Pascal Garbe

Gardens and Public conference in Metz, France

I spoke about “Gardening the City: Networking Small Green Spaces” at the Jardins y Publics conference last week in Metz, France. The conference brings together world leaders in botanic gardens, garden design, local governments, and tourism. It is organized by Pascal Garbe and the Conseil Général of Moselle, with support from the European Union.

The conference exceeded my imagination in terms of discussing new publics for gardens: the disabled, children, seniors, and refugees. I appreciated the outward focus beyond the walls of the garden, and the attendees were very interested to hear about Tokyo street gardens and urban wildness.

One of the most interesting and discussed talks was by Fritz Haeg, who has turned American lawns into vegetable gardens and received much attention from contemporary art museums. I am interested to read his book about this project, called Edible Estates.

Other speakers included leaders of the Barcelona, Singapore, New York and Montreal botanic gardens, Scandinavian garden designers, nonprofit community organizers, health advocates, and promoters of private gardens. Attendees included local government officials and landscape design students from this interesting area along the French, German and Luxembourg border.

The conference was an amazing experience. Further highlights included visiting the Jardins Fruitiers de Laquenexy, and the Centre Pompidou-Metz. Metz itself is a charming town divided between a historic French city around a very steep cathedral, and a German city built around the train station.

Invited to speak at Gardens and Publics conference in France

Moselle illustrated apple

This week I was surprised to receive an invitation from Monsieur Pascal Garbe to speak about Tokyo Green Space at next year’s Gardens and Publics international conference in Metz, France. The conference is sponsored by the European Union and the Conseil Général de la Moselle.

Monsieur Garbe is the Director of Jardins Fruitiers de Laquenexy, a fruit tree garden that is over one hundred years old. Laquenexy has an apple exchange program with Hirosaki, Aomori, Japan’s largest apple producer in the North. Laquenexy is one of the few European growers skilled at “printing” messages on apples (as seen above).  There is a great post that explains how it is done on the UK’s Royal Horticultural Society’s blog and Monsieur Garbe’s role in sharing this technique. Monsieur Garbe is also involved in a regional tourist cooperation network of gardens and horticultural producers spanning Frances’ Moselle department and neighboring provinces in Luxembourg and Germany.

A past speaker at the Jardins sans Limites conference is noted Japanese landscape designer and monk Shunmyo Masuno (枡野俊明) of Kenkoh-ji temple. I am humbled to present this research amidst leading garden designers, botanic garden directors, horticultural leaders, journalists and writers, and government officials.