How did the idea for a book on spontaneous gardens come about?The wild gardens, populated by vagabond flowers which came naturally there, are my preference compared to the classical gardens. After having completely redesigned my own garden in Brittany, which has become over the years a large space organized almost exclusively by nature, I took the time to list and photograph the plants that made it up. In this book which is particularly close to my heart, I tell about my own adventure, but also my conception of the garden by detailing the plants which flourish there. There are tips of course, to maintain and enhance your garden, but also testimonials from other gardeners who tell us about their own experience. I also list about sixty plants, more or less known, that I took care to photograph for two years! I am fortunate to have had carte blanche on the content and the form, this is why this book looks a lot like me…
What is your conception of gardening?In my opinion, the garden is a place that grows without chemical treatment, maintained by all the small fauna that takes pleasure in the midst of a profusion of plants, half-ordered, half-disordered. Plants do what they want… or almost! As for gardening in itself, I understand it as a sharing activity: I have always liked the idea of exchanges between gardeners, friends or neighbors. Many nature enthusiasts have also helped me a lot in creating the "Spontaneous Garden"!
What advice would you give to people who want to grow their own spontaneous garden?First of all, it's about opening your eyes! This is my watchword, even before gardening. Because behind each tiny shoot often hides an unsuspected treasure, which many snatch without having seen it grow. Know how to accept wild flowers, and make sure that each plant can coexist harmoniously with its neighbor. As I often say, you have to learn to garden backwards: first let the plants grow, then uproot those that are too invasive and not the other way around. Finally, I strongly recommend that all gardeners have a small nursery corner at home, even if it is reduced to a few square meters. We store there plants and seeds that are "in excess", to offer or exchange them when the opportunity arises.
The Spontaneous Garden, Noémie Vialard to Editions Delachaux & Niestlé 19.90 euros