The 4th edition of the Fête des Plantes and L’Art du Jardin organised by the association “Entre Cours & Jardins” was held in October 2011. Since 2008 this event has hosted nearly twenty thousand visitors annually and, like in previous years, took place in the old city, the Cité Plantagenêt. For one weekend, “secret” gardens, as well as the courtyards of some mansions are opened up to the public. These unusual settings located in the heart of the old city, are designed for the occasion by decorators and other plant lovers.
In 2011, the grounds of the Bishop’s palace were the setting chosen for the exhibitions. These grounds are primarily characterised by their location and topography. They are highly visible from the waterfront, gradually rising along the walls to the heart of the old city. The goal is to transform this space into a landscaped orchard in the future.
The “Cours & Jardins” event gives the public the opportunity to discover this previously unknown site through an innovative, ephemeral garden on the theme of the orchard.
We chose to design an orchard based on shadows and images. The idea is to present the fruit trees in two different ways:
First, by highlighting the structural aspect of the trees, which is expressed through the use of giant palms built from logs with trunks laid on the terrain embankments to provide support.
Secondly, by attracting the public’s attention to the visual aspect, with the creation of a series of printed canvas sheets attached to stakes, all recreating the effect of orchard lines. We imagined different tree visuals to present the diversity in varieties and structure that can be found.
Ground lighting enhances the garden at night. A sawdust path guides the visitor as he or she wanders through the garden. The entire first level is covered with a mixture of grasses reproducing the effect of the tall meadow grasses that are often found at the base of fruit trees.
Crates full of apples are arranged at the foot of the first embankment. Small notices inform visitors about the future production capacity of the palace grounds.