The Imperial Gardens of Russia is an annual international festival of park and garden art organised by the State Russian Museum at the historic site of Mikhailovsky Garden since 2008. The Festival aims to revive Russian traditions of landscape architecture and park and garden art.
The Imperial Gardens of Russia is also a competition. Every year the organising committee reveals a new theme and contest categories and selects projects for participation. The number of participants varies from year to year, as does the list of their home countries. More and more landscapers from Britain, Germany, France, Italy and other European and Asian countries express a keen interest in the event. The works are judged by an international panel of influential landscape art experts. Since 2008, Her Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent has acted as Patron of the Imperial Gardens of Russia.
The Imperial Gardens of Russia Festival has quickly proven to be one of the most eagerly awaited and most visited annual events on the St. Petersburg calendar. The launch of the Festival in 2008 attracted over 5,000 visitors, and in 2013 more than 100,000 people attended. In 2013, the Festival received the Bronze Cube — the most prestigious Russian national award in landscape design and architecture, established by the Association of Russian Landscape Architects (ALAROS) and the Union of Architects of Russia.
The 2014 Festival theme is Fine Art of the English Garden and it focuses on history, traditions and new trends in English garden architecture in three categories:
- Traditions of the English Garden — Variations on the theme of classical English mixed borders, traditional plants, and garden landscape design, with traditional stately homes, palaces, and English afternoon tea.
- Gardens of the Great and Famous — Rethinking the outstanding gardens, owned or created by some of the most famous people in history.
- Gardens of Imagination — This category gives participants creative freedom to express their own vision of gardens of the future, gardens of literary characters, and come up with designs inspired by music, fairytales and English symbols.
Best Flower Arrangement, Best Sculpture and Audience Choice Award winners will also be selected.
Gardens Illustrated, the oldest garden design magazine with multi-million readership in Europe, is the UK media partner of the Festival. Juliet Roberts, Chief Editor of Gardens Illustrated is a member of the Festival Organising Committee.
Participants from the UK and other countries have already submitted their proposals. The Panel of Experts has received over 40 projects to be considered for display at the Mikhailovsky Garden. We are expecting even more new interesting and trendsetting landscape architecture and garden art projects.