The sunken garden at the Como Zoo is a highly curated, yet organic feeling setting. While the plants are arranged to be visually appealing, there is still a lot that can be observed here that tells about how these plants function in a more naturalistic setting.
The most apparent thing is how much the plants compete for sunlight. Many of the plants overlap themselves and fan out in a way to maximize their light facing surface area. Others grow in the direction of the windows as to be closer to the light and heat.
Another interesting bit was how much overlap there was between the different types of plants. In most cases, the plants were in clusters of the same type, but these clusters definitely had intertwining root systems with the surround species.