In the beginning, there was the worm! – Jacques Derrida

The common earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris) is a member of the phylum Annelida. Along with other species in this group, they are vital contributors to soil health and the overall well-being of our planet. Despite being often underestimated or viewed with disdain, these organisms are fundamental life forms capable of “stirring” the soil, rendering it fertile and hospitable to other life forms, including insects, plants, fungi, and more. They are responsible for the creation of a substance known as humus. Earthworms, like insects, are foundational elements in the food chain, providing sustenance to a multitude of animals. Their presence helps establish balanced and active ecosystems.

This garden serves as a tribute to these remarkable life forms. It is a carefully designed natural habitat that showcases the essential processes that these organisms can initiate in their interaction with the environment and other species. This educational garden tells a compelling story that can help new generations, as well as all of us, comprehend the intricate dynamics that underlie the ever-changing landscape. It encourages us to see the world from a different perspective, fostering a deeper appreciation for the natural world and its interconnectedness.

The garden features a circular border/seat constructed from standard-sized, dry, solid bricks, serving as the garden’s perimeter. Within this space, a variety of plants have been carefully chosen to facilitate and attract insects while establishing a dynamic relationship with the trees in the park, which undergo beautiful transformations in autumn. These plants are maintained in pots and are covered with an organic foliage layer, creating a diverse topography within the garden.

The organic mulch consists of a mixture of bark, dry leaves, and branches, playing a vital role in fostering the habitat we aim to create. Additionally, a substantial tree trunk rests on the ground, and stones of various sizes are thoughtfully placed among the plants. These “still life” elements ensure sustenance for a wide range of fauna throughout their life cycles, contributing to the garden’s biodiversity.

Project details

Design: Angelo Renna – Renna Studio, Apurva Baldawa
Project Location: Agliè Castle park, Agliè, Italy
Typology: Temporary garden
Built: 2023
Client: Festival “Ripensare il paesaggio”

Angelo Renna - Renna Studio

Angelo Renna - Renna Studio

Angelo Renna is an architect and landscape designer with a keen interest in multispecies narratives, one he developed during his studies in Florence and Porto and was further honed through collaborations with different offices. He has been selected as one of the promising practices from around the world by Wallpaper magazine. Angelo is the founder and member of Renna Studio, a research and design studio exploring nature and nonhuman life. They design nature on all scales. from city-wide masterplans to small pocket gardens.