The legend goes that Eve took a four-leaf clover with her from the Garden of Eden, scattering this extremely rare species over the Earth. The Greeks believed it was poison, while for the Romans it was a remedy against snake bites. A druid in possession of one of these clovers was supported to be able to perceive the presence of demons... Beliefs and myths have surrounded the four-leaf clover for centuries, successively attributed every vice and every virtue there is.
These days, this mutant allegedly brings good luck. Haven't you ever spent a good hour searching a patch of grass in the hope of finding this precious clover, that will bring you wealth, love, health and prosperity beyond any doubt?
Porte-bonheur (“Lucky charm”) pays double tribute to the clover by revealing the full wealth and diversity of this species. A collection of four-leaf clovers found at different points around the world is presented in a showcase, like a precious herbarium, while a botanical collection, offered up by nature, is on display in a colourful flower bed. A word of warning however, for although there are "official" clovers to be found here (e.g. Trifolium repens and Trifolium incarna), there are also imposters which, for all their striking resemblance, are but mere copies (e.g. Oxalis tetraphylla, Menyantes trifoliat). Could you tell the difference? Immersed in this collection, maybe you too might be lucky enough to stumble upon a four-leaf clover of your own.
From left to right: Claire Dugard and Christelle David
Claire and Christelle first met when they were both employed at an agency in Lyon. After 5 years of “sharing an office” and despite their different career paths, they like to meet up at the annual Chaumont-sur-Loire International Garden Festival rendezvous. This year, their “Porte-Bonheur” has been selected by the Festival jury. It is located on parcel no. 13, a coincidence that makes one think that 4-leaf clovers might really bring good luck!
Claire Dugard graduated from Lyon School of Architecture in 2003. Upon completing her initial training, she spent several years as project manager at a variety of landscaping agencies, taking a High Environmental Quality (HEQ) course at Lyon School of Architecture in parallel. In 2011, she set up the La Belle Affaire workshop with the aim of devoting her professional life to landscape design. Her new independence provided her with opportunities to work on architectural projects. Claire now sees herself as a landscape architect, seeking to put forward the best possible project for each commission she receives – an ambition expressed by nonlinear design complemented by successive mix-and-matches, enabling the projects concerned to overcome any constraints they comes up against.
Christelle David is a landscape architect who first fell in love with gardens as a child, during Sunday visits to Château de Versailles’ grounds. She studied at the TECOMAH and Du Breuil Horticultural Schools and then went on to the Gembloux Landscaping School in Belgium, where she obtained her diploma in landscape architecture in 2002. After that, she worked at a number of Paris agencies before leaving the capital and settling in Lyon, where she now works as an urban development project manager, applying her skills to projects on a variety of scales (private and housing block gardens, urban environment, hospital gardens, urban renovation, eco-districts and listed sites). With an undying passion for the vegetable world, country walks and local history, she prefers to work on projects combining a range of professional skills, as, ideally, landscaping is a crosscutting art requiring input by a variety of disciplines.