Witness of the time of the Impressionists and the passage of great masters who marked the village such as Monet, Cézanne or even Van Gogh, the Château d'Auvers is a place steeped in history. Its gardens and parks, open all year round to the public, take us back in time thanks to Martine Loobuyck who links art and nature in her work, to honor the flagship theme of the Impressionists.
Tell us about your background
Since 2002, I am a Designer and International Master in Floral Art. I am also Park and Garden Manager at Château d'Auvers-sur-Oise. With the help of my team, I organize every year "les Irisiades", a veritable iris festival linking art to nature, a favorite theme of the Impressionists. My passion for flowers and their beauty has led me for over ten years to organize and animate floral art workshops "O'Vert Flore" at Château d'Auvers-sur-Oise. Workshops held throughout the year, open to adult beginners, initiates and children. These meetings are an opportunity for me to transmit, to plant lovers but also to the young generation, this know-how which is so dear to my heart. My creations, like those of my students, have already won awards in competitions bringing together professionals and enthusiasts.
What can you see in the gardens of the Château d'Auvers?
We can admire a French garden, a hornbeam labyrinth, a collection of Germanica iris, (note: the baptism of a Château d'Auvers iris in 2005, then in 2013 for the 10th anniversary of the "Irisiades", the baptism of an "Impressionist" iris and a "Château d'Auvers" fuchsia), an impressionist-style flower canyon, a purple beech classified as "remarkable" as well as a 5-hectare park with a wooded area presenting various species of trees.
How were the gardens designed?
Part of it was designed by Mr. Lablaude, architect and site manager in 1987, when the General Council of Val d'Oise became the owner. In 1994, the site was reopened to the public after 7 years of work. This year, we are celebrating the 20 years of public opening of the Château d'Auvers and its gardens. In 2002, Marie-Cécile Tomasina, the new director of the Château, initiated the "Iris Festival". This plant and artistic scene has changed the iris, a flower dear to Vincent Van Gogh. The festival was replaced by the "Irisiades" in 2009. Together, we have created themed spaces and flowerbeds of collection iris. We are constantly working on the layout of our gardens to keep the soul and richness of this Valienien heritage. Our visitors can therefore enjoy this floral and plant show in all seasons.
You can also see a terraced garden, is this something easily achievable for an individual?
It is always better to call in a specialist, a landscaper, however small your garden is! To create a terraced garden, it is essential to work on the existing, the place itself and respect for its environment. Then comes the creation phase which will give life to your garden. Like an architect who designs plans, your garden will be built from your planting ideas, your research and the harmony of plants between them.
Do you have any advice for those who want to get started?
A garden is never finished, but first of all it is necessary to question and study what one wishes to find there: a play of colors, different styles, a spectacle that changes with the seasons, green garden ... The most important thing if you don't have an "expert gardener" by your side is to have love, a passion for plants and flowers and respect for nature. Your garden will reward you for your research.