Flowerbeds from Kandinsky's paintings: Over 44,000 colourful plants dug in at VDNKh

Flowerbeds from Kandinsky's paintings: Over 44,000 colourful plants dug in at VDNKh
Perennials and evergreen shrubs have been planted in the large flowerbeds of the VDNKh Landscape Park, often referred to as the Kandinsky fields because their bright palette resembles the Russian abstract artist’s works of art.

VDNKh Landscape Park has replanted all its flowerbeds under a project, The Big Picture of Fields, also known as the Kandinsky Fields. Annuals have been replaced by 50 different kinds of plants and 70 various sorts of perennials, as well as coniferous shrubs. With such a vast variety, people will get a chance to admire the colourful display well into late autumn. More than 44,000 plants have been dug in.

"The Big Picture of Fields is like a chain of flower beds with a total area of ​​about 3,600 square metres based on French landscape gardener Michel Pena’s concept, created in 2018. The plan was to create flowerbeds that resemble the vivid paintings by Russian abstract artist Wassily Kandinsky. The perennials and coniferous shrubs were dug in to replace the annuals for the first time this summer. VDNKh Landscape Park visitors will now get a chance to admire the blue, purple, yellow, and red fields of flowers resembling Kandinsky's Small Worlds I from early spring to late autumn,” the VDNKh press service reported.

While selecting and planting out the flowers, the landscape gardeners took into account a combination of their height, shape, size and colour of leaves and flowers. As planned by Michel Pena, plants should be at the level of a human eye, creating monochrome flower fields in Kandinsky’s spirit. For example, the blue field is created of very rare and highly decorative Prairie Blues Little Bluestem. In summer, its foliage has a bluish-gray tint, but in autumn it turns yellow-brown. A perennial herb called Switchgrass blooms in August with airy panicles of pink and red shades, and in autumn, its foliage of reddish-maroon shades makes red and purple fields. The lush Molinia, or moor grass, adds yellow tones to the fields.

The flowerbeds will also have New Belgian asters, large-headed cornflowers, hybrid geraniums, Siberian irises and other pants with the addition of Cossack and horizontal juniper varieties. A total of 1,000 shrubs have been planted. In the autumn, about 258,000 bulbous plants are to be dug  into the flower beds of the Landscape Park, which people will get a chance to see in the  spring.

During the warm season, the Central Walkway is covered in flowers. Behind the Central Pavilion, between the Friendship of Nations and Stone Flower fountains, there is a parterre garden designed and reconstructed from drawings from the 1950s. Visitors can also stroll through the southern and northern rose gardens where plants from seven countries are represented including Great Britain, Germany, Canada, the Netherlands, Russia, the US and France.

The Landscape Park has become the green heart of VDNKh. It spans an area of ​​more than 87 hectares and comprises five natural zones that symbolise a gradual transition from wildlife to man-made nature, named Botanical Nature, Entertainment Nature, Wild Nature, Cultivated Nature and the Nature of Arts and Sciences. More than 1,000 new trees and shrubs and 160,000 perennials have been planted there.

The Big Picture of Fields project is located in the Landscape Park (next to Michurin Garden) in the Cultivated Nature zone. Previously, this part of the exhibition centre housed experimental fields of various agricultural crops, as well as fruit trees.

Overall, about 2 million flowers and shrubs are in bloom at VDNKh during the spring and summer. In May, VDNKh was adorned with 600,000 tulips, and in June, with more than 35,000 kinds of rose bushes and about 2,500 peonies. This year, visitors are offered three new thematic walking routes for the summer with plenty of flowering alleys and the Landscape Park to enjoy and all the architectural masterpieces and great spots to take photographs. 

VDNKh is the largest exhibition, museum and recreational complex in Russia and the world. The centre is combined with Ostankino Park, their total area exceeding 325 hectares. There are many architectural landmarks, 49 of them recognised as cultural heritage sites.

The major revival of VDNKh began in 2014, and 21 cultural heritage sites have been done up since then.