It’s not often we can take inspiration from the famed Gardens of Versailles, outside Paris, France. But their meticulously manicured parterres, visited by more than 6 million people a year, are not unlike what we were able to achieve at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, Canada.
It started with an inquiry from landscape architecture and urban design firm, Janet Rosenberg Studios, who wanted to know if we had the ability to produce a complex design: A grand-scale artificial exterior boxwood parterre garden. The studio had won a contract to design an artificial garden for the 14th floor Healing Garden following a public competition. They won the contest largely because of the parterre design and, unable to find a local company who could manifest the vision on such as large scale locally, they turned to us at Make Be-Leaves.
Here’s how the studio explains the project on their blog:
The intent of the exterior courtyard is to provide patients fighting cancer, their family members, and the dedicated staff with an uplifting and inspiring garden that references nature, but is comprised entirely of artificial materials.
The studio provided us with their renderings for the artificial garden, as well as photos of actual French parterre gardens which served as their inspiration. The project incorporates complex curved and conical shapes to the designer’s exact specifications. They were custom built with welded metal framing, using UV + F/R resistant artificial boxwood foliage securely attached to the framing, using state of the art pneumatic tools.
In addition to the intricate details of the boxwood designs, the sections of the parterre had to fit into the centre’s freight elevators – which required the design to be broken into smaller sections for shipping and re-assembly. We cut the sections in half and used simple welded tubing to attached to each metal “end,” color-coding each corresponding so that they could be easily re-assembled upon arrival at the centre. Precise planning was required to keep whole sections of the parterre packaged into individual pallets to facilitate an organized layout of the rooftop garden space, while “space planning” the entire order together to fit into the truck’s container.
And there was no room to spare! The order completely filled an entire 53 feet container, with only inches left to close the back door. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase not only what we can do with UV + F/R resistant materials, but also to showcase our exacting standards, attention to detail and ability to achieve even the most intricate vision.