Mytoi Bento Garden re-interprets the 14-acre Mytoi Garden on Martha’s Vineyard as a pop-up installation in three Boston-area locations. Sponsored by Massachusetts’ Trustees of Reservations, it brings the essence of Mytoi to Boston and is intended to inspire city residents to explore the Trustees’ other public landscapes.
Our proposal for the temporary installation is a Bento Garden, a playful arrangement of concrete boxes paired with an elevated wooden path and bridge-like elements that recall the gardens, pond, benches, and walkways of the original Mytoi.
Pre-cast concrete Bento Boxes hold plants and water gardens, presenting a microcosm of the natural elements found in Mytoi Garden: a lily pond, a shishi odoshi (a bamboo water fountain that frightens animal scavengers away), a Japanese maple, birches, rhododendron, azalea, ferns, and grasses. The boxes are nesting and stackable, can be reconfigured for the different sites, and are re-usable after the temporary exhibition has concluded.
A wooden path and seating are also constructed from simple modular elements that stack easily for transport and can be configured in different ways. The path weaves through the installation, inviting passersby to explore the gardens and leading them to benches, to take in the sensory experiences offered by the garden: shifting light and shadow, rustling leaves, tickling ferns, and the periodic clacking of the shishi odoshi.