A mini-version of the world, the garden is there for walking, feeling, listening, tasting, seeing and touching; the air comes and goes with the wind, light and shadow interplay, the cold and heat, smooth and rough, liquid and solid, flat and sloping, movement and lolling, shouts and whispers tumble one after the other in unison with the senses and sensations. The body rejoices in a kinaesthesia reminiscent of a physical and spiritual experience of the world. “There is nothing in our intelligence that has not first touched our senses,” proclaimed Aristotle. Well, we would like to show and open visitors’ eyes and senses up to the fact that “there is nothing in our gardens that has not first touched our senses”. This will not merely involve calling upon Baudelairean synaesthesia where “fragrances, colours and sounds answer one another”2, but induce total immersion into an emotional magic acting on every single scene at the same time.
Relentlessly plunged into the mineral and virtual world, people today increasingly aspire to a state of euphoria, of unique harmony blending all of our sensations. To garden the body and mind means reaching out to ourselves in every sense. Weaving a network of sensations, the gardens will mix allusion and turmoil with the multiple experience of the alert body. Hence, some extraordinary flowers will smell of food or spice and give off a taste of sugar, honey or vanilla. Some leaves may also surprise us with a taste of strawberry or chocolate, and the soft feel of velvet … Savours, flavours, fragrances intermingled … such that your senses will be lost, captivated and spellbound in a garden whose matter, textures and plants are caressed with the eye and the hand, and sounds, murmurs and music bewitch souls. Suddenly, surprisingly, the aroma tickles our taste buds, our fingertips trick and amaze us and our senses surround us with a magic we could never have imagined.