Gardens, Landscape and Nature’s Genius

Inaugural Lecture at the Collège de France by Gilles Clément translated from French to English by Elzélina Van Melle

With photographs from La Vallée by Maria Finn, Anna Aslaug Lund, Laura Parsons & Elzélina Van Melle.

Edited by IKAROS press

A rare opportunity to access Gilles Clément’s original mindset and gain insight into a place of inspiration and co-creation with nature. Clément’s words and work are more relevant now than ever, presenting a tremendously powerful and relevant impetus for rethinking our present and future relationships with nature, garden culture, and sustainability.

In Gardens, Landscape, and Nature’s Genius, Clément introduces his key concepts. Originally written in 2011 as Clément’s inaugural lecture at the prestigious Collège de France in Paris, the text is now translated into English. The latter is accompanied by Clément’s own illustrations and a selection of new photographs from La Vallée garden in Creuse – his remarkable planetary laboratory.

The text is framed by inspirational material from Clément’s garden. The photographs by Maria Finn, Anna Aslaug Lund, Laura Parsons & Elzélina Van Melle were taken during the visitors’ stay in the author’s astonishing garden and shown at the exhibition ‘The Wisdom of a Garden’ in october 2020 at the Copenhagen-based Gallery Leth & Gori now frame Clément’s inaugural lecture and are accompanied by selected lecture quotes. The lecture is here published in English for the first time.


Text and illustrations by Gilles Clément
Translation from French by Elzélina Van Melle
Editorial board and photos by Anna Aslaug Lund, Laura Parsons, Maria Finn, Elzélina Van Melle
Photo edited by Henrik Edelbo
Graphic design by Laura Silke
Copy edited by Merl Storr
Photo edited by Henrik Edelbo
Printed by Narayana Press
With the generous support of Havekulturfonden and Dreyers Fond