Interview with Eric Poustis, creator of the Gardens of Eden

Interview with Eric Poustis, creator of the Gardens of Eden

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The gardens are revealed as if by magic under the expert hands of Eric Poustis. This landscaper from the Bordeaux region, passionate about Japan and the secular art of Zen gardens, opened the doors of his daily life to us: a life in the middle of nature that he brilliantly orchestrates!

How did your vocation for gardens come about?

I have been very attached to outdoor life since my childhood. As a child, I already spent a lot of time gardening in the family home… So it was only natural that I turned to training in landscaping after my baccalaureate. My first professional experiences were forged in the following years with the different landscapers in the Bordeaux region for whom I worked. At the time, the creation of golf courses was booming, so I first specialized in this niche: after having participated in the creation of several golf courses, I managed one myself for 3 years. The opportunity to create my own business having finally presented itself to me in the early 90s, I decided to try the adventure!

How were your first years as an auto-entrepreneur?

I have used a lot of the experience acquired during multiple golf achievements; I knew how to manage a team perfectly, but I missed the creative part. The personalized creation of private gardens had become a priority for me, and I quickly took pleasure in imagining the different atmospheres for the gardens of my clients. The company has grown over the years, and Jardins D'Eden now has two co-managers and around ten employees; we work mainly for individuals.

How do you see the relationship with your customers?

I always try to understand their expectations during the first interview, as much in the functionality of their garden as in their management of outdoor spaces. It is very important for me to know the relationship that everyone has with their garden, whatever their size! On the other hand, we are in a region with many second homes, which is a determining factor in the choice of plants. These gardens are contemplated differently in winter and summer, which is why my approach is different from that of a traditional landscaper. I always work collegially with my clients, bringing them my eyes while respecting their desires. I also make sure to personalize each garden in which I work, and to harmonize it with its environment.

Are there fashions in the garden, like in the textile industry?

Of course, but I fight against the standardization of exteriors every day! It is very easy for a landscaper to fall into ease by choosing plants that I could classify as a safe bet. The whole art of a successful garden consists in diversifying plants, while harmonizing volumes, textures, colors ... We are fortunate today to have a rich plant palette, it must be used! And above all, do not be satisfied with what large garden centers offer…

What are the gardens that inspire you?

Apart from the themed gardens, I am not a big fan of garden visits in general. On the other hand, I go every year to the Festival International des Jardins de Chaumont sur Loire, where I draw my inspiration, ideas for landscaping, combinations of plants, new materials ... This concentration represents for me an inexhaustible source of creativity … I am also passionate about Japanese gardens, both for the atmosphere they give off and for their sophisticated aesthetics. I also maintain the Zen garden of Nansouty in Bordeaux, and my greatest pleasure consists in browsing the parks and gardens of Japan when I am lucky enough to be able to go there!