This garden invents a place where you can draw a refuge for your pains, your troubles, your hopes or your secrets from the natural elements.
It allows us to welcome a part of ourselves by a symbolic gesture that releases or relieves. It is inspired by ancestral rituals that can be summed up by the term “prayer tree”.
They are present in many cultures and have the power to absorb a wrong or fix a hope: in Asia, the cherry tree welcomes wishes for success, health, happiness and prosperity for those close to you. In shamanism, the tree takes prayers to the spirits. In Europe, in times gone by, you attached a rag, a substitute for the organ that was suffering, onto the “nail tree” (or “rag tree”) with the aim of healing. In this garden, the public are invited to carry out the ritual themselves.
At the entrance to the garden, visitors will therefore be able to choose a cloth ribbon, whose colour represents either the body or the soul. Once inside, they will find a structure of bamboo canes onto which “prayers” have been tied by people who were there before them. In turn, they can then attach their piece of cloth and make their wish.
The ritual space will be isolated from the rest of the site by a patch of green. The range of plants will highlight the foliage with shades of greens and textural transparency.
Climbing plants will gradually come and inhabit the bamboo structure and the tree will come to life.
First Republik is a multidisciplinary collective of designers, who work with space, products, graphic art and web-design. Their “trademark”: a carefully thought out creation, with a view to sustainable development. This choice takes into account the social, economic and environmental dimensions of each project.
Claire Michaud is a young landscape architect. After doing a university course on visual arts and art history, she moved in the direction of the landscape professions, fitting in a BTS [advanced vocational qualification] by doing a sandwich course. She now works as a technician in the Parks and Gardens Department of the town of Gennevilliers.