Le Jardin Planetaire

Last week I was digging in the kitchen garden and noticed a plant in the middle of the bed. It was a Geranium maderens which had grown naturally there.  This struck me as amazing, as it’s a non-hardy plant that we usually store every winter in the glasshouses.

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How did it get there? I was reminded of the “Jardin Planetaire” concept by Gilles Clement, a famous French landscape designer. He suggests that a garden cannot be shut away, however walled it is! It’s constantly changing with the world outside.

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How?

Seeds are carried in the wind or by the birds… even a walker can carry seeds on his wellies… Thus the garden and surrounding landscape is an exchange between different natural habitats, constantly moving.

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It’s interesting to consider a garden from this point of view, especially at Gravetye, as it was a sort of garden laboratory for William Robinson during his time here.

Words and photographs by Martin

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