Despite appearances, this is not a kitchen garden. At first, visitors entering the garden might well believe that they were in a fanciful courtyard of stone. Steam rises from the ground, as if they were wading through the depths of a boiling cooking pot. Plant-covered semi-spheres look like great bubbles bursting to the surface of this giant soup. Peppermint, green mint and spearmint are everywhere, the air heady with their fragrance.
As they leave, with nostrils overwhelmed and minds fine-honed, the curious turn back for one last glance – and it is then that the garden’s secret is revealed! The interplay of perspectives, shapes and materials forms a complete picture. A full about-face on the part of this trompe-l’oeil garden, taking visitors totally by surprise!
BUREAU D’ETUDES DE GALLY -Étienne BERTRAND, landscape architect and town-planner, Amélie FONTANA, scenographer and plant decorator, Mathilde MONTASTIER, , landscape designer, Vincent ZORZI, Christophe BOUTAVANT, Mathieu JACOBS, plant designer, Erwan SIMON, Quentin METAYER, Éric GATEBOIS, Marie-Pierre MOUILLARD and Anthony FORESTIER-
Étienne Bertrand has been a landscape architect and town-planner since 1989, and a senior lecturer at the Versailles/Marseille Higher School of Landscaping since 2000 (pedagogical coordinator for continuing education, teaching approaches to designing gardens within landscape settings and the theory and practice of plant life). He has built up a landscaping and environmental agency in Senlis, through projects on such wide-ranging themes as creation of plans and charters for landscapes in Vexin Français and Oise, and layout of parks, gardens and business parks. He has been director of the Gally design office since 2011, developing studio project work and approaches to landscaping and creation of gardens on a range of levels in the context of sustainable development (companies, shopping malls, gardens, institutions, etc.).
Amélie Fontana is a scenographer and plant decorator. She graduated from the National Graduate School of Decorative Arts in Paris in 2000, with a degree in scenography, and spent the next ten years designing and creating film sets, with a few museographic commissions along the way. With such experience in creation of temporary installations behind her and wishing to find a more event-orientated way of working with space, she joined the Gally Group in 2010 and its design office in 2011, where she is responsible for artistic and technical design of plant installations for all kinds of events.
Mathilde Montastier is a landscape designer who graduated from the Graduate School of Garden and Landscape Architecture in 1998. After spending a year with various landscape architect firms (Daphné Charles in Paris and Cabinet Pruvost in Vincennes), she went to work at Jardins de Gally, managing and designing all kinds of landscaping projects, and naturally enough joined Gally’s newly set-up design office.
Vincent Zorzi joined Gally’s design office in 2010, after 8 years’ experience in other company design offices. He designs and creates indoor and outdoor plant scenarios, including patios, gardens and terraces. Since 2005, he has been involved in development of vertical planting procedures, producing technical and planting plans for vertical gardens and assisting in implementation of innovative projects.
Christophe Boutavant is an R&D engineer. “As a native of Burgundy with a passion for plants and gardens, I had all it took to develop an interest in oenology and gastronomy, both of which are delicious combinations of these 3 components. After qualifying as a higher technician in food-processing, I decided to change direction and leave the world of industry, which I found a great deal too restricting for my liking, for greener pastures – the world of landscaping. I took a higher certificate in agronomy and landscaping (at Agrocampus Ouest in Angers), and was lucky enough to find employment as an R&D engineer at Jardins de Gally in 2006, joining its brand new design office in 2011. After developing green walls for the company, all created using indigenous plants, I am currently working on decreasing our impact on the environment and diminishing our carbon footprint.”
Mathieu Jacobs is a plant designer. With a degree in Plant Cellular Physiology and in Biology of Ecosystems and Populations from the University of Paris XI, he has specialised since 2005 in the development of new techniques of hydroponic cultivation, setting up his company Vertilignes to do so. For the last 5 years he has worked on creation of products combining design, innovation and plant life. Winner of a number of design competitions (including VIA, and “Observeur du Design”), he is now well-known as a designer in the world of innovative plant products and solutions. Mathieu Jacobs joined Gally’s design office in September 2011, where he is responsible for innovation and product design.
“I come from a farming family and my studies, which focused on agriculture and the environment, led to obtainment of an engineering certificate in landscape and space development techniques (Lesquin - France) in 2003. I now have almost ten years’ experience in the field of landscaping. After starting my career managing landscape development projects, I now work at Gally’s design office. My responsibilities range from creation to restoration and management of areas of ecological, landscape or educational interest, and include work on technical and financial recommendations for projects, with an approach that seeks to be ethical and respectful of the environment and plant life. My timetable also includes such specific duties as providing support, expert assessments and technical monitoring for the Group’s various departments.”
“With a BTS in Landscaping, option “landscape design” (Angers Le Fresne), I went on to specialise in landscaping design and techniques at UHP Nancy, taking a professional degree in “Landscaping Techniques and Design”. Complementing my technical training, I further developed my designing skills at the city of La Rochelle’s Engineering and Design Office, in the “Development of Public Areas” department, where I improved my abilities with regard to landscaping analysis and conceptual development of public and private landscaping projects.
Always interested in new directions in landscaping, development techniques and the place of plant life in organisation of space, I joined Gally’s design office as an Estimator/Quantity Surveyor in September 2011. The final outcome of years of training and a lifelong passion! How do you contribute to building a dream through landscaping?”
I started out on my professional life armed with a CAPA (vocational certificate of agricultural aptitude) in horticulture (sub-speciality: nursery gardens) and a BPH (vocational certificate in horticulture). I have been working at Gally since 25 September 1991, always with the same company and climbing the ladder as opportunities were made available. I started as a qualified landscape worker and heavy-vehicle driver, but was soon offered the position of team leader responsible for large and medium-sized projects (e.g. 6 months in succession on a project for creation of a hospital garden from scratch, and France Telecom’s head office). Having spent some ten years in the same post, I was transferred to event organisation, still as team leader, and was soon promoted to head of sector, taking charge of general installations at exhibitions and major events and stands in France and Europe (including the Peugeot stand). I found this switchover from landscaping to the world of temporary gardens a highly rewarding experience, both professionally and personally. Two very different professions technically speaking but enabling me to work with plants in a different fashion and, above all, with different results. I spent 5 years in the post before joining the design office as an estimator/quantity surveyor, still in the event-organisation department. Those 5 years enabled me to acquire know-how and acquaint myself with the difficulties involved in making use of materials, the various exhibition centres in France and abroad, the human aspect, and a great many other things, all of which are of help in my job as an estimator. Why did I abandon “work in the field” for a desk job? Well, you no longer approach things in the same way – there is a big difference between setting up the scene yourself and knowing what materials to use and how to install a set, as I do today. I now also have more direct contact with the customer technically, and of course financially speaking. There you have my career so far in a nutshell – and if I had the space, I’d have no lack of other things to add and anecdotes to tell you. 20 years with the same company and I still have the same desire to give of my best and to learn in this profession, which you cannot help but love as, after all, event organisation is one big family.”
“Although I studied English literature and theatre and spent many years working as an actress and then in publishing and journalism, I had long wanted to take up a profession connected with landscaping. I was given the opportunity to do so not long ago, and therefore set about making a radical change in career paths, first of all by obtaining a BTSA in landscaping in 2010, and then going on to a CS CCP (specialisation in landscape designer assistantship) in 2011, during which I developed my approach to the project and my knowledge of computer graphics tools and their use in the world of landscaping. I joined Gally in July 2011, as assistant landscaper, computer graphics artist and administrative assistant, beginning what I very much hope will turn out to be a long collaboration, and now enabling me to experience landscaping, design and creation as professional realities.”