The Autumn Journées des plantes in Chantilly were heavenly with perfect cool and sunny weather and newcomers such as Jean Marie Dheedene from the Clematis Foundation in Belgium. He develops new clematises which survive better the heat and need little watering and has classified them all according to the flowering period and the perfume. I visited Claire Le Meur who is in Brittany near Quimper and specializes in camellias and rhododendrons. Both are true plant growers and can talk to you endlessly about their new creations.
Heuchera were numerous this year with their multicolor leaves and Pépinière des Deux Caps won a recommendation for its “Amber’s Little Treasure”. Once again, Les Jardins d’Ecoute s’il pleut won a botanical certificate for its Asian fern “Lepsisorus tosaensis”. An apple, “Reine des Reinettes” (my favorite) was chosen as best comestible plant at Pépinères Chatelain. The “choice of the heart” from the Jury went to “Sassafras albidum”, a laurel of the Iroquois from the South East of the US and Mexico, which changes color from light green to yellow, pink and red in the Autumn at Boca Plantes. The next edition of Journées des Plantes will be in May 2024. I went for a fig tree which now grows easily in Northern regions like l’Oise and the bicolor Agapanthe.
In the new beautiful premises of Sciences Pô Paris, Alexandre de Vitry was awarded the Prix Emile Perreau-Saussine 2023 for his book “Le Droit de choisir ses Frères? Une histoire de la fraternité” (the right to choose one’s brothers, a history of fraternity), published by Gallimard. Created by Marie Christine Perreau- Saussine, it is given every year to a writer under 40 who writes about philosophy, politics and religion. Her son Emile, was professor at Sciences Pô in Paris and at Cambridge University where he taught Philosophy, politics and religion. He abruptly died thirteen years ago at 37 from a heart attack.
Introduced by Pierre François, a contemporary of his, who runs the doctoral school at Sciences Pô and by Philippe Raynaud, Professor at Panthéon Sorbonne, Alexandre de Vitry reminded everyone that he had been selected for the first Prize twelve years ago and was delighted to be the laureate today. He teaches XX th and XXI st century litterature at the Sorbonne. I had the surprise to discover that his wife Servane Dargnies de Vitry, who was in the audience, is the curator at Musée d’Orsay of the Louis Janmot show. What an interesting couple!
On avenue Matignon, the trendy center for galleries on the Right bank, the news came from another intellectual, Claire Bretécher, who was born in Nantes in 1940 and passed away in 2020. She was the first woman to draw comic book stories (bandes dessinées), first in the 1960’s in Pilote magazine, where René Goscinny (the inventor of Asterix with Uderzo) was editor in chief. Then, exactly fifty years ago, in 1973 in Le Nouvel Observateur, she published her “Salades de saison” and “Les Frustrés”, which became the best sociological study of generations of women. One of her characters was called Cellulite. In 1985, she published “Les Mères”.
It took the owner of Galerie Huberty & Breyne three years to collect these 49 original leaves of drawings mostly of Les Frustrés published in le Nouvel Observateur. The gallery specializes in comics and will be showing Loustal very soon in Paris. It has three exhibition spaces in Brussels. (until November 10, 36 avenue Matignon).
I also read a hilarious new novel (only in French unfortunately) “Humus” by Gaspard Koenig, published by l’Observatoire. It is the story of two students at Agro, the agricultural school, who come from the Bourgeoisie for one, from a farming background for the other and decide to specialize in the study of earthworms (lombric in French). There are 6 000 different species and it has been proven by researchers from the Colorado State University that they significantly contribute to the world’s food production. They are true fertilizers. The two characters of Gaspard Koenig’s book have terrible misadventures in their quest for raising worms and the book ends up being a great critic of environmentalism as a doctrine when the local farmer sues the young Parisian for planting a hedge on his territory…
Share this Post