At the beginning of the nineteenth century a deep process of transformation has overwhelmed the gardens of Europe: in a few years we have gone from Italian gardens, static and formal to the English gardens, capable of describing views with broader landscape and more natural aspect.
In Italy, especially in Lombardy, we used to plant all types of cedars (Cedrus atlantica, C. libani, C. deodara) near the houses: beautiful trees, but off-scale and inappropriate to the plain and the urban life to which they were sentenced. And all of us with them. So, long live innovation but pay attention to the pitfalls, which are always behind the tree ... pardon the corner!
THE FIFTH ROOM
Two centuries after the personal guidelines are dictated more by our lifestyles than the aesthetic taste and the garden is going through a new, radical metamorphosis: from a place of pure contemplation of nature is becoming more and more open space to live actively even in everyday life.
When designing a new garden is now necessary to give it more uses. It can be an festivals area, a swimming pool, a WiFi area, a greenhouse, a children's playground, an urban garden - or in the best case all these things together - but the contemporary garden must necessarily provide for specific functions and leisure purposes . If you want, you can get to turn it into an extension of the apartment, a "fifth room" comfortable, hyperconnected and easy to manage.
To achieve this result it is necessary to draw in detail each element of landscape (walls, floors, fixed structures) and automate the systems - turf management, lighting and irrigation with smart home technology or control units connected to the network, for example - as we see it is also the prelude to control consumption and marry the current green thinking.
AUTOMATIC CUTTING, ECOLOGICAL LAWN:
In this scenario Ambrogio Robot and ZCS Active Panel of Zucchetti Centro Sistemi are perfect solutions. After 15 years and countless variations, we know well the robot with the A on the hood, which works at programmed intervals independently and silently, sending daily reports to the smartphone. To those who think that these are toys for adults, we want to say one thing: Try one and you'll hear yourself saying these exact words out loud " How could I live without it until now?" Anyone who has a lawn - and then throw the summer weekends to dispose of cut grass - knows what we mean. But the benefits also affect the quality: with the daily mulching the lawn becomes thick, healthy and less hungry for fertilizers. The real news, however, is teamwork between robots and ZCS Active Panel: the accumulation of solar energy produced is stored in lithium-ion batteries of Ambrogio, ready to use day after day. An interesting and innovative sinergy: this is a good starting point for a real 3.0 garden!
Much more could be done to limit consumption, starting from seeds. A turf of Festuca arundinacea, for example, ensures a more water savings compared to a meadow sown with Lolium perenne, because it resists better to drought thanks to a more developed root system. From Tuscany down you can choose between Zoysia japonica and Cynodon dactylon, aesthetically beautiful, and even more water-efficient.
One of the risks of a tech garden is that it communicates a too minimalist and impersonal feeling. Cold, in a word. Fortunately nature comes to us with something that no discovery in the laboratory will ever give us: biodiversity. There are thousands of trees, shrubs, bulbs, perennials, annuals, ground cover, vines and grasses to choose. The man has confined himself to select and to hybridize to make them more effective from the ornamental point of view. And it is their original blend of different volumes, habit, leaf textures, shades of colors and scents that will make your garden unique.
Is the available space small? Fortunately, there are plants for every occasion, it is enough to know them. In 20 square meters you can hardly put a classic Ginkgo biloba - that can arrive close to 40 meters and 10 meters of crown - you can, however, choose a cultivar (an optimized "version") called 'Obelisk', which does not grow more than 4 meters by 1.5 m wide. At that point you could also put three or four and you have still space. Don’t you have time to prune the hedges? Forget the Photinia of your neighbor (the most used hedge plant in Italy, in case you were wondering), which grows at the speed of light, and surround yourself with slow-growing species, which are those with lower maintenance. The Taxus baccata, for example, grows a few centimeters a year and form dense and elegant hedges. Equally the Osmanthus fragrans, which produces deliciously fragrant flowers.
THE SEDUM ON THE ROOF THAT IS HOT
The plants can open innovative sceneries, because they are bearers of a green philosophy with thousands of years in advance on corporate communication. Let’s take the trivial sedum, the classic plant of our grandmothers: just chop and spread it on the ground - as to sow - and it almost always takes root everywhere. It is a xerophilous plant: just a little water to thrive in 15 cm of substrate. There is no more hi-tech, contemporary and eco-friendly little plant . A green roof planted with sedum give fresh in summer and warm in winter, it improves the microclimate, releases rainwater gradually and saves energy. Innovation also means knowing how to make the most of what already exists.
LET’S COMB THE STIPA
And what about Stipa tenuous? This incredible grass - spectacular en masse – it doesn’t need of care, once took root should not be watered, it doesn’t like the fertilizer, remains evergreen all the year, and flourishes there where the soil is poor. During the warmer season its crown without split ends moves in the wind soft and supple as long blond hair, it almost make you wish to brush it. And maybe it would be suitable as anti-stress. Therefore plants and technologies can coexist: so let's use both, right?