What is the right connection between man and nature? This garden does not aim to give an answer, but to make us think about our relationship with living things and to make us rethink the role of man in the world, noticing the deep connection we have with Mother Earth and leaving for a moment the traditional anthropocentric view.
The idea starts from the egg, which represents the perfection and harmony of nature as a symbol of life and fertility, the original element of every living form around which the entire project revolves. It is in fact the oval path (reminiscent of the womb) that accompanies the visitor, inviting him to immerse himself in the natural environment, in full harmony with it, tactfully and respectfully observing everything around him and embracing a vision in which nature is the only protagonist.
The heart of the greenery is the ornamental garden which is conceived quite differently from the classic vegetable garden: here the ornamental plants mix with the useful plants and provide nourishment for body and soul, creating an “impressionistic” garden. A realm of mixture in which one can lose oneself and be overwhelmed by colors and scents. The land does not look like it is dominated and exploited but is full of life and free to express itself in the most fitting and harmonious way.
The wild garden, on the other hand, spreads out on the other side of the path and is intended as a naturally flowering garden in which spontaneous native plants – including wild carrot, achillea, wild fennel, and verbena – grow in a reciprocal process between the creativity of rational man and the response of irrational nature.
The ornamental and wild gardens are two sides of Mother Earth, different but linked by the diversity and mixture of species. They are examples of harmonious and balanced coexistence, where every imposition is forbidden and forms emerge naturally, between magic and fascination.
Between the wild garden and the ornamental vegetable garden, we find the man disappearing along the oval path between the two faces of Mother Earth, also thanks to a play of light with different levels. At the closest point between the two gardens, an arbor made of woven live willows is created.
This embracing and “mobile” structure creates direct contact between the visitor and the plant world, which in turn is enlivened by forms of woven willow representing butterflies and geese. Butterflies and geese are symbols of freedom, peace, harmony, strength, and fertility in Eastern culture.
The walk along the path becomes a sensual, immersive and at the same time instructive experience, designed to help rethink the relationship between humans and nature and to open up new possibilities of understanding and coexistence, for greater common well-being and thus for a better future.
place | Festival international des Jardins 2020 – Chaumont sur Loire
year | 2020 – ongoing
willow structure | Anna Patrucco
photographs | Leighton Gough
Find out more on the website Domaine de Chaumont-Sur-Loire