Initiated by the Klorane Botanical Foundation, the Botany for Change awards are a competition aimed at students of botany, horticulture, architecture and landscaping. Each year, the participants are asked to imagine the Urban Garden of Tomorrow, an urban greening project that puts plants back at the centre of our lives, towns and cities.
In 2018, the "Nymph Garden" imagined for the city of Marseille by Mathilde Clément and Nicolas Delporte, won over the selection panel for the Botany for Change Award.
What has become of the "Nymph Garden"?
Nicolas Delporte, one of its creators, returns regularly to check on the progress of his project “Jardin des Nymphes” (Nymph Garden).
This is a perfect opportunity to hold workshops with the gardeners of the Service Espace Vert of Marseille.
Based on the principle of promoting Mediterranean biodiversity, this garden harbours a strong ecological dimension as it uses an ingenious system of basins to limit irrigation and water loss.
Displayed in Marseille's Prado Spa Park, the "Nymph Garden" raises the public's awareness of the richness of this biodiversity which must be preserved at all costs.
Continuous observation and transfer of the Garden designer's knowledge
In order to ensure the durability of the Jardin des Nymphes and guarantee the mission of handing down the Foundation, three land changes took place in 2019.
Spring work shop: A positive assessment and avenues for improvement.
This first workshop was very beneficial and concluded that the plant selection (hardy plants adapted to the climate) and the watering system were wise choices:
- The plants are voluminous and vigorous, and some are even reseeding spontaneously (lavender, euphorbias...).
- A diverse fauna was also observed (birds, lizards, bees, beetles...).
- The gardener in charge of irrigation was surprised at the infrequent need to water the garden.
- Lastly, the weeding proved to be time-consuming, mainly due to bindweed invading certain parts of the garden.
Autumn workshop: a thriving garden despite the heat –wave
Monday, 21st of October, the managers of the garden appear to be very satisfied with the evolution of the plants.
They are also pleasantly surprised by the strength and minimal watering requirements of certain plants with which they were not familiar, and are now even considering planting them elsewhere. Only the grass seems weak due to the initial state of its roots.
Despite the season, the garden is still in flower (Lippia, wild garlic and fringed lavender), foliage is nice and green and full thanks to the autumnal rain. The blossoming of Lippia is impressive as it has not stopped since the last June workshop.
Nicolas Delporte applauded the adaptability, diligence and great work done by the Service Espace Vert de Marseille team.
An educational garden
A labeling system developed in partnership with the Botanical Garden of Marseille was set up during the June workshop.
Slates strung on steel rods display the Latin name and family of each plant.