Eroding is a verb which the Hortillonnages gardeners know well. Every year, the cultivators have to clean out ditches and canals and dig out mud and silt so that radishes, carrots and onions can continue to grow in the plots. Depending on their maintenance, these fields by the water are classified as anything from « well maintained » to « completely abandoned ». The AB5 area, a small wooded plot in the south of the marshland, is halfway between the two. To help it in its constant battle against the wetland, the landscape designer Mathieu Gontier has created the jardin d’Erode, an intelligent development which fights itself against the slow erosion of its banks. The banks bristle with a reinforcement system, deisgned for the occasion : like giant wooden prostheses, these projections trap the debris floating in the canals while at the same time supporting the tree roots. In the interior, large leaved perennials such as Gunnera and Petasites japonicus help to regenerate the soil by producing an abundance of biomass. Finally, the piles mark out the former boundary of the island – a simple way of monitoring the evolution of a place in perpetual mutation.
Wagon Landscaping : Mathieu Gontier, avec la participation de Chloé Francisci