Diario Caribazo: February 26 2.015.
Ricardo Gil Mendoza’s ecologic gardening: The art of sowing harmony and beauty.
Ricardo Gil Mendoza is a transformer of nature, who reveals his inner balance marked by art and creativity. He is a passionate artist that with his daily work has succeeded to create an expression of the arts that offers a visual gift. Through his work, he has developed irrigating systems in more than 1000 gardens, has created and maintained about 100 raised gardens and garden beds in different parts of the country and several “Garden frames”.
His “garden frames” are amazing and have been warmly welcome. Coincidentally, Gil offered a 15 days exhibition called Organic Arte in room 15 of Centro de Arte Los Galpones. This exhibition has extended for two months, while his Raised Organic Gardens captivated us since their first appearance in 2008, when the horizontal and vertical gardens were created also in Centro de Arte Los Galpones, as well. As of that moment, a new side of his work was born, which has increasingly developed and seized his love and artistic passion.
The current context in the country compels us to be creative, to trigger our sense of belonging toward ourselves and to our environment. Agriculture achieves to surprise us and fill us with life, as plants inspire us to take care of them, to boost them and, through them, to behold the divine creation.
How do you achieve to create these “garden frames’?
Researching on the development of different techniques of raised gardens, Gil tried “little experiments” that resulted “paintings” made out of plants, creating a perfect micro climate to sustain them in time, with the purpose of raising awareness on the spectator and approach him to the infinite beauty of nature, of the vegetal realm that gives us peace, oxygen, food for the body and the soul… The ability of sowing them, look after them, water them, fertilize them… allows us to turn our philosophy of life to nature and draw us up to the defense of life in all its senses. Thus, we understand that we live in a world where man transforms and modifies everything, but that must remain as natural as possible.
What feeling gives you working the land?
Agriculture is rewarding and can originate changes from inside the one performing it; in other words, it is the opening to an inner path, through which you reach transformation. Providing the conditions necessary for plants to show their prime is really satisfying, and it makes us conscious of the fact that magnificence is in natural beauty, which does not belong to us, but of whom we feel part; it is a philosophy of life.
What does you company means for you?
Aqua-Riego C.A. is a company I incorporated 18 years ago. Through that experience, I have spread works all over the country, complementing and nourishing myself from the creativity of many important landscapists. The key of these experiences is the vision of teamwork that has offered me the opportunity to develop many projects and maintain the pieces, always keeping in all realms the respect and harmony with nature with an ecologic view. When you want to build a garden, your first thought is how to recreate that natural environment. You must assess existing vegetal material, local climate conditions such as temperature, altitude, humidity, precipitations, drainage, sunlight and shade zones, as well as type of soil and its ph. After this analysis, we define forms and textures, make the botanical selection and group the choices combining foliage, texture, flowering, color, etc., filling the piece with a sense that harmonizes with the environment.
What is the most important aspect in a garden?
All these years of experience allow me to state that in order to enjoy a beautiful garden, even if it is a very big one, or a small one, a raised garden or a “Vegetal frame”, irrigation shall be the main focus; having available an efficient automatic irrigation system, being able to simultaneously fertilize and irrigate, rather using “earthworm humus”, satisfy more than 60% of maintenance requirements.
In all cases, the irrigation system must perform in optimal conditions and a regular maintenance, because there are plants that require continuous fertilization and pruning, as well as cleaning every 15 days. Each creation requires specialized treatment but what matters the most is to have empathy and synchroneity with plant cycles, to work with the required harmony and to play with natural elements such as the sun, rain and moon cycles.