Mosaiculture is a horticultural form of expression which allows the creation of spectacular works of art to be made using living plants. In Mosaiculture, plants are not only selected for their colors or textures but to create designs, motifs, sculptures and reliefs. The magazine “Jardins de France” published by the National Society of Horticulture of France defines Mosaiculture as: “The art of composing drawings or sculptures with plants, using carefully maintained plants of different colors. In two dimensions forms the Mosaiculture portrays coats of arms, clocks, animals, characters, action scenes, objects, messages, geometric shapes or fantasy worlds. In three dimensions, the Mosaiculture has more volume giving further “life” to these forms. Mosaiculture is a complex art form with a multitude of aspects, borrowing structure and volume from sculpture; colors from an artist’s pallet; and from horticulture the use of the plants living in a dynamic environment”. Mosaiculture is an art for which the horticultural techniques are considered highly sophisticated and difficult to control. These techniques vary among cities and continents. The art of Mosaiculture is different to that of “topiary”. Topiary is a technique based solely on pruning. This technique uses a small tree or shrub (usually yew or boxwood) which is trimmed to make different shapes. Topiary consists only of one color; that of the shrub (usually green), and requires several years of pruning. Mosaiculture requires the use of several species and varieties of plants to create designs, patterns and effects. Mosaiculture plants must be of different colors to add contrast to the designs.
A work of 3D Mosaiculture is generally supported by a steel structure bent to create the desired shape.The plants used in the Mosaiculture must have several essential qualities:
1. They must be small and adapted to fit the scale of the Mosaiculture.
2. They must have either a rich foliage color (preferably other than green), or a long blooming period.
3. They must be able to withstand regular pruning.
Several historians specializing in gardens traced the origin of Mosaiculture to the flowing embroidery like patterns of the parterres en broderie of the Renaissance period. However the term itself was only used for the first time in France in 1892. The first examples of Mosaiculture art were presented at the Third Paris World Fair in 1878. The two designs were of a butterfly and a Moorish vase. (Footnote: On June 30, 1878, the completed head of the Statue of Liberty was showcased at the Paris World Fair in the garden of the Trocadéro palace, while other pieces were on display in the Champs Mars.)