La décoration florale dans l’art des jardins, au fil des siècles by Yves-Marie ALLAIN – Château de Bénouville

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La décoration florale dans l’art des jardins, au fil des siècles by Yves-Marie ALLAIN – Château de Bénouville

Floral decoration in the art of gardens over the centuries

Whereas there now appears to be no limit as to the potential for floral decoration in gardens, this has not always been the case, for aesthetic and technical reasons. Flowers have not always played a leading role, be it in the Middle Ages, the Renaissance – when the French formal garden was at its peak – or even during the early decades of landscaped gardens. In the 19th century, the arrival of a large number of exotic plants, scientific developments and increased command of growing techniques enabled culture to thrive and even sometimes to assert itself to the detriment of aesthetics and the formal coherence of parks and gardens. The evolution of this role and the perception of flowers since the Middle Ages to the present day will be the subjects of this conference.

 Yves-Marie Allain

Yves-Marie Allain is a horticultural engineer and certified landscape architect (Versailles). He worked as director of green spaces for regional authorities before joining the National Museum of Natural History in Paris as director of the culture department, in charge of living plant collections and the sites of the Botanical Gardens in Paris and the Chèvreloup National Arboretum near Versailles. He concluded his career as general inspector for the environment. For eight years, he was a member of the garden section of the French superior Historic Monuments Commission. He has published several articles and works on the relationships between botanics, plants and landscape and garden art.

Further reading :
La fleur et le jardin, (toute) une histoire, éditions Petit Génie, 2018
Les plantes exotiques, une réputation perdue?, éditions Petit Génie, 2014
Le jardin suit-il des modes? 90 clés pour comprendre les jardins , Quae, 2013
Les serres, le génie architectural au service des plantes, Actes Sud, 2013
Une histoire des jardins botaniques : entre science et art paysager, Quae, 2012
Une histoire de serres : de l’orangerie au palais de cristal, Quae, 2010