This year’s subject of the Design Competition at the Garden Festival organised by Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire was “The Ideal Garden”. ‘The ideal garden’ is a relative concept that can be interpreted differently by everyone. LOOSvanVLIET’s selected design, called “Eden,” revolves around self-sufficiency and, like the biblical “Garden of Eden,” is a garden where people, animals and plants can live together in harmony.
Upon entering the garden, the visitor is embraced by a rich and diverse array of colourful flowers and fertile shrubs. Among the flowers, some vegetables are spread, to introduce the vocation of this place: an oasis of edible plants, in which shapes, colours and scents create a pleasant and attractive garden, that changes and surprises from season to season. Various edible berries and flowers are spread throughout the garden: from the juicy berries hanging from the Juneberry, to the bright red sparks of Echinacea flowers that grow specifically low. A flowerbed of wild roses grows underneath a pear tree, spreading a sweet fragrance that attracts bees and butterflies.
The attention is drawn to a circular water element. Water is the source of life and growth for all species present in the garden, including humans and animals. For this reason, the element is carefully placed in the center of the composition.
The object’s shape consists entirely of circles, that form a perfect, ‘ideal’ shape. The element made of white poles, that have been placed in the pond at different heights and set up in the circular form shown above. When viewed from the side, the posts form an arc. The form seen from above that can be placed exactly over the shape of a flower, is a reminder of the perfection already present in nature; the continuous attempt to generate life through interaction, beauty (‘perfect’ form), functionality and coexistence of all beings. The ‘ideal’ element is a pleasant contrast in form and color to the exuberant, diverse and varied planting in the rest of the garden.
Seating elements at the back of the garden are an invitation to gather and socialize. From the chairs, the visitor has time to notice the curious shapes of the branches of a Corylus ‘Contorta’ and to interact with the fragrant leaves of the Pelargonium. All plants used in this design are useful to humans and animals as sources of food or shelter.
location: Chaumont-sur-Loire, France
year of design: 2021
client: Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire