Widely known for decades, peddled by gardening articles, books, blog TV shows, the obligation to use peat moss for some kind of plantations has always aroused in me a suspicion more than itchy. So what about this injunction dating from our grandmothers? And what about the consequences of this practice? Is the peat moss really necessary? On the contrary, would it be a well-maintained myth? Read the next lines about our gardening experiments, and then do your own tests.
You own a garden, you love it, and even pamper it for some of you. But !!! If ecology attracts you and inspires you, you don’t really know where to start to become greener through your garden?
Here are some simple tips to start … and deepen the subject.
What is the best season for planting in the garden?
Is there a best season to put plants in the ground? This is a question that thousands of people ask themselves when they are happy owners of a garden. In any case, this is a question that ALL our clients ask us when it comes to planning their garden layout …
This question is of course legitimate: we want it to work, we want the plant to survive, we want our god’s talent or (more modestly) our gardener’s aknowledged by Nature! We worry, we wonder, the fear of doing something stupid hangs over us. September? March ? Not July anyway!
Fairytales often start with a simple desire. And a little ambition …! To tell you the story of the Nuancier du Jardinier, I can tell you about our perplexity in front of flowers pictures on the internet and in books where for the same variety, the color went from pink to purple through lilac. Impossible to know what was the right shade, namely the actual color of the flower in reality. And therefore impossible to associate them with other plants in our projects, without being afraid to be wrong. Don’t mention all the unpleasant surprises, once the garden planted, when some blossoming proved unfaithful and some vegetal associations far from what we had in mind!
That’s how we started, 5 years ago, to collect for ourselves pictures of plants in our customers’gardens, taken with a Pantone color chart to have a precise reference on the color of the flower. At that moment, we didn’t imagine to make a book out of it. We just aimed for a tool a little accurate, that would allow us to better control plant associations. Slowly but surely (in 4 years!), we managed to gather 500 classified pictures sorted out in big families of colors. However, this quantity didn’t seem enough for us to work, and not rwally representative of the available range of plants.
In September 2016, on a whim, I decided that the solution was to find financial and professional support, and to make of this classification a book. After all, NEVER any such ranking had been done before, while the available plant palette had really grown over the last 30 years. And the idea of having to report to a publisher, let me believe that it would give us the motivation to go to the end of the project.
We had one editor in mind: Ulmer. Great specialist garden books, we knew their catalog well, worked with many of their books and loved their curious and eclectic spirit (which goes from the hut in the trees to the graphic jellyfish, through the domestic rabbit!). Ulmer then. To make a beautiful book. We send an email to Antoine Isambert with an excerpt from our ranking, just like that. He reminds us two days later and sets an appointment. A little shaking and impressed, we present our project, selling him a ranking of 3500 plants by color gradients. We sign the contract in November. Without having seen any other publisher … What a luxury! Provisional title: Le Nuancier du Jardinier (The Colors and Shade Book for Gardeners).
We ask a year of delay to be able to go around the four seasons and miss no blooming. Twelve months to photograph, name, label, and classify 3000 more plants … Not to mention our garden projects for our clients, our family life and all the rest.
Needless to say, this was a race!
Flowering calendar month by month, contact of specialized nurseries, purchase of a second identical camera, a second Pantone color chart, military planning, travel throughout France, Belgium and Italy. Floral park, plant festival, public gardens … And every week: referencing, names, classification, legends, alterations when necessary.
I remember spotting the narcissus Thalia on a roundabout while going to visit our clients and putting the warnings on while Morgane took her picture.
I remember the storm that blew in Brittany the day before Morgan came to photograph all the magnolias at the nursery Stervinou.
I remember calculating in May 2017 that we had to encode 100 new plants a week to meet our deadlines. And I remember the little bit of discouragement that followed.
I remember the sometimes sidelight of the exhibitors during the plant festivals when we arrived with our camera and our Pantone color chart.
Many thought we were illuminated. And we were probably a little …
November 2017, we have our 3500 plants, still vaguely classified by families of colors. The toughest still needs to be done: organize the plants in gradients. Another month and a half of work … The retina that stings, the evening falls too early, the rainbow in the head.
At the end of December, we bring back a file that weighs 128,000 GB to Ulmer, and we see their head in front of the ranking … The Nuancier du Jardinier can finally take shape! And what shape!
It’s up to them to play now: the brave graphic designers line up, the other members of the team read and correct, we look for the cover, we put in page. They know that the work on color has been daunting, and they are very respectful of it. We toggle the files, they check the color of each page with us, we stand out Pantone color charts crossing fingers.
And the magic is working, the printed colors are faithful!
The Nuancier du Jardinier comes out this week after years of work. External reactions range from astonishment to absolute enthusiasm, often through admiration for the work provided.
We are just happy and proud to have been at the end of this madness. Not to mention that we finally have this tool that allows us to design more complete gardens, more varied, more refined. That was our first goal!
Jean-Luc Pasquier’s radio chronicle in Switzerland about our book:
Jean-Luc Pasquier, journaliste et chroniqueur radio, spécialiste du monde horticole en Suisse est fan de notre Nuancier du Jardinier…! Sur des images de Canopées. A écouter sans modération!!!
Publiée par Canopées sur Lundi 7 mai 2018
Every two years, the Paysalia fair is held in Lyon for all landscape professionals. In this show is held the contest of theCarré des jardiniers, to elect the best “gardener” of the year, with a jury as varied as prestigious: Louis Benech and Jean Mus are part of it, among others. We were finalists in 2015, and a team of Grands Reportages filmed us for the occasion …
Finding a name for your business is always a delicate step. On the one hand, the word or set of words must resemble you, embody you and be faithful to you, but it must also, if possible, be evocative. To put it quickly, the universe it carries must be rich in emotions, sensations and collective unconsciousness.
While still on the benches of the Formation continue in Ecole Nationale Supérieure du Paysage de Versailles, we had a mad desire two of my colleagues and myself: to file a project file to the famous / unattainable / phantasmagoric Garden festival of Chaumont-sur-Loire.
Grail for recognized or emerging landscapers, this annual festival offers 26 temporary gardens on an imposed theme and a plot shaped tulip tree leaf (designed by the Belgian landscape architect Jacques Wirtz).