The gardens – The History
We meet together. It is the beginning of a story of love and passion, but not just for each other. The gateway to the infinite and fabulous world of plants is wide open.
1992 à 2000
We travel more and more with only plants in the head, visiting gardens, arboretum, botanical gardens, nurseries, plant fairs. This is the beginning of a compilation of photos and informations in the form of paper cards. Soon the computer enters the scene and the cards are organized in a database: EuroEncycloPlant (European Ecyclopedia of Plants).
A problem appears, the management of the photos, the numerical resolution is only at its beginnings and to integrate as many photos in this base is maybe unrealistic. A first desire to present this source of information in the form of CDrom appears, but the overabundance of data is a brake on this project which remains suspended over time. Maybe later.
The family gets bigger and moves into their new home. "Les jardins du Florilège" are born in Bastogne, in the heart of a altitude plateau, in Belgian Ardenne. 1ha of cultivated land is gradually transformed into a large landscaped garden, according to our imagination. The spirit of collection is the key word and several kinds of plants are installed, tested and sometimes approved.
Over the selections, Laurent's interest is more towards conifers that adapt perfectly in this rich soil, loamy, fresh and sometimes very wet, the water tables are not deep. By the fall of the needles, the soil becomes slightly acidified and the heather plants also find their way. The travels continue, bringing new rare plants to the collections, but also new photos and informations thus feeding the European Encyclopedia of Plants.
The interest of our brothers and sisters of passion is increasing, the visits of "Les jardins du Florilège" multiply and in 2010, while a trip organized by the Britisch Conifer Society tumbles with 40 guests in Bastogne, Derek P. Spicer, of which he is the president and member of the RHS, photographs many of the remarkable subjects in our collections and partially illustrates them in the encyclopedia of Conifers - a comprehensive guide to cultivars and species. The most recognized Bible in the world of conifers, in two volumes.
"Les jardins du Florilège" take a new path and the craze for development resumes. A desire pleases us more than anything: sharing.
Sharing our passion, our biodiversity, our collections, our discoveries, our knowledge, all that we have collected and are still harvesting from our multiple epics. We open the gardens to the general public, as well as a nursery of rare and collectible plants where conifers are ubiquitous. From then on, we exhibit our wealth at renowned plant fairs. Moreover, our candidacy is accepted at the days of the plants of Courson, of international fame and then, of Chantilly.
In 2015 our candidacy for the "Open Gardens of Belgium", founded by Baroness Jelena de Belder (+), is also accepted.