Experience Florence Taillandier’s “extraordinary garden” in Courpière (Puy-de-Dôme)

Florence Taillandier utters the word, with humility, with lip. Button. But if Charles Trenet had been able to stroll through this Courpière garden, it is no doubt that he would have defined it as extraordinary. “It’s not common, yes,” admits with a smile, him working several hours a day in what looks like a small oasis of peace.But if we go back in time, there was nothing that made us imagine the lush nature that would develop there 25 years later. You should have an expert eye to guess the potential of the place. “My husband took over the family business and we were looking for a house in the area. We wanted a small town with all the amenities around and a garden, nothing more, ”remembers the owner of the premises, born in Paris. When the couple visited, everything was in ruins, or almost.

The house had stood uninhabited for 10 years. And behind the door that led to the garden, there were only thorns. We took the person who showed us the floor when she told us that there was 1,000 m² of land because we did not see anything.

A garden attached to human needs

With her professional eye, Florence Taillandier, owner of a BTS in space planning and a letter and art education, knew how. “Patience and the length of time” was the key. “In the beginning, we mainly cleaned up, moved up, emptied …”, confides the enthusiast. Little by little, Florence Taillandier replanted. With one idea in mind, to turn this place into an ethnobotanical garden. “That is, it is linked to human needs, such as food or medicine,” the specialist clarifies. And the extra soul comes again from the conductor of the place: the species that bloom, each as surprising as the other. “I like unusual things,” Courpièroise confides in adoption.
Aside from a cherry tree and a linden tree, both centuries old today, Florence Taillandier chose to start from scratch to build her garden. “Circulation, stairs, dry stone walls, everything has been redesigned.” A titanic work that has never really stopped, although Courpièroise for 2-3 years acknowledges it, “the greatest is done”. It is precisely because “the garden is ripe” in the gardener’s opinion that she decided to open it to the public throughout the month of May. “It’s the first one,” she says. I do not want mass tourism, I just want enthusiasts to be able to see the work I have done to discover the species that grow here. »Japanese parsley was one of the experiments last year.

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About 600 different species

There are lots of species. About 600 to be exact. Trees, shrubs, flowers, aromatic and medicinal herbs, fruits, vegetables … There is everything. “And it’s rising every year,” warns Florence Taillandier. For that with the plant box is experimentation and acclimatization.

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I tried ginger, it works well. Last year it was Japanese parsley that also worked well and this year I am on Vietnamese coriander. We’ll see what it provides.

There are also species that Florence Taillandier has been looking for for a long time, convinced that they could adapt to the changing climate. This is the case with a tomentous cherry tree. “Climate change is here, it certainly is. We see it with the soil, which is very dry when we are first in April. So I’m looking for species that require a little water but are very resistant to cold.”

Moving

With this idea of ​​a climate that has changed over the last few years, the gardener has also changed his garden. It is no longer just ethnobotanical, but also on the go. “It changes all the time,” translates Florence Taillandier. It seems natural when it is not in the first place. But I let some spontaneous sowing take place if they fit well with the rest, ”the passionate imagine.
In order for the visit to be informative for the uninformed public, small, discreet boards have been arranged here and there, revealing the name of the species under development. From one day to the next, the show is never the same, it changes, colors, aspect. As proof, Florence Taillandier has walked the paths in her secret garden for 25 years without ever getting tired.

In May.? The garden will be open for visits on Mondays, Saturdays and Sundays from 14:00 to 18:00. Price: € 5. Contact: 04.73.53.11.60.

Sarah Douvizy

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