Flowers are such seductive beings, attracting, subjugating and intoxicating… their many charms and characteristics holding you captive.
Soft and flexible, they adorn themselves in the most brilliant colours and exhilarating fragrances.
Leathery and colourless, they make themselves invisible, insipid, even repellent, but their nectar, so very appetising, charms even the most cunning.
In this garden’s silvery landscape, pallid barbed plants take up residence on grey rocks. ‘Carlina Acaulis’ is among them, playing a deceptive double game. When rain threatens, its sharp silver petals draw together into a grey capitulum protecting it from aggression and the coming downpour while, within, its huge heart overflows with pollen and irresistible nectar.
“Apis Vertigo” intrigues, an experience as uplifting as it is misleading, paying tribute to the wondrously seductive ingenuity of flowers.
There are cracks here and there in the mass of cold rock. The first signs of oncoming vegetable proliferation emerge from them.
Little by little, visitors make their way deeper into this gaping fault, the aura of a rich canopy in the distance drawing them onwards. In this incised cavity, the grey dry rocky desert, abristle with thistles, gives way to vegetable luxuriance.
Nestled in the hollow of this floral antechamber, visitors are snatched up, transported by such exuberant generosity. Here, in this melliferous cocoon, they abandon themselves to scents and colours. In all their diversity and originality, plants submerge us as the seasons will, closing over our heads, gradually obliterating any rapport with the outside world.
Visitors and bees live together for the duration of a festival, giddy with “Apis Vertigo”.
Albane POIRIER-CLERC, Hermine DE CHAVANES, and Juliette GUÉNARD, landscape engineers
© Éric Sander
Albane Poirier-Clerc has long indulged her attraction to wide open spaces, their beauty and diversity, from Fontainebleau, where she was born, to the Côte Sauvage to the Savoyard peaks. She graduated from Blois National Higher School of Nature and Landscape (ENSNP) in 2015, her proficiency with a pencil and interest in drawing much increased. Travels taking her to such destinations as Thailand and Haiti have imbued her with a special affection for exotic flora and curiosity about the plant world that surrounds her. She developed a taste for the art of gardens after a placement in England. She is currently working on park and public space projects in the city of Bath in England (McGregor-Smith Landscape Architects).
After starting out as a biology student, Hermine de Chavanes ended up graduating from Blois National Higher School of Nature and Landscape (ENSNP). As she grew up in Marseille, she has an affinity for the dry landscapes of the Mediterranean region, being particularly drawn to the Hanbury botanical gardens in Italy, where she spent some time. Her mountain rambles and travels across the biotopes of France and elsewhere have instilled her with a fascination for plant biodiversity and its ability to adapt. She has worked at Phytorestore on design and ecological restoration projects. These days, she seeks to pay tribute to the plant kingdom through the world of the garden.
Juliette Guénard was born in Paris and nurtured an early interest in landscaping a stone’s throw from the forest of Fontainebleau. She enrolled at Blois National Higher School of Nature and Landscape (ENSNP), graduating in 2015 after working on buried heritage in Bobigny – transmission and preservation being themes she is particularly interested in. She made good use of her student days gathering experience and inspiration from a variety of sources, including internships at the Alhambra in Grenada and Kew Royal Botanical Gardens in London, followed by a semester in New Zealand. Travels across Europe, from France to the Balkans, sealed her friendship with Albane and Hermine. What she gathered from these many foreign cultures, heritages and influences has shaped her vision of landscape. She is currently working on urban projects in Zurich, Switzerland (Vogt Landschaftsarchitekten agency).