Plants are immobile, necessarily anchored in the soil. Their roots condemn them to absolute sedentariness. Given such conditions, they must meet a whole range of challenges, and that of reproducing themselves is without doubt the most perilous. Their desire leads them to woo distant invisible lovers as immobile as themselves. There is only one solution if they are ever to reach them. They must put themselves in the hands of a liberating stranger, a messenger of love: bee, bumblebee, fly or butterfly.
Plants bring forth their flowers for the sole purpose of attracting and detaining their colporteurs of love. They deploy all their weapons of seduction: colour, scent and nectar. Their powers of attraction are irresistible, driving the nectar-gatherers crazy as they fly from one flower to the next, lightheaded from the nectar, and, all unknowing, achieve floral fertilisation.
It is this particular aspect of flower power that the garden helps visitors discover. It invites them to become bees, bugs, wasps or butterflies to better let themselves be seduced.
Sight to begin with: visitors contemplate the garden as if through the eyes of a nectar-gatherer. Next, the body: aerial navigation among the wealth of enrooted beauties. And finally, using all their sense organs, nose, mouth and eyes alike, they are initiated into the joys of nectar gathering.
Once satisfied, ever sense approaching saturation and the power of flowers losing its hold over them, the nectar-gatherers can become festival-goers once again, let themselves be snatched away by another garden and, perhaps, take on the role of love’s go-between.
Nicolas FILLON, landscape craftsman, and Marylise FILLON, State-registered (DPLG) landscaper
Marylise Fillon is a freelance State-registered (DPLG) landscaper now living in Marseille. A native of the Poitevin region, she moved to Aix-en-Provence to study for a Technological University Degree (DUT) in Urban Management, followed by a BA in Geography. Her academic experience, which focused on questions of spatial planning and territories, made her decide to enrol at the Marseille branch of the Versailles National Higher School of Landscape Architecture. Her disciplinary and cultural curiosity led her to study in Holland. These days, idea competitions, garden creation, and participative and community projects stimulate her curiosity and passion for the landscaper’s craft. Participation in the Chaumont-sur-Loire International Garden festival has provided her with an opportunity to return to the west of France to team up with her father, Nicolas Fillon, on a landscaping project.
Nicolas Fillon is an experienced landscaper. His interest in nature and plant life led him to enrol at the Tours-Fondettes School where he obtained a Higher Technical Certificate (BTS) in landscaping in 1994. He did not take long in setting up his own landscaping company, “Les Jardins de Nicolas” in the Poitiers region. The adventure has been going on for 20 years now, enabling him to enlist the talents of numbers of collaborators and extend his garden creation and maintenance activities to that of “swimming-pool builder”. Familiar with the specificities of the local landscape and well acquainted with many of the sector’s stakeholders and professionals, he brings an experienced and ever enthusiastic eye to this garden project.