Research Notebook


I started A[r]bor[e]tum with little knowledge of botany. The only plant companions that shared my living space and my moves were a few cacti inherited from my grandmother and a jasmine.
Passionate about this project and keen to take care of the plants generously donated for the Sauvageonnes! exhibition, by Monique Forestier and Fred Blondeau, simples producers, I had the chance to be welcomed between fields and forest, within the collective artistic Terre Blanque, in the company of all the plants, moss, seedlings and cuttings suddenly exfiltrated when confinement put an end to the exhibition.
In this ideal biotope, I continued my learning and my collaboration with the plant world, taking care of the plants and pregnant seedlings.
Then with the means at hand I made a greenhouse to watch with delight the seeds germinate and marvel as they grew at the diversity of shapes, sizes and colors of the seedlings. But in the small, enclosed space of the greenhouse, the plants are more fragile and regularly attacked by a whole host of parasites: leafhoppers, mealybugs, aphids, etc. For each attack, the appropriate defense must be found. So I tried different solutions to limit invasions of voracious insects and the spread of cryptogamic diseases: nettle manure, comfrey manure, lavender manure, garlic decoction, sprays of black soap… with more or less success.
I wandered the surrounding woods examining the evolution of plants, discovered different permaculture methods during readings and internet excursions, missed the rooting of oleander cuttings, discussed and followed the advice of my neighbors. Gardening enthusiasts, first experiment and finally discover for each plant its optimal growing conditions: type of soil, exposure, frequency of watering.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Growth of A[r]bor[e]tum

A[r]bor[e]tum first emerged in the form of a rudimentary, analog greenhouse during the Sauvageonnes exhibition! from March and September 2020.
Then, the plants continued to grow in Graulhet, during the Frontière(s) exhibition. The project was then equipped with a 4m2 greenhouse in polycarbonate and metal, solid and transportable with my car, for more autonomy. A first grain library shared with visitors 6 species of seeds.
In September 2021, during my residency at Labomédia I tinkered with a computer program to automate the watering and lighting of the greenhouse and make a larger seed bank to accommodate the 15 varieties of seeds.
I continue to learn by observing and caring for the 29 species of plants presented to the public in the greenhouse. Since the start of the project, thanks to plant generosity, A[r]bor[e]tum has shared a thousand seeds in December 2023, redistributed a hundred cuttings at the end of the exhibitions.

Interview video about A[r]bor[e]tum (from 05mn) produced by Tv Bruit during the Sauvageonnes Festival!
Interview video about A[r]bor[e]tum (from 1mn50), interview: Eva Lecointre and video: Anton Turchaninov. Sphere CPP – Sciences Po Bordeaux

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