Florent Morisseau, paysagiste

The work

Until the landscape designer Florent Morisseau took it on, this plot was no more than a mass of overgrowth, a dense proliferation of rampant, unruly vegetation. It was on this muddle of brambles and willows that the gardener based the construction of his project “potager embarqué”: the staging of the gradual transformation of a wooded plot into vegetable beds… floating ones! He gradually intertwined the overgrowth, creating braids of plants, then a framework of squares colonised by a host of different vegetables. As it nears the canals, the on-land maze transfers its labyrinth to the water:  by tradition stranded on the bank, the leeks and pumpkin patches are here placed into floating crates. They float on the water until their last stage: the boat. A shimmer of colours and scents, these vegetables grow in a raft and only leave to be made into soup or ratatouille.  This concept illustrates the desire to re-associate local production and consumption: in the heart of the Hortillonnages, this marriage is based on mobility.  It’s only one step, one canal, from marshland to plate… and even less if it floats!

The artist

Born in 1979, Florent Morisseau describes himself as an engineer-landscape designer and is a graduate of the Ecole nationale supérieure de la nature et du paysage de Blois.  In 2012, his “potager embarqué”, which had been maintained for four years on this plot, was awarded the first prize in the French National Vegetable Garden Competition, organised by the French Horticultural Society. Recognition for a powerful concept, which reinstates the food-producing vocation of the Hortillonnages.

First prize of the French National Contest of Vegetable Gardens Competition 2012