Symmetrical, floral, controlled to the millimeter: this is the idea that many people have of the perfect garden. However, die-hards still resist this limited view. For example, landscape gardener and nurseryman Éric Lenoir conceptualized his idea of a “punk garden” in a “little treatise” published in 2018. For him, another plant professional, Gilles Clément, developed a method called “moving garden”. idea that certain plants are made to move in the garden.The role of the gardener then is to ensure that these movements are followed according to the seasons.With the key: a better playground for biodiversity and a vision of the gardener who builds with nature instead of taming it.
Landscape architect Gilles Clément developed this idea of a garden in motion on his own land, bought in 1977 in Creuse. In a conference he gave at the University of Paris 8 in February 2021, the gardener says he then tried to plant on this piece of land. “keep everything alive”† Plants of course, but also caterpillars and moles, still considered pests by many others.
His second act of resistance was: “taking into account the mechanics of the species”† That is, from follow the movements of certain plants whose seeds, especially wind-borne, are sown elsewhere on the ground. While some green thumbs would like to mow the lawn and uproot plants where they shouldn’t, Gilles Clément has chosen to let his plants be responsible for altering the architecture of his garden. Do you like this view of gardening? Do you want to adopt him at home? Here are some tips to follow.
Identify plant species on your land
Gilles Clément reminds us in his conference: some plants are said to be “static”. That is, once planted, they will not move and will grow back in the same place from season to season. Others, on the other hand, such as the dandelion, for example, bloom and their seeds are sown several meters or even hundreds of meters away. So before you even get into the moving garden practice, it’s better to identify the different plants, flowers, and even trees in your yard. This is the best way to better anticipate the behavior of your plants.
Respect the movements of the plants
When you start to maintain your garden, it must then be adapted to the terrain. Gilles Clément does not have to come by with a plan printed on an A4 sheet: the amateur or the professional gardening on the go works directly thanks to the observation of the plants. on the spot† When it comes time to mow, for example, to build a small path, the gardener will do it based on the use, but also on the presence, or not, of plants that interest us. For Gilles Clément this is a “craft and handicraft” requires.
“Do as much as possible with and as little as possible against. †
Has a tree fallen on your property? Did you know he might not be dead? Gilles Clément experienced this in his garden when an apple tree fell and a branch grew back at right angles to the trunk. Flowers continue to grow there and fruits are still picked for years to come, he says. The landscape architect then reminds that a diseased branch does not mean that the whole tree is also sick. For him, our knowledge of these majestic plants is still very low and there is still so much to learn from them. So think carefully before you cut them.
Thanks to this way of looking at gardening, Gilles Clément advocates practices that are more in harmony with nature, especially in the age of climate change to which gardeners have no choice but to adapt, he said again to conclude his fascinating lecture.
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