In celebration of the 30th anniversary of The Historial de la Grande Guerre, Europes largest war museum embedded within the 13th Century Chateau de Peronne – Landscape Architect Peter Donegan has been commissioned to design a new garden for the French castle in the Somme region of Northern France.
Donegan‘s second time to design at the historic location, on this occasion the new landscape will be realised within the medieval buildings internal courtyard and officially inaugurated 25th June 2022.
In 2018 garden architect Donegan was 1 of 14 designers selected from around the globe to design at historic locations to commemorate the centenary of the ending of WW1. The peace garden, Jardin Eutychia (after the Greek Goddess of Happiness) was realised in the Chateau’s dried up moat.
“it is harrowing of the past when I consider the ultimate catalyst behind this garden, and my return to Péronne. On the other hand, how humbling is it to be invited again and relocate to design in a place I love so dearly.” noted Donegan.
“At first glance the garden is a visitors most beautiful welcome, but it contains also a herbarium of world war medicinal plants, virtual reality story telling and a full size Panzer tank, within a towns castle that has fallen 3 times.“, he continued.
Over the last 2 years the castles in-house research staff, it’s Director Hervé Francois and Donegan’s team have worked side by side on elements of the gardens detail. His other design challenge, the on site build time allowed for this historic project is but 2 weeks.
Chloe Quinn, Design Assistant with Peter Donegan Garden Design summarised it a little differently. “Any public garden designed within an elevated 3782.4 square metres over 3.5 levels to form a harmonious transition between the remains of the past, the old castle and an audacious modern construction (the newer museum of the great war built by the Conseil Général de la Somme in 1992) of course has its challenges. The greatest of them here being a symbolic journey from war to peace, and our joining building architect Henri Ciriani’s vision to that now seven century’s older“.
Landscape Contractor for the historic landscape is Monsieur Laurent Dachy. The gardens construction will be completed between March and April 2022.
Peter Donegan is an internationally renowned horticulturist, garden designer and speaker. His practice was borne in 2001 and very swiftly achieved acclaim winning a host of awards for 17th & 18th century gardens & show gardens at national competition.
Peter has designed at RHS Cardiff (2019), was accepted to design at Royal Horticultural Society‘s Hampton Court Palace (2020) and is the series garden designer for DIY SOS The Big Build for RTE Television.