Radicepura Garden Festival Announces International Call for Ideas

Much has been said about the contemporary garden which, in recent years, has explored various forms of architecture and design. At the same time, ecological issues have been brought to everyone’s attention, so much so that the garden, as an artistic and cultural manifestation of nature, cannot ignore the principles of energy saving, the conservation of water resources and unconditional respect for all forms of biodiversity.

Science has made great strides in allowing us to understand the strength of our interdependence with our planet, both as human beings and as part of a complex system, ecosystems of inter-species relationships between organisms that, directly or indirectly, hold up the delicate balance that our planet requires in the way we know, admire and wish to preserve. Furthermore, technology continues to advance, so that we can no longer imagine a future without innovation. One element is however being lost: the gardens in which every day, we develop a close relationship with plants.

Therefore, with this call for ideas – conceived by Antonio Perazzi, artistic director of the Radicepura Garden Festival – our purpose is to invite designers to engage with the theme of gardens in which plants are not an ancillary or simple decoration, but the starting point and the inspiration for the design. The designers and planners, regardless of their training, will be required to try their hand at “botany for landscape designers”, remaining light and joyful like the flowering of a wildflower, or sophisticated as the most precious rare plant, which needs care and culture, artistic sense and poetry. While remaining committed to environmental principles, which we support as the highest priority, we expect to receive elegant, well-designed projects that show the benefits of a high-quality, modern, functional, poetic and peaceful garden.

Through this call, we want to encourage a debate around a new style of garden capable of promoting the conscious belonging to the natural world, putting plants at its heart, and these we will be happy to make available in abundance from the very rich catalogue of Piante Faro.

In the first phase, designers are invited to join our call by submitting an idea that is convincing enough to access a selection. After this initial phase, we will draw up a short-list: those who are selected will access a second phase in a restricted form and will be invited to produce a detailed project for a specific area to be assigned to them. Finally, in the final selection, the 7 winners will be invited to create their garden in the park of the Radicepura Biennale, where throughout the festival thousands of visitors, photographers and journalists from all over the world will visit, study, and enjoy their projects, appreciating their quality and beauty.

Type of Selection

Radicepura Garden Festival announces an international competition for the selection of garden designers who will have the task of designing and creating 7 temporary gardens. The selection is international as an open competition looking for new ideas.

Participation requirements

Professional freelancers or teams of emerging architects, landscape designers, agronomists, garden designers, botanists, nurserymen, urban planners, engineers, artists, curators, and all those with the skills to design and build a garden can participate. The Festival encourages participants to form multidisciplinary teams. The selection is also open to companies, associations, cooperatives, schools, and universities.

  • – The competition includes six under-36 gardens for students or young professionals: all members of the design group must be younger than thirty-six (36) on 30 November 2022. Students will be able to use a university tutor older than thirty-six (36).

  • – The call is also open to the over-36 category, without age restrictions, for the creation of 1 garden.

    Each designer or member of a design group can submit only one application. The winning designers of previous editions of the Radicepura Garden Festival cannot participate


Candidates should submit the project according to the online guided procedure, which they will receive via email upon registration, by the deadline of November 14, 2022, at 12:00. Participation is free.

Selection process

The selection process of the winning designers will be divided into two phases.

PHASE 1 – IDEA The designers are asked to illustrate their projectual idea for a garden in the form they prefer through a synthetic dossier that describes a concept, adding a title and a short

explanatory text with reference images and evocative sketches capable of conveying a botanical vision and idea.

After examining the dossiers, the jury will choose the best projectual ideas and select the finalists called to participate in the second selection phase, assigning them to a specific project area from the areas of the Festival on the basis of which they will give a new interpretation of their project for the final phase.


The designers are asked to place their idea of a garden in the assigned area by developing an executive project provided with technical drawings, construction details, and a planting plan, as well as a financial estimate of the project which must not exceed the total cost of € 10,000 unless there are independent sponsors who have agreed to cover the excess extra costs.

The gardens will be selected by an Artistic Jury and by a Technical Jury, on the basis of:


  • ·  The creative response to the theme proposed for the 2023 edition

  • ·  The originality, coherence, and clarity of the design idea and the potential interaction

    with the public

  • ·  The contribution of the project the art of the gardens and to innovation



  • ·  Consistency with the initial idea, feasibility, and respect for the budget limits assigned.

The shortlist of the first gardens selected in PHASE 1 will be communicated to the participants by 28th November 2022 via email.

The Festival reserves the right to invite garden designers to create installations/gardens at the Radicepura park.

The list of the 7 winning gardens which will be created by the team that has presented the project and that will be guided and supervised by the staff of Radicepura will be communicated to the participants by January 27, 2023, via email.

For more information, please contact us at the following address:



The deadlines for delivering the project proposals in digital format are the following. Phase 1 deadline: November 14, 2022 at 12.00
Phase 2 deadline: January 16, 2022 at 12.00

Further Information

Website: www.radicepurafestival.com E-mail: application@radicepurafestival.com

Tel: +39 095 964154

Radicepura Garden Festival

Radicepura Park is located in Giarre, between Etna and the Ionian Sea. In over five hectares of land the Faro family has collected more than 3000 plant species for a total of 7000 varieties: bushes, flowers, trees, rare palms, and medicinal and aromatic plants which create a real living archive of experimentation and training. A centre of excellence for researchers, landscape architects, greenkeepers, and lovers of nature and its creations. The Biennale dedicated to the Mediterranean landscape – the Radicepura Garden Festival – has been organised since 2017 and hosts architects, landscape designers, artists, intellectuals, gardeners, and enthusiasts called to create gardens on the theme of the year stimulating reflections and actions to protect the landscape and the environment.

Project area and guidelines

The gardens are meant to be a celebration of biodiversity, the natural, and the Mediterranean anthropic landscape. Gardens must be innovative, attractive, and enjoyable; they must capture the attention of visitors and clearly illustrate their design idea and their message; they must also be accessible in the evening, therefore it is recommended that participants include a lighting system since various evening events will be organized during the Festival. Since the Festival will be open for six months it is necessary to consider the evolution of the garden during this period, minimizing maintenance requirements.

The Festival encourages interaction with the public, and an innovative approach with new ideas that support and develop a positive relationship between people, their culture and the natural environment around their homes. The diversity of the climatic zones of the Mediterranean and the complex cultural developments of the territory offers a wide range of creative ideas.

In order to design properly, some characteristics of the soil and climate are indicated as follows: the soil is volcanic, fertile and well-draining. The climate is generally warm, with very hot summers (with peak temperatures in August) and mild winters. The area is quite windy in winter, with moderately intense rainfalls between November and March.

Building phase

The Festival is responsible for the building of the temporary gardens. The works supervisor and the team leader will manage the construction and installation of each garden made by a group of professionals consisting of students and volunteers. The construction of the gardens begins on February 1, 2023 and must be completed by April 30 2023. The Festival and its staff will ensure the maintenance of the garden after the opening and throughout the Festival. The designers must assist and work on-site during the week dedicated to the completion of their gardens and during the opening of the festival which will take place on May 6 and 7 2023. The designers who choose to participate, agree to work according to the program established by the Festival.

Special works that include electrical connections (ex: pumps, lights…) machinery and plants (ex: tractors, plough…) will be carried out by the Radicepura staff. All participating students will be provided with “Health and Safety” training, before starting the activities on site.

The gardens of the Festival can be exhibited for more than one edition; designers will be asked to refresh their garden over two or more years, through re-planting.

The Radicepura Garden Festival will have the right to modify the plant list of the gardens or
make other changes after the end of the Festival. Not all gardens will be maintained beyond the end of the 2023 edition.

During the installation week, the designers will be able to stay at the Piante Faro guesthouse in Carruba – Giarre – at the Festival’s expense.

Budget for the garden creation

The Budget will be € 10.000 including:

  • ·  € 5.000 for plants

  • ·  € 5.000 for materials

    The Festival offers a range of visibility for donors and sponsors, depending on the size of the contribution or the product/materials donated. The Radicepura Foundation will have sole responsibility for the assigned Budget.

Published on September 27, 2022

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