La territorialisation de la palette végétale au sein des nouveaux projets de paysage by Nicolas DESHAIS-FERNANDEZ – Archives du Calvados

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La territorialisation de la palette végétale au sein des nouveaux projets de paysage by Nicolas DESHAIS-FERNANDEZ – Archives du Calvados

Territorialisation of plant diversity in new landscape projects

Our relationship with nature and with plants is complex. Prompting a new outlook is far from simple. For centuries, our society was the master of tamed nature, where nothing was allowed to overgrow. Since, change has been laborious, affording little place for the unexpected, for time and for indulgence. Grass on a pavement is the grain of sand that upsets the machine. Some find it inappropriate and dirty. I find it beautiful and encouraging. In the continuity of the philosophy adopted by Gilles Clément, a designer of gardens in movement, the workshop hopes to create the ideal conditions for hybridisation between the project and nature. With no form of duality, I believe that the landscaper is there to serve nature, and not the opposite. I design living spaces that evolve over time and management modes. With neither artifice nor disguise, they move us through their sensitivity and their simplicity. Pieces of nature, of sober and clear aesthetic lines, far from sophisticated schemes, where the plant is reduced to a malleable material, just like concrete. Hence, the spaces I design are not frozen but are evolving. The plant needs to be left time to settle, to find its marks, in order to please us. The seasons need to pass through the garden and the public space, to offer them patina. Yet, we are often impatient. This is an error, a whim. Spontaneous and wild plants are the workshop’s allies. Hence, the palette of selected species is always adapted to the bioclimatic context and the soil. To allow plants to express themselves, freely, without limits or constraints. An adapted local species offers the guarantee of the healthy growth that limits maintenance and disappointments. Each project, each realisation, is a blend, a movement, a source of biodiversity, in which the weeds that emerge become the missing link between the project and reality.

Nicolas Deshais-Fernandez

Nicolas Deshais-Fernandez is a DPLG (former qualification for state-qualified landscape designers) landscaper and a botanist. He graduated from the Bordeaux School of Architecture and Landscape in 2012. As soon as he graduated, he assisted Freddy Charrier, a DPLG landscaper established in Bordeaux, on the Akènes project – an ecodistrict in Lormont (Gironde), before working with Gilles Clément and the Coloco collective in Paris, on landscape projects of varying scales, from urban studies to creating private gardens. In 2017, he created his own workshop to explore – often in association with other professionals – and to develop his ideas around plants and biodiversity. For the past seven years, he has worked with the Bordeaux Botanic Garden, in particular on the Bordeaux city council’s Observatoire des Friches et des Délaissés (wasteland observatory).