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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

Élever la terre > Livia Kolb & Virginie Alexe, 2021

Élever la terre > Livia Kolb & Virginie Alexe, 2021
Monday April 12th, 2021 Marine Bigot
  • Livia Kolb & Virginie Alexe © Yann Monel
  • Livia Kolb & Virginie Alexe © Yann Monel
  • Chantier Élever la terre © Mathieu Farcy
  • Livia Kolb & Virginie Alexe © Livia Kolb & Virginie Alexe

The garden is a story of traditional agriculture in a humid environment all over the world. It is a tribute to these unique and highly ingenious agricultures, which have learned over time to deal with the fluctuations of water.

Water is a natural sculptor, it creates a landscape of contours, it designs a labyrinth. It allows the irrigation and drainage of plots cultivated in wetlands. The scenography imposed by the course of the water over the fragmented land becomes the structure of the garden. The abundance of water offers incredible biodiversity that gives the marshes a rare beauty and creates a particularly fertile land. But «if water is the working tool of the market gardeners, excess water is their permanent fear» stated Éric Mollard and Annie Walter. To prevent a flood, the market gardener literally «raises» the land to cultivate his plot.

Raise the earth sets out to discover these raised areas of earth in the landscape. The journey leads to five compositions, five fragments of traditional agricultural heritage. South American camellones are shaped by cultivation beds that remind us of a «corrugated iron» silhouette. Corn, beans and squash are grown there, the virtuous association of which – in the garden or on the plate – gives them the name of the «three sisters».

In the chinampas of Mexico, the nurseries are set up in boxes that contain fertile mud in which a wide variety of plants are grown, including tomatoes.
Thai Hortillonnages are composed of long and narrow raised beds of crops. They are very productive, and flowers, vegetables, aromatics and fruit plants are all grown together. As for the mounds of Dugum Dani in Oceania, they allow the cultivation of tubers such as yams or taros. Four gardens can be seen along the walk.

The fifth space is dedicated to the Hortillonnages of Amiens a recursive image that opens onto the surrounding landscape.
Across the world, cultivation techniques create a collection of shapes: ridge, mound, raised plank, platform, long strip of earth, cavaillon, ditch, furrow… Traditionally, they meet the needs of plants. With this garden, the vegetation sublimates the curvature of the earth which is magnified here.

Raise the earth is an invitation to reflect on the earth as a heritage to be cherished and as a nourishing substrate.

The artist

Livia Kolb & Virginie Alexe

Livia Kolb and Virginie Alexe form a complementary team that combines artistic sensibility, botanical knowledge and technical know-how. They both originate from the Mediterranean which marks their sensitivity as landscapers and their attraction to tried and tested landscapes. In their landscape projects, they imagine poetic spaces to talk about heritage and local crafts. Interpreting the site’s constraints and issues is also an opportunity to question representations. Above all, they give pride of place to the diversity of living things in all their forms.