This garden is a quest for the ideal, freely inspired by the three spiritual metamorphoses described by the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche in Thus Spake Zarathustra. On the road to the ideal, the spirit first of all becomes Camel. Obedient and resilient, it bears the full weight of moral values on its back. The garden therefore opens on a space staging the harshness of its environment. Sparse and rustic, the vegetation that grows there bears witness to countless adaptations.
Then the spirit becomes Lion, it rises up against established rules. Contrary in every way to its predecessor, this second area initiates an increase in power, a search for freedom through a commanding presence. Powerful and free, the grasses reach for the sky while the sun shines down from above.
Finally, the spirit becomes Child: it no longer needs to try and follow rules by submitting to them or opposing them, but does so by pure innocence. The ideal garden is that of the Child. Thanks to the child’s imagination and carefreeness, intimate ties are woven with living things: we are open to other forms of life.
These three metamorphoses of the spirit give rise to a journey through ideals that succeeds in bringing them together as one. There is no unity or ideal unless a journey is taken...
Bruno PASTANT, Mathilde ALBERT, Léna THEBAUDEAU and Nicolas MARTIN, students
Aurélien RAMOS, professor
ÉCOLE NATIONALE SUPÉRIEURE DE PAYSAGE DE VERSAILLES
“I was born in a hamlet by the name of Bitibout in the Seine-et-Marne countryside, which had just 27 inhabitants. I spent my childhood roaming the local landscapes and adding to the viewpoints of places I knew by heart. I still feel a great sense of attachment to my village, its people and its landscapes. I took a very different path after my baccalaureate, enrolling in a HEC preparatory class. I learned a lot there, as much about myself as about the world we live in. Above all, I learned that I didn’t want to make a career in business. I got to know about the Versailles National Higher School of Landscape. I was accepted in the school after a year in a class preparatory to enrolment in top landscape design schools – a year as instructive as it was exciting. In parallel, I continued to play music, never ceasing to wonder at its unifying force and universal emotional impact. With a true love of landscape and humankind, I like to further my knowledge through films, books, music and all other art forms. I’m particularly affected by artists who succeed in conveying what human beings experience in our landscapes. Raymond Depardon, Sebastião Salgado, Agnès Varda and the like. To the same end, I’m learning to use and improving my use of the many tools available to me: camera, paper, pencils, music, and so on. Through encounters and travel, I too would like to be able to express our responsiveness to landscape.”
“I was born in a remote little village in the mountains of the Massif Central, growing up in a rural setting marked by rugged landscapes and woodlands. Brought up on surprises and spectacular viewpoints over valleys, I always saw landscape as a large-scale mise en scène. In parallel to this intimate, familiar approach, I developed an interest in the social aspects of design. I’m fascinated by the relationship between human beings and landscape, its role in the urban space, and the way they interact together. So I started to study applied art and project implementation. Little by little, I began to specialise in landscape, without losing my attraction to scenography and alternative approaches. I’ve always wanted to combine a project’s concept and its practical implementation, in relation to the people concerned and teammates from varied backgrounds. I’m very much aware of human involvement in and the importance of the social aspects of spatial-planning projects, which influence my way of envisioning the landscapes of tomorrow’s world. I’m passionate about rehabilitation of abandoned spaces and would like to become part of a transitional urban planning movement so as to try out projects on the ground. A vision nourished by practice of theatre and dance and the relationship between body and space. When I entered the Versailles National Higher School of Landscape with the aim of becoming a landscape designer, I became more appreciative of the living aspects of landscape. I opened up to the world of botany and ecology through reading and carrying out surveys of my own. Alongside my studies, I like preparing for competitions at pop-up events, urban festivals and gardens, which enable me to make practical contributions and gain experience through working with multidisciplinary teams.”
“I was born on the Pyrenean slopes and, as a child, took full advantage of the delights they provided, wrapped up in drawing, sliding sports and adventure. It didn’t take long for me to find my place in the landscape: I gardened, creating and modifying the family garden’s layout. At secondary school, I developed an interest in recognition of plants, along with a growing desire to go on learning more about them. This thirst for knowledge led me to carry out an internship at the Massey Garden, a botanical garden in the municipality of Tarbes (65), in which my passion for landscape became all the greater. As a result, I ended up winning the Occitania Region’s plant recognition competition in 2018. Drawn to studies involving landscape, I took a Professional Baccalaureate and then took a sandwich course leading to an Advanced Technician’s Certificate (BTS), during which I had the opportunity to carry out a range of maintenance and creative work. Travel inspires me and my studies enabled me to explore three different regions, leading me to understand that each territory has its own vigour, its identities, which make landscape a world filled with wonders. As a student in a preparatory class, I tried to develop my artistic sensitivity further, with a view to applying it to my botanical knowledge. I want to design ornamental layouts overflowing with floral riches. Teamwork provides me with an opportunity to exchange and mix cultures, leading to creation of ever more dreamlike landscapes, shaped by each team member’s qualities. After seven years in the sector, I’ve enrolled at the Versailles National Higher School of Landscape and joined the AMT agency’s team, finding fulfilment working on projects for tomorrow’s world.”
"I come from the Essonne Valley and I’m a landscaping student. I fell in love with gardens at the age of seven and my first accomplishments in the family nest were trimming bushes into topiaries and installing a set of slate steps in my grandparents’ garden. My growing attraction to gardens soon turned into an obsession, pushing me to learn more about how landscaping work is carried out, project management, agronomy and botany. Being curious by nature, in my professional and private life alike, I became interested in music at an early age. I learned to play the drums, followed by the saxophone, and I’ve been playing in a group for a good many years now. When I was a teenager, I developed a taste for the performing arts and became an amateur conjuror, mingling with the mysterious world of magic by attending conventions and joining private clubs. Travelling to Charente-Maritime and then to the Côte d’Azur to continue with my studies, I carried out an internship in a luxury sector company, and worked as a seasonal gardener in City of Paris, and as a trainee in the Château de Villandry’s gardens. Alongside my studies, I’ve been providing freelance garden maintenance services since I came of age. During the year I spent in a class preparing for the Grandes Écoles, I studied drawing and other graphic techniques with a view to continuing my studies and making a start on landscaping projects. With a good deal of field experience and my professional training under my belt, I’m now set on making a career as a landscaper-designer by obtaining the State Diploma in Landscaping at the Versailles National Higher School of Landscape.”
“I’m a product of the south of France’s periurban landscapes, which has made me a landscaper with an interest in the spaces of everyday life and routine practices. I cofounded the Friche and Cheap collective and spent almost ten years working to renew the ties between urban inhabitants and their environment, undertaking co-developed projects on shared gardens, public squares and appropriation of abandoned urban spaces. I worked for the City of Bordeaux for three years in the context of the PNRQAD [Re]Centres urban project, assisting with experimental procedures for greening the old city centre, and in particular on development of a street garden project, maintained by its inhabitants. My PhD thesis, which I defended in December 2021, provided a retrospective analysis of these various landscaping experiences. My current research focuses on the everyday practices that contribute to the modelling of space and landscapes, through upkeep, care, maintenance and protection, as well as through leisure activities. In this latter regard, one of my present areas of activity is assistance with development of “adventure playgrounds", those unconventional play areas where children create their own environment by playing. I’m currently an Associate Lecturer at Bordeaux National Higher School of Architecture and Landscape and have taught at Versailles National Higher School of Landscape on a regular basis since 2017. It was there that I met Léna, Mathilde, Bruno and Nicolas, who were attending a project workshop I was running.”