Brigitte DEMATTEIS in Nice Matin
Arrangement of a water feature on the Cote d’Azur
would like to thank Diane EGGERMONT for her superb article that appeared in Nice Matin. She has transcribed perfectly my idea of the profession of landscape architect.
WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSIONAL PATH? HOW DID YOU ARRIVE AT THIS CAREER?
I am not of any school. It may be because of this that my clients call me “the landscape artist.” It is why I would not say “how” but “why” I have become a landscaper. I think that we are shaped unconsciously. We stockpile the ensemble of data without realizing it, data that we can restore someday … or not, to put to use … or not, transform … or not. Nothing happens by chance! Everything is there, in place over the years. It suffices simply for one element to be released for all to be awakened.
I spent my earliest childhood surrounded by the smells, the fragrances, of the Mediterranean region, and I had fully passed my 30th year when I found myself plunged into my first garden.
Being in daily contact with all the gardening enterprises in the area, one day, one of them – and not the least – had need of my designs, of my special touch, to present perspectives and a complete plan. It is in this way that I learned the profession, on the job and with the best.
Since then, I was called for my “first grand creation and realization of a garden.” One property of 2 hectares. And a number of years later, the owner of the place admitted having been been very afraid before this little pile of rocks that I had put in to create his stone wall, while at the same time having total confidence in my 35 years that I had boldly posted.
It is thus that they are connected with other creations no less prestigious, such as properties hidden in the woods, city gardens and some situated in the heart of the prestigious domain of Terre Blanche.
CAN YOU EXPLAIN YOUR PROFESSION?
My profession has become a way of life. It is what is interesting in life, it is sharing emotions. And so, the garden lets me express these emotions, which is why my clients call me the “landscape artist.”
When a garden is created, I am inside the emotions of the client who needs to express it as a function of his/her lifestyle and expectations, and MY perception must express that. This is why creating a garden is an art. To be a landscaper is to be confronted each time with a new place, a different climate or soil, different desires, a different way of life, and also a different budget. There are all these constraints that enable me to develop my creativity. I think that one cannot be a landscaper without having a certain philosophy, a certain approach, a certain poetry.
I love challenges. I love to be surprised. It is all the constraints that allow me to find surprising solutions and to render the garden unique.
HAVE YOU WRITTEN ANY BOOKS BEFORE “SMALL GARDENS” AND CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THEM?
What I love about my profession is the idea of sharing and the diversity. In my first book I wanted to present four gardens completely different from one another. And if this book is entitled “Dialogue with some Mediterranean Gardens,” it is not by chance. Because the three gardens are totally different, a rapport between nature and the landscaper is more than perceptible.
An exceptional property that I created twenty five years ago, an old “mas” and its authentic frame, a sublime garden in the domain of Terre Blanche in Fayence, and several canvases to speak of this similitude between painting/garden or if you prefer, tableau/live tableau.
The second book speaks of the sharing that I love so much but approached in a different manner as it calls for a common language to converse with my clients and go over my advance projects.
But it is always a question of art, of the art of the garden from whence the title:
“From Art to Architecture in the Garden”
CAN YOU PRESENT THE GUIDE “SMALL GARDENS” AND CAN YOU TALK TO US ABOUT IT?
This work was born after a client reflected, “What a shame that I didn’t know you earlier – my garden has required me to do forced labor for ten years.”
This is how I realized that many types of gardens exist:
The large property will routinely require a landscape architect to reach the desired result without a break.
Then there is the grand property or average one that has already known certain difficulties with a landscape management that may leave something to be desired or that must be redone.
The latter contact us with urgency and knowing the cause.
And then there is the small garden. Small in area (between 30 and 500 m2), but one can also categorize the small garden in a modest budget where each thinks to be able to do his/her best in “do it yourself” pleasure, using the corner garden center or going down to the nursery on a Saturday afternoon. And there, it is as if you would take a trowel and play at masonry yourself.
If you knew the number of gardens I’ve redone!