The first edition of the Carré des Jardiniers, the top contest for the Landscaping sector, was held in December 2011. Over the last eight years, four gardening and landscaping professionals have been rewarded for their work and won the prestigious Master Gardener title. See what former Master Gardeners say…
The Master Gardeners
PHILIPPE POILANE (2011), LUC ECHILLEY (2013), SYLVÈRE FOURNIER (2015) and ANNE CABROL (2017) have all lived this extraordinary modern-day and essentially human and professional adventure. Each winner has a unique profile, expertise and personality, but all share the same passion for gardening and its values. The Carré des Jardiniers is a fantastic opportunity to promote and highlight the diversity of the sector and all the different trades and professions involved in the landscaping business. Applications are open until March 8th for the 2019 edition. Below we feature the comments of previous winners and their visions of the contest, its specificities and what it did for them! Talk to three of them !
Luc Echilley, Master Gardener 2013 when the theme was “Paradise
“This adventure gets us out of our routines”
His garden in pictures (soon available)
From the Provence region of South-East France, Luc Echilley found this adventure totally positive. “Especially as I won!” he jokes. “I had built up a team of several professionals with whom I worked on a regular basis. The contest motivated us to work differently, to do something new. The preparatory work is intensive for 6 whole months as preparation for the contest is enormous. You have to find sponsors and imaging how to execute your ideas at Eurexpo. That’s what’s vital!. This preparatory work which paid off and took Luc to victory was a garden both Zen and contemporary, with a ground-level “nest-cocoon” central element covered with feathers. A garden which he recreated during the summer of 2014 in the «Bambouseraie d’Anduze», one of his main sponsors! This garden is still a source of inspiration today: “When I have difficulty finding ideas, it allows me to recover my forces and progress”. The Carré des Jardiniers adventure opened new markets for Luc: “Thanks to my title, I won missions in Paris and Avignon, which is the main gateway to the South of France for people from Paris with holiday homes in Provence. I was able to trade up – and the regional press talked about it for a long time”. Currently, Luc Echilley works on top-of-the-range projects for private gardens in France (Paris and the Riviera) and abroad: “These projects are very varied – large estates, smaller properties and the hotel trade market which is starting to grow”.
Sylvère Fournier, Master Gardener 2015 when the theme was “Recreation”
“A great moment of shared happiness”
His garden in pictures (soon available)
Sylvère Fournier links his victory in the Carré des Jardiniers to the concept of happiness – happiness shared with his team and the public : “After so much pressure during the preparation and the assembly phases we could enjoy the contest because we were able to execute our garden exactly as we had imagined it – and we could see that the visitors enjoyed it too!”. The best moments? Those spent with the team, despite moments of stress which today are fond memories: “Apart from our victory, several incidents come to mind like the fact that our painter painted the wrong side of the hut. Imagine the stress! Or the trip to Lyon with a semitrailer and four 3.5 T trucks, one of which had a trailer – you would have said a circus!” The Master Gardener title brought fame to Sylvère and his company Passion Jardin: “The impact of the contest is not immediate. It takes a few months for the national media to relay the information but you can stir things up a bit by contacting the regional media yourself. The contest highlights the company and its image, gives you greater freedom to design and builds customer confidence in your work. Today we work on garden projects much bigger than before”.
It should be said that since his Carré des Jardiniers adventure, Sylvère has gone on the contest trail – and done well. He won the ″Prix de la Création Paysagère" at Jardins, Jardin in 2016 and the "Prix de la Presse" at Jardins Jardin in 2017. Perhaps his crop of prizes will continue in 2019: “We are competing in the Riviera festival project and are among the 15 finalists with our “From one bank to the other” garden. To be continued…
Anne Cabrol, Master Gardener 2017 when the theme was “The good care of Doctor Garden”
“The contest effect is highly motivating and the source of beneficial stress”
Her garden in pictures (soon available)
For Anne Cabrol, Master Gardener title winner in 2017 with her “Happy People” garden, the contest was all about team work : “Team spirit is paramount. We are all highly stressed in the last days of the contest. That’s when it’s vital to stick together, to think of the others and be tolerant in difficult situations. Our team was very all-round, with experienced gardeners and inevitably subjects with which some were more at ease than others. Among my most beautiful memories, except for the result, is the moment when we all had a snack together under the garden pergola on the last evening before dismantling!” This adventure taught her a lot about management, even if she knew her whole team well as they all work, like herself, for the Tarvel group: “Management of this kind of project is inevitably different because everyone is all out for a specific duration. A team is more effective when totally motivated and when it believes in what it’s doing! Now, when we get to work together, we have greater confidence in each other and are more interdependent”. One year after her title of Master Gardener, Anne is still wrapped in an aura and carries high the colours of the landscape designing business!
Over and above the prize-winners, the Carré des Jardiniers is a human and professional adventure shared by the finalists (5 every two years) and all the participants. Everyone is 100% committed to their project and learns enormously from the experience!