Russell Page's Garden

Prégny-Chambésy (Switzerland)

The Challenge

This garden was originally designed in 1956 by one of the greatest landscape architects of the 20th century, Russell Page, who mentions it in his famous book, The Education of a Gardener. The garden, made of living elements, has since necessarily evolved. When Lionel visits the garden for the first time in 2015, several trees planted during Page’s time, are dying of honey fungus. Many questions arise. How to evolve this garden and its plantings? How to consider tree replanting, in particular the choice of species and cultivars? How to improve the general phytosanitary state of the garden and to manage sustainably its tree heritage?

The Solution

From the beginning, Lionel considers his intervention only with the upmost respect of Page’s original design. Researches conducted in his archives have unveiled his original drawings, which guide the overall intervention. The latter aims at bringing back the garden to its former glory, underline its design and recover the contrast between formal architectural elements and soft plantings, a characteristic of Page’s work.

Lionel’s role as a designer slightly disappears, to become more that of a conductor, who searches and coordinates the best contractors and supervises works according to the homeowner’s wishes and conditions. The interventions span many aspects covering the long-term investments planning as well as advices to rationalize garden maintenance.