Each year, the Jardins de Métis in Quebec calls for designers and architects to create temporary gardens that exemplify the latest in landscape design and environmental art. For the 12th Edition of the festival, which will be held from June 25 to October 2, 2011, the competition asked for submissions to answer the questions, “What do Secret Gardens look like today?” A total of 194 proposals for gardens were submitted by over 500 architects, landscape architects, designers, and artists from 33 countries, and Ideas ranged from gardens made of salt or movable planters to gardens created by visitors’ smartphones.

Francis Bitoni and Andrew Zientek submitted My_SECRET[E].Garden, a program that would allow visitors to create new sections of a real garden by participating in a digital reality on their smartphones. Their proposal explains:

The interface allows visitors to choose a new species of plant, attach a secret message and then ‘plant’ it in the garden to be viewable by successive visitors. The garden grows, receiving and containing knowledge that is hidden from plain view. This virtual space laid over the physical landscape, tied to specific place through the technology of augmented reality. This digital evolution then spills back onto the physical as real plants are added, replacing digital versions.

To read about more proposals and the accepted submissions, visit the gardens’ website.

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Images © Francis Bitoni and Andrew Zientek