Q&A

Go Gardening - - Real Gardener -

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.

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