Le petit livre: Gilles Clément’s paper garden





Gilles Clément, Garden in motion, neglected land, sketchbooks, landscape design


The Garden in Motion is a concept that was developed by Gilles Clément in the early 1980s as the result of the experimentation conducted in his garden-house, La Vallée. Clément’s interest in promoting this garden archetype based on managing neglected land led him to write a number of works in order to explain the conceptual underpinnings of his model, with the ultimate aim of having them published. From the writing of the first manuscripts, dating from 1984, to the first edition of “Le jardin en movement” in 1991, he produced a series of different documents that would form the basis of the text that was finally published. It was a long process in which Clément not only had to fully develop his ideas but also to overcome the difficulties involved in finding a company to publish what he called his ‘petit livre’. The aim of this article is to show the creative process behind Clément’s book and its relationship with the creative process of building his garden, while endeavouring to reply to the question of whether it is possible to establish an equivalence between both processes. This is made possible through the analysis of documents kept by Clément in his personal archive, some of which have never been published.


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Ávila, Carlos. "La vivencia proyectual de Gilles Clément en el Parque André-Citroën: un relato a través de sus Cuadernos de Croquis." RITA, Revista Indexada de Textos Académicos, no. 11 (2019): 56-65.

Basset, Frédérique. Les quatre saisons de Gilles Clément. Paris: Rue de l'échiquier, 2014.

Clément, Gilles. "Cuaderno de croquis. 1990." Unpublished manuscript. Gilles Clément personal archive, 1990.

Clément, Gilles. "Cuaderno Diario. 1988-1991." Unpublished manuscript. Gilles Clément personal archive, 1991.

Clément, Gilles. Eloge des vagabondes. Herbes, arbres et fleurs à la conquête du monde. Paris: Robert Laffont, 2014.

Clément, Gilles. "La friche apprivoisée." Urbanisme, no. 209 (August-September 1985): 92-95.

Clément, Gilles. "La friche et le jardin: le jardin en mouvement, principes d'utilisation des végétaux."Unpublished manuscript. Gilles Clément personal archive, 1984.

Clément, Gilles. Le jardin en mouvement. Synopsis. Introduction et chapitre I." Unpublished manuscript. Gilles Clément personal archive. Paris, n.d.

Clément, Gilles. "Jardins." Unpublished manuscript. Gilles Clément personal archive. Paris, 1984.

Clément, Gilles. La sagesse du jardinier. Paris: L'oeil neuf, 2004.

Clément, Gilles. Le salon des berces. Paris: NiL éditions, 2009.

Clément, Gilles, Alexandre Bailhache, and Georges Lévêque. Les Libres Jardins de Gilles Clément. Paris: Éd. du Chêne, 1997.

Clément, Gilles, Michael Londsdale, Jean-Marie Pelt, and Patrick Scheyder. Des jardins et des hommes. Montrouge: Bayard Éditions, 2016.

Dagenais, Danielle. "The Garden of Movement: Ecological Rhetoric in Support of Gardening Practice."

Studies in the History of Gardens & Designed Landscapes 24, no. 4 (2004): 313-340. https://doi.org/10.1080/14601176.2004.10435330

Dagenais, Danielle, and Louisa Jones. "Gilles Clément Revisited: Biology, Art and Ecology, a Reply to Danielle Dagenais." Studies in the History of Gardens & Designed Landscapes 26, no. 3 (2006): 249-252. https://doi.org/10.1080/14601176.2006.10435469

Gandy, Matthew. "Entropy by Design: Gilles Clement, Parc Henri Matisse and the Limits to AvantGarde Urbanism." International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 37, no. 1 (2013): 259-78. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01164.x

King, Peter, Carole Ottesen, and Graham Rose. Gardening with Style: A Private View of the World's Most Innovative Gardens. London: Bloomsbury, 1988.

Paul, Anthony, and Yvonne Rees. The Garden Design Book. London: Salem House Publishers, 1988.

Robinson, William. The Wild Garden, or, Our Groves and Shrubberies Made Beautiful. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

Roger, Alain. "Dal giardino in movimento al giardino planetario." Lotus Navigator, no. 2. I Nuovi paesaggi (2001): 70-81.

Skinner, Jonathan. "Gardens of Resistance: Gilles Clément, New Poetics, and Future Landscapes." Qui Parle 19, no. 2 (2011): 259-74. https://doi.org/10.5250/quiparle.19.2.0259

Tortosa, Guy. "Gilles Clément-Ein Naturforscher Zu Beginn Des 21.Jahrhunderts. Gilles Clément - a Naturalist at the Dawn of the Twenty-First Century." Wachsen, no. 6 (Spring 2002): 35-47.

Valéry, Marie-Françoise, and Georges Lévêque. French Garden Style. London: Frances Lincoln Ltd, 1990





Research articles
Received 2021-04-06
Accepted 2021-09-28
Published 2021-10-29