What first sparked your interest in gardening?
My first interest in the garden came when I was four or five years old. With my maternal grandfather I cultivated radishes in a tiny space. A few years later I was interested in ornamental plants with my paternal grandmother.
Can you tell us more about some of your favourite New Zealand plants?
You know I love New Zealand plants, although the climate in my area is a little hard for them. I particularly love sedges but also Libertia without forgetting the Phormium. New Zealand is a bit like an Eldorado for a garden enthusiast.
What would you consider to be the biggest challenge in the garden?
It is a vast question! No doubt that it is attractive throughout the year but especially that it is easy to maintain. Finally it corresponds to its owner. It is a great challenge in the end. The landscape designer does not make gardens for himself, but for those who will use them.
Can you tell us some of the gardeners (or gardens) you are most inspired by?
There are many! I spend a lot of time visiting gardens all over the world and I exchange with many gardeners, so a number of people influence me. I have worked with some great gardeners who are no longer with us. For example, Graham Stuart Thomas, Princess Greta Sturda and Christopher Lloyd are among my mentors. As for gardens, there is the Majorelle villa in Marrakech, the gardens of Kyoto and also the English gardens. In fact, in every garden that I visit, whether I like the style or not, there are things I remember. I would be tempted to say that the one that inspires me most is my garden!
Do you see gardening changing around the world?
Yes, of course! Before we had the internet our information about what was happening in the world was through books. Today, ideas and information circulate faster than in the past. The gardens are undoubtedly less formal and more useful. It is also certain that with the increase in population, the gardens are smaller.
What kinds of gardens do you see emerging among younger generations?
Many young designers do not take themselves seriously. They have a much less restricted approach than a few years ago. Young designers like Leon Kluge from South Africa (who will make a garden at the NZ Flower and Garden Show) and Inch Lim from Malaysia represent the future of the garden. The garden gradually becomes a room to live in like the sitting room or the kitchen. More than just a decor!
What advice would you give a beginner gardener?
There is much, but above all it would be to have fun! Every gardener, including the most skilled, has made mistakes. Don’t lose sight of the fact that the garden is a pleasure!
Pascal’s garden at home in Gorze, northeast France.