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International Garden Festival | Hortillonnages Amiens

To all visitors, 
We thank you for coming in large numbers to discover the creations of the 12th edition of the International Garden Festival | Hortillonnages Amiens.
Currently closed, the Festival will reopen its doors from Thursday May 26 to Sunday October 16, 2022.

For any request, we invite you to send us an email at communication@artetjardins-hdf.com 

We look forward to welcoming you on the next edition !

The team of Art & Jardins | Hauts-de-France

Border Land > Danish Garden of Peace, 2021

Border Land > Danish Garden of Peace, 2021
Tuesday November 16th, 2021 Marine Bigot
  • Van Melle_Thiirmann © Van Melle_Thiirmann

Border Land > Danish Garden of Peace, 2021

The Danish Garden of Peace is located near the only Danish Great War cemetery. Denmark remained neutral during World War I. However, 30,000 farmers from the province of Schleswig annexed in 1866 by the German Empire, were forcibly recruited and had to fight in the German army. The province of Schleswig was returned to Denmark in 1920 following a plebiscite. At the request of their families, the remains of these soldiers incorporated against their will were removed from German cemeteries to be reunited in Braine in 1934. Elzelina Van Melle and Rikke Thiirmann Thomson evoke in the Danish Garden of Peace the situation of these soldiers, ” being a Dane from the border land of Slesvig-Holsten during World War I meant having a double identity and a split life, and for 30.000 young men it meant duty to fight on the German side with the heart left on the Danish side. […] When first buried in German cemeteries they were secretly honored with bouquets of white and red flowers symbolizing the Danish flag, which couldn’t be used.”
Inspired by the danish landscape and their poetry, the landscapers designed a sensory experience beside the Memorial site, “One enters the garden from the existing path through a dark evergreen hedge. This architectural element frames the open landscape, with a horizontal line that screens from the road, captures light in all seasons, enhances the slope and contrasts with the natural growth of the deciduous trees in the garden and around. It connects the garden with the cemetery’s wall and tradition. The tallest layer of the garden is a multi-layered woodland planting inspired from the light wood atmosphere of southern Denmark. After entering the garden enclosure, the visitor walks between groups of trees with varied heights, shapes and colors and walks through high grasses and scattered white flowering shrubs and perennials. When coming to the edge of the woodland, the vegetation thickens. The visitor meet a lush floor of perennials displaying flowers and encompassing a clearing like a belt. White flowers will be dominating punctuated with singular red cultivars blooming at each time of the year. These can be picked to offer as bouquets on the graves in the Danish cemetery beside. Representing each of the fallen Danes in France during WWI, 6490 brownish bricks are paving the central space of the garden while loosen up toward the edge of the clearing. They are laid out as steps to let the visitor walk through the terrain and creates the narrow trails that are crossing the existing pathway to the French necropolis inviting one in the Danish Peace Garden. One finally meets a narrow corten-edged pond fitted into the paving […]. The mirror pound evokes the depth of the trenches as well as the still water of the channels in Slesvig-Holsten. The silent changing reflections of light and the shapes of trees on the surface will support a feeling of internal peace that one is looking for.”

Project by Van Melle_Thiirmann

The artist

Van Melle_Thiirmann

"Our work is founded on an inter- disciplinary landscape architecture practice with a focus on designing more and better interfaces between humans and other living organisms, especially through revegetation in the city and in the open land- scape. Advising and developing design according to a site’s spe- cific architectural and biological potential is our core competence. The approach of ‘working with rather than against the genius of nature’ (dixit G. Clément) is com- pleted through a strong planting design expertise, advising about nature-based solutions or biodiver- sity increase strategies, for private estates, gardens or public spaces development. We are both highly inspired by the new wave of planting design with naturalistic and dynamic plantings that are based on the plants natu- ral communities and ecology. We also work on dissemination projects to promote a greater un- derstanding of the multiple roles of natural processes in the spaces in which we live." Van Melle_Thiirmann