting a variety of programs, artist residencies, public events, and site-specific projects. Mildred’s Lane attempts to coevolve a rigorous pedagogical strategy, where a working-living-researching environment has been developed to foster engagement with every aspect of life. www.mildredslane.com