Georges Rouzeau - 2012-10-12
A few kilometres from Rouen, the Jardin Plume brings together the rationalism of French-style classical gardens and the chaos of perennials and grasslands. Contemporary yet timeless, this most original garden reaches a peak of perfection in the autumn.
Sitting amidst an old orchard in the Normandy countryside, this garden was conceived in the late 90s, in the minds of the prominent botanists Patrick and Sylvie Quibel (who kindly welcomed us.) Its name – Plume – is evocative of one the most endearing characters in contemporary French poetry, Henri Michaux and his “Plume” (feather|) - as fragile as a high grass tossed by the wind.
This garden combines lush and abundant vegetation from perennials and grasses to the discreet yet ubiquitous boxbush structures, without resorting to any shrub or tree, except for the obligatory Normandy apple orchard. Playing on every possible contrast: blurred and formal shapes, materials and textures, flowers and leaves, fullness and emptiness, this small scale garden manages to conjure up a great deal of surprises. One moves from a mishmash of strikingly colourful flowers to the bare zen-like minimalism of a pond etched into the lawn, reflecting the ever-changing Normandy skies. Although simple on first appearances, the scenic design is complex and subtle, such as its prairie grasslands with a border which merge imperceptibly into Normandy’s wooded pasturelands and countryside.
Le Jardin Plume
Sylvie and Patrick Quibel
Tel: +33 (0)2 35 23 00 01