Ideal garden, fortified castle and tropical forests

The “ideal garden” in Chaumont-sur-Loire

The director of the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire, Chantal Colleu-Dumond, and the American Kathryn Gustafson discuss the mineral 'bank' in the garden designed by the landscape architect.  A garden called...

For his 30e edition, the International Garden Festival of Chaumont-sur-Loire – created by Jean-Paul Pigeat (1946-2005), under the auspices of Jack Lang – has as its theme the “ideal garden”. Chantal Colleu-Dumond, the director of the estate, which includes the château, historic park and more recent extensions (including a hotel, due to open soon), chose the ephemeral garden projects. These are made by young international teams competing around the theme of the year. “Green cards” have also been awarded to recognized landscapers: the Malay Inch Lim, the Frenchwoman Jacqueline Osty – with her luminous Moroccan garden -, the brilliant green-haired botanist Patrick Blanc – who works in the Vallon des Mists – or the American Kathryn Gustafson – who designed a very sober and beautiful garden with elliptical shapes. Created the emblematic Mediterranean garden out of nowhere in the meadows of Goualoup by Jean Mus, “star” of the gardens of the Côte d’Azur, will be preserved, with its cypress trees, its century-old olive trees and its refreshing fountain. It should be noted, among the creations of the current edition, the garden of an Italian team: “De la nature”, a three-dimensional staging that “reproduces” the fresco of Villa Livia in Rome, itself an image of a garden… ideal .

“Ideal garden. Thirty years of green utopia”, International Garden Festival, until November 6, 2022, domain of Chaumont-sur-Loire (Loir-et-Cher). Practical information at

Lalanne’s “Natural Histories” at the Decorative Arts

Until May 29, the Museum of Decorative Arts presents the donation of the sculptors François-Xavier and Claude Lalanne, who have been inspired by animals, but also by plants during their long careers. For example, not-so-dumb coal, a very red apple or gilt bronze gingko furniture are on display.

Exhibition “Natural histories”, donation of François-Xavier and Claude Lalanne, until May 29, Museum of Decorative Arts, 107, rue de Rivoli, Paris (1is† Practical information on

“The Garden, mirror of the world”, an exhibition at the Château du Rivau

View of the Château du Rivau, in Léméré, in Indre-et-Loire.

Located near Chinon, south of the Loire, the Château du Rivau looks like a fairytale castle, a jewel enthroned in the middle of a series of eclectic gardens. The owner, Patricia Laigneau, is working to renew and embellish them, creating an atmosphere inspired by medieval legends or classical literature. Rabelais himself mentions Le Rivau as a gift that Gargantua made to one of his officers. Today, sculptures or contemporary art installations catch the eye of visitors on a bend in a path or in the branches of a tree. The rooms of the castle are animated by presentations evoking the history of the estate, the role of the horse in this history or the traditional art of hunting. A temporary exhibition of contemporary artists – painters, photographers or visual artists – rejects, until the autumn, the theme of the “garden, mirror of the world” with motifs of flowers, birds or animal chimeras, brought together in dialogue with the permanent collection by a lover.

Exhibition “The garden, mirror of the world”, until November 13, 2022, Château du Rivau, rue du Château, Lémeré (Indre-et-Loire). Practical information on

Ikebana, Japanese floral art, at the Maison de la culture du Japon

Ikebana, the traditional Japanese floral art, will be honored from May 17 to 21 at the Maison de la Culture du Japon in Paris. Grandmaster Riou Udagawa, of the Koryu Rion-kai school, will be the guest of honour. The program includes exhibitions, a projection, workshops and demonstrations.

“Ikebana, Japanese floral art: the power of flowers”, from 17 to 21 May 2022, Maison de la culture du Japon, 101 bis, quai-Jacques-Chirac, Paris (15e† Practical information at

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The art of “paper gardens”, in the Salon du Dessin

During the Salon du Dessin – which will be held in Paris from May 18 to 23, in the former Bourse – a symposium open to the public under the scientific leadership of historian Monique Mosser will be devoted to “the art of paper gardens”.

“On the art of paper gardens: designing, planning, representing”, symposium organized on Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 May, within the framework of the Salon du dessin (18-23 May), Palais Brongniart, place de la Bourse, Paris ( 2e† Program on

“The Primacy of the Living” in the King’s Vegetable Garden, Versailles

Mulching a cultivation bed for the future

Among the various proposals of the Biennale of Architecture and Landscape, organized by the Region of Ile-de-France in Versailles from May 14 to July 13, the “gardener” and landscape architect Gilles Clément and the founders of the agency Coloco at the National School or Landscape, an exhibition garden, “La Préséance du vivant”. The planting of a collaborative garden, “Le Potager des autres”, will extend this initiative in the Hardy garden, in the heart of the king’s vegetable garden.

“La Préséance du vivant”, an exhibition by Gilles Clément and the Coloco agency (in the context of the Biennale of Architecture and Landscape organized in Versailles by the Ile-de-France region), from May 14 to July 13, 2022, in the King’s Vegetable Garden, National School of Landscape, 10, rue du Maréchal-Joffre, Versailles (Yvelines). Practical information on

“Garden spirit”, an annual event around the garden and gardening, will enliven the vegetable garden of the king and its surroundings on May 14 and 15 in Versailles, the Saint-Louis district. Practical information at

A New Botanical Exploration by Patrick Blanc

When not at the Chaumont-sur-Loire Garden Festival, botanist Patrick Blanc creates plant walls on buildings designed by architect Jean Nouvel. Or he explores tropical forests, filmed by his companion Pascal Héni. These incredible botanical explorations, with live commentary (in English), are an opportunity to discover« incredible species » in their natural habitat, like here in Papua New Guinea.

Botanical exploration with Patrick Blanc in the tropical forests of Papua New Guinea.

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