Nature is art, according to artist and botanist herman de vries (1931). Asked to create a work of art for the new residential district Wateringse Veld in The Hague, he decided to exhibit trees in a Tree Museum. The project consists of several hundred species of trees from all over the world spread out over the streets and squares of this new suburb. Designers and tree experts looked for a suitable soil and street profile for each species. The names of the trees are inscribed in tiles marking the beginning and end of a street. So in one street, the honey locust dominates the profile, while the Yoshino cherry does so in another. Although it is explicitly presented as an art project, the Tree Museum has ecological value as well. The neighbourhood has become an arboretum or a biodiversity depot for both indigenous and exotic trees. A comprehensive tree guide—the catalogue for the permanent collection of the museum—gives an explanation of the trees and the Wateringse Veld project.
-WATERINGSE VELD, DEN HAAG (NL) 1996–2006
-herman de vries
Flora voor Fauna (Flora for Fauna) is an initiative that advises on planting that increases biodiversity in the city. The right planting can reinforce the habitat of specific animal species and thus of other useful animals. A garden for song thrushes calls for different plants than a garden for bats. Flora for Fauna composes a specific mix of plants for specific fauna, such as bumblebees or butterflies. So far, Flora for Fauna has created a child-friendly green route through a downtown neighbourhood in Rotterdam; various postage stamp gardens in public spaces; and a habitat garden in the city centre of Rotterdam. Special paving stones indicate for which species the planting is intended. In addition to giving planting advice, Flora for Fauna, in cooperation with Evasie, also helps with the maintenance by counselling volunteers from the neighbourhood. All participants share the knowledge they’ve gained, so that they can apply it in their own gardens or at other places in the city.
-VARIOUS LOCATIONS ROTTERDAM (NL), FROM 2013
-FLORA VOOR FAUNA, MARIEKE DE KEIJZER, MARLOU DE JONG & EVA BES (EVASIE)