Gardening in the landscapes

The Domaine du Rayol takes an original, often radical approach to gardening in a Mediterranean climate. Following the principles proposed by Gilles Clément, the techniques used follow a few guiding principles: movement, mixing, evolution of species and landscapes, and the transition and transformation of vegetation (the living world), matter (the earth) and the spirit.

The Planetary Garden is a way of looking at ecology by integrating man – the gardener – into the smallest of his spaces. The philosophy that underpins it borrows directly from the Garden in Movement: “Work as much as possible with, and as little as possible against.” The goal of the Planetary Garden is to look for ways to exploit diversity without destroying it, to keep the planet “machine” going and the garden alive; that’s the job of the gardener.
Gilles Clément

Gardening principles

  • Respect the natural cycle of all plants, particularly herbaceous plants. Meadows should be selectively mown only after fruiting and seed dispersal. These areas are thus managed in different ways just like gardens in motion.
  • Reduce watering whenever possible.
  • Use climate- and soil-compatible species to keep artificial maintenance to a minimum.
  • Ban pesticides that are likely to kill insects, flora and bacterial fauna, disturb natural predation relationships and ecological chain mechanisms within each ecosystem, and alter the biological capacity of soil and groundwater.
  • Lastly, heal the soil rather than hurt it. Aerate it without turning over the lower layers, use only compost, never leave the soil bare, welcome the ‘secret gardeners’, etc.