November 18, 2013
Book of the Week
Gardens, landscape and natural genius
Together, let us assume that the Earth is one small garden. Gilles Clément
The gardener acts locally – but as a planetary citizen must also act in the name and the interest of the planet. French horticultural engineer, landscape architect and gardener, Gilles Clément has created numerous parks, gardens, and public spaces in France and throughout Europe. Now, as we try and anticipate future living conditions, our gardens and landscapes need to be imagined, created, tended, and taught by what Clément calls the “natural genius” of the environment itself. Over the past decades, Clement has developed alternate proposals for environmentally sound design practices. Here he presents a new blueprint for wastelands we have already created. This book gives pride of place to the living things and biological dimension of these abandoned landscapes. This‘ third landscape’ classifies former industrial areas as new nature reserves; spaces where we can witness the relationship between the city and spontaneous biodiversity, bringing an ecological value to these otherwise neglected and discarded areas. As Clément sees it, these neglected spaces are the earth’s ’genetic reservoir’ and a ‘biological time capsule. ’Nature’s rich landscape unfolds before the gardener, and it is up to him to organise all of this new territory. Clément says that by viewing nature this way, we can walk into a “Garden of Knowledge”, where science meets art; our myths and legends meet in a place of greenery and poetry. For Clement, we need to learn to withdraw without destroying, consume without defacing, produce without depleting, and live without destruction, and all this is possible with attention to the neglected and abandoned landscapes we have left behind.
Giardini, paesaggio e genio naturale
Quodlibet Publishing, 2013
5,4 x 14 cm, 142 pp.
Please note, this book is available in Italian only.
On view and on sale at 10 Corso Como Bookshop