by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
I first read about the Eden Project in the New Scientist when it was an off the wall idea. Ever since, I have dreamt of seeing it. In 2009 my birthday present to me was a day there. One item ticked off my bucket list.
|At the Eden Project in July 2009|
‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has’ - Margaret Mead
|Geodesic domes at the Eden Project|
We stayed in St Austell and took the bus to (the) Eden (Project). It sounds bizarre, and it looks bizarre when you come upon it. Even when you are expecting the geodesic domes. They are simply breathtaking. You could fit the Tower of London into the Rainforest Biome, just to give you an idea of their sheer size!
|Garbage man sculpture at the Eden Project|
“Eden is about optimism and the possibility of change. Come here and remember our connection to nature and our dependence on it for all we need. The art, artefact and artifice are there to remind us, to make us humble at the miracle of living systems that provide for us. We called ourselves Homo sapiens – the wise hominid. Are we worthy of the name?” Tim Smit
|Bee sculpture at the Eden Project|
with the Ungardener dressed for July in Cornwall
In the early 90s Tim Smit (and friends) restored the lost gardens of Heligan, then moved on to create the Eden Project. Start with a clay pit – just another abandoned mine, which looks like a bomb site, an abomination against nature. By 2001 we could have visited a new Eden. The Biomes are built with hexagons, as the bees build their honeycomb “maximum strength, minimum materials.” Eden practices extreme recycling, even the 83,000 tons of soil has been made of recycled waste. They reduce food miles by using as much “grown in Cornwall” as possible – which in turn has helped to revitalise the Cornish economy.
|Anyone know the name|
of this wildflower
on a Cornish heath?
There are three biomes, and the one that drew me all the way to Cornwall was the mediterranean. So I’ll keep the best till last. The Outdoor Biome covers the temperate climate plants, neither too hot nor too cold, too dry nor too humid – where people are comfortable too. Since it only rained once – that’s all day, we whizzed around the outside bit. Then nipped into an obliging rain forest to thaw out and dry our sodden clothes! Typical July weather for my birthday – but in Cape Town we call that winter.
I lingered at the Cornish heath to look at the wildflowers my mother would remember from her childhood. Anyone know what this Cornish wildflower is?
|Cornish heath at the Eden Project|
Directions and opening times for the Eden Project in Cornwall, near St Austell
Continue with us to the Rainforest Biome at the Eden Project
(Originally published on Elephant's Eye)
To loyal readers who have been with me since Eden was fresh
and I began blogging in June 2009,
to readers who have joined me on the journey,
and to those who discover me in 2014.
Thank you for reading, commenting, your help and encouragement.
2013 was a year in a thousand pieces for me.
May 2014 bring you, and us, all things good!
Pictures by Diana and Jurg Studerof Elephant's Eye on False Bay
(If you mouse over teal blue text, it turns seaweed red. Those are my links.
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