The theme of the 28th edition of the Chaumont-sur-Loire International Garden Festival is “Gardens of Paradise”. Is Paradise not the abode of the souls of the just and of the angels? A place of innocence and delights to which all of humanity aspires, is it not the dream of infinite happiness that has guided spirits for millennia?
And, for all of eternity, has the garden not been the figuration of Paradise, with the purifying water of fountains, the refreshing shadow of trees, the delightful scent of flowers, the gentle freshness of evening breezes…? Incidentally, don’t the words run into one another? As we know, “Pairidaēza” means “garden” in Persian.
A place of felicity where people enjoy unalloyed happiness and miraculous equilibrium, the garden is a space of dreams and of forgetting reality.
But what kind of Paradise can humanity conjure up today, bringing together nature as well as the best of contemporary inventions at the service of human values and respect for others? In our time, is it not the case that humanity needs to design a new terrestrial Paradise thanks to the connection and integration of two universes, the natural and the artificial? As in the time of Humanism, we are at a time of major historic transition that is giving rise to a new world and a “Renaissance”.
This paradise, where technology and nature must “meet harmoniously” and human beings must work together to foster a better world represented by marvellous gardens, awaits invention. The competitors of the 2019 edition have offered a contemporary vision of this paradise, successfully combining a utopian vision of this dream other place with modern-day inventions, in terms of both materials and plants.