Jardin des Hespérides > Moroccan Garden of Peace, 2018
On the edge of the “Chemin des Dames”, a valley devastated by the fighting and bombing of the First World War, this garden pays homage to Moroccan soldiers who died on French soil. Directed by the landscapers Karim El Achak (Morocco) and Bernard Depoorter (Belgium), this little piece of Morocco on French soil is based on one of the legendary gardens of the Maghreb, the fabulous orchard of Hesperides, which according to Greek mythology, is found on the edge of the western world. Here, the rigorous geometric layout of the project, which evokes the art of the Arab-Muslim garden, gently marries the bumpy configuration of Old Craonne. In the centre of the space, a shiny metal basin reflects the surrounding landscape. By tradition, the gardens of the Orient are spaces away from the world and time, where water symbolizes life in the face of the inhospitality of the desert. Set on a mosaic platform with terracotta tiles typical of Morocco – the fountain of this Hesperides garden is where the paths cross, to welcome the walkers of the Chemin des Dames.
Karim El Achak & Bernard Depoorter