Jardin du Repos
- PLANT Architect Inc.
In 2000, PLANT was asked to participate in the inaugural contemporary garden festival known as the International Festival of Gardens, Métis, Québec. PLANT’s ‘Le Jardin du repos’ was one of nine temporary, rural gardens designed by international artists, architects, and landscape architects. Oversized garden furniture within an enormous planting bed of Artemisia focuses on the specific landscape of the St Lawrence and the Gaspé.
The garden takes cues from the existing remnants of earlier human intention and occupation, and from existing landscape conditions. Ordinary materials are elevated to the extraordinary. Found object and materials like mussel and clam shells, intricately fissured beach stones, firewood, hay, gabion wall shore reinforcement - all ubiquitous in the surrounding area of beach, country house, farm, and historical Victorian garden - are concentrated and multiplied in this garden of repose.
Though a public project, the garden emphasizes intimacy and privacy. It acts as a threshold to the surrounding landscape, drawing the outer landscape into the realm of the inner garden metaphorically, spatially, materially, and aurally - intensifying the potential experience of the site through all of the senses. A rock filled bed invites visitors to look at the sky; a chaise lounge leans over the edge of the site to position the visitor with their back to the cliff to listen to the sounds of the river; a seat of firewood and canvas provides a place for intimate conversation, and allows a peek through a tiny copse of trees onto the public path; a straw wall provides a strong visual and olfactory reminder of the local farms.