French de­signer, Pas­cal Garbe

Go Gardening - - Editorial -

In­ter­na­tional gar­den de­signer, Pas­cal Garbe, lives in an idyl­lic vil­lage in north­east France. Whether he’s at home or away, his life re­volves around gar­dens. This Novem­ber Pas­cal will be in Auck­land to con­vene the judg­ing at the New Zealand Flower and Gar­den Show, but it won’t be his first en­counter with New Zealand gar­dens.

Pas­cal has a par­tic­u­lar fond­ness for Maori cul­ture and our na­tive plants. In 2013, he worked with a Ngai Tahu team of artists and de­sign­ers who cre­ated a Maori gar­den in France. The gar­den, Te Pū­take show­cases New Zealand in­dige­nous flora and tra­di­tional Maori art. It re­mains on loan as a per­ma­nent fea­ture un­der the guardian­ship of Pas­cal at Les Jardin Fruitiers de Laque­nexy, a his­toric gar­den and tourist at­trac­tion not far from Pas­cal’s home in the vil­lage of Gorze.

Three hours’ drive east from Paris, Gorze is sur­rounded by rolling vine­yards. Pas­cal’s home, which he shares with his wife and teenage son, is a tra­di­tional vine­yard cot­tage built in the eigh­teenth cen­tury. In con­trast, his gar­den is mod­ern and con­tem­po­rary. Lush ex­otic style plant­ing abounds on on a long nar­row sec­tion which Pas­cal has di­vided into dis­tinct ‘gar­den rooms’. There is an in­ti­mate pa­tio gar­den, an ed­i­ble flower gar­den and a French ‘potager' style veg­etable gar­den. “It’s very much a labour of love!” says Pas­cal. “Plants are life. So I ab­so­lutely need plants. No mat­ter what.”

As well as de­sign­ing gar­dens, Pas­cal has been a judge at many in­ter­na­tional gar­den shows, in­clud­ing our own Eller­slie In­ter­na­tional Flower Show. He is also the author of 18 gar­den­ing books to date, with three more due for pub­li­ca­tion in the next two years. His lat­est book ‘Tout se Mange dans mon Jardin’ is driven by his pas­sion for ed­i­ble gar­dens. “I like beau­ti­ful gar­dens,” he says, “but what’s even more en­joy­able is a beau­ti­ful gar­den that is filled with flavour - Te Pū­take, the Maori gar­den at Laque­nexy in France. To­tara and kauri carv­ings were crafted from tim­bers sourced from the ru­ins of the Can­ter­bury earth­quakes.

ed­i­ble flow­ers, leaves or fruits. In France, as in NZ, many chefs work with beau­ti­ful and good plants. Their me­dia cov­er­age has had a very pos­i­tive im­pact on the gar­den­ers we are.”

Since his last trip in 2013, Pas­cal says he is ex­cited to see what’s changed in this part of the world. “For French peo­ple, New Zealand is a dream,” he en­thuses. “And it’s not just about the Rugby World Cup. We love Maori cul­ture, and not just the haka! It goes without say­ing, I’m re­ally ex­cited to come back and take part in this year’s NZ Flower and Gar­den Show!

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