Congratulations to Stefano MARINAZ, Francesca VACIRCA and Daniela TONEGATTI for having their garden built at the 2010 Chaumont sur Loire Garden Design Festival in France. The three Italian designers met when studying on the masters programme in landscape architecture at the University of Greenwich.
The garden design concept for Hortitherapie sensorielle was to create a place where plants restore balance and harmony to the visitor’s body and mind. A sculpture of a resting woman (above centre, and below) draws visitors into the first garden compartment. She relaxes among the plants, calmed by a wavy line of bamboo canes. Another compartment has a sauna garden releasing fragrance and wrapping visitors a misty scent, delivering well-being. The potager compartment reminds visitors of the plants which produce kitchen aromas. It is a biodynamic vegetable garden. These plants can also be planted among vegetables to attract pollinating insects and deter predatory insects. The massage garden guides visitors through plants with different textures and scents. They massage the visitors’ legs and soothe their spirits. The perfume garden shows the beneficial oils and elixirs which have been extracted from herbs for centuries. They are in colourful jars. As Oscar Wilde remarked: “Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul”.
Landscape and garden designers should pay more attention to design competitions: successes in this field is one of the most reliable and most rewarding avenues to professional success.