Wednesday , July 28 2021

In the paradise of Elie Semoun



MEETING – a humorist is an authentic lover of gardens. In particular, his own, who just designed and devoted the book. Bravo artist!

Elie Semoun likes to put her hands on the ground and preach to anyone who wants to hear it. Or rather read. The humorist has just published Forbidden lawn, Editions Ulmer, a way to share your passion for the garden with the audience. "But in my family – Jews from Morocco and Algeria – there was no tradition of plants and animals, I think that my liking for nature came to me from aquariums and fish, a bubble in which I took refuge in my mother's death in my 11 years. When I create a new "picture" in my garden, I find pleasure in the imaginary worlds of my childhood, but now they are true. "

"I spend time in my garden, energy, money, I treat the same care as writing my programs»

Elie Semoun

His little corner of paradise, he says, is in constant evolution. It sows, tears up, exaggerating each plot in a different way, through subsequent touches, like an impressionist … Carving a garden in its image, both capricious and orderly. What's more, he just pulled magnolia, which is adjacent to the house, to design a new composition on the released embankment, a marriage of azaleas, holly without thorns, panther plants (Farfugium japonicum) Some of them have curly leaves. "Every time I tell myself that I have no room for change, but I always find it."

This morning, this organized collection shines in the autumn tones. In front of the lake, which stretches the lawn, the golden yellow ginkgo seems to catch the sun, while in the shadow burns a bloody red maple. Asked whether he needed a guardian to support, he was offended: "I ammaniakować. I hate to let others do this for me, except my friend Dominique & Dumont. He is my manager for twenty-five years, this garden belongs to him as much as to me. But as a rule, I do everything myself. " Drawing inspiration from a huge library filled with gardening books.

Souvenir from the trip

The small pan surrounded by ties is dressed with moss and water lilies.

The small pan surrounded by ties is dressed with moss and water lilies. Jean-Christophe Marmara / JC MARMARA / LE FIGARO

"Since I was there, I cut three trees, two magnolias and plum trees, I had to make room for the ideas I had." Especially get rid of the garden from the 70s of the last century, which he hated. Paving blocks and SNCF passages have replaced cement to emphasize massifs, paths and stairs.

Behind almost every plant, every tree is the memory of a trip – it often appears in a car full of plants – or a gift of a friend. He collapsed, stopping at the beautiful cream-colored Abbey of Senanque (Vaucluse) during a visit to the monks who sought his help, ordered 12 tons. Now they form a dry stone wall in the sunniest place. Here he installed an insect hotel and two beehives. "There is only one species that I hate in nature, it is the Asian hornets, wreaked havoc on my hives."

Opposite the first pond considered to be too small became a peat bog, a litter of choice for carnivorous plants. The actor even founded a shelter on the edge of the water, a greenhouse brought from Bali, a luxurious cabin for a child, which is always small, where he writes while listening to jazz on a small radio.

"I understand more and more that plants are happy, unhappy, that they can suffer, so I watch them, listen to them and try to understand what they are telling me."

Elie Semoun

How to describe the kingdom of Elie Semoun? At first glance a merry mess, saturated with a heroic spirit, inherited from the owner's mounts, as evidenced by the advertising boards posted here and there, Buddhas who play elbows with a small rusty cock. In the 1930s metal chairs and benches were bought from his friend François Levantal, with whom he shared the stage in the room closetOvergrown loungers welcome you with a waterfall, surrounded by moss and water lilies. "It was dug up two years ago." The olive tree found in the kindergarten when visiting Valencia came just five years ago, it looks like he was here for 450 years, his age, I like things that look eternal. "

Chairs and benches made of wrought metal from the thirties reach the garden.

Chairs and benches made of wrought metal from the thirties reach the garden. Jean-Christophe Marmara / JC MARMARA / LE FIGARO

Out of all this emanates an infinite charm, but in reality here there is no room for coincidence, everything has been meticulously thought out, chosen, created. "I spend time in my garden, energy, money, I treat the same care as writing my programs»the perfectionist insists on it.

Here it is ecstatic in front of a tree with slightly dense and shiny foliage: "I'm proud of it, it's camphor tree"he rejoices when he crushes the leaves, which immediately rise. And as soon as you regret the fern (Dicksonia antartica) vegetate. "I love ferns and euphoria, I've definitely made a mistake putting him there, and I'm more and more aware that plants are happy, unhappy, that they can suffer." So I watch them, listen to them and try to understand what they're telling me. "

Elie assures him that he's crazy about his garden, he loves to find him as if he was a friend. "I treat him and he gives me his beauty, I do not like the word" maintain. "I try to give him freedom, he has many faces and I like it."


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