Interview with Lucile Dubroca, creator of Lulu Jardine

Interview with Lucile Dubroca, creator of Lulu Jardine

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Talking with Lucile Dubroca is a real parenthesis of good humor and conviviality. Landscaper for over 20 years, this nature enthusiast specializes in the redevelopment of private gardens through her own agency which she mischievously called "Lulu Jardine". Apart from the outdoor spaces that she revamps with talent, the Marseille gardener devotes a large part of her free time to community life: community gardens, various projects in partnership with the city of Marseille, interventions in schools ... Lucile Dubroca is brimming with projects , while taking the time to savor his new professional adventure. It is by gardening that she agreed to answer our questions, with the energy and the good humor that characterize her.

After several years spent in a design office, you decided to launch your own structure ... Why this choice?

I actually worked for twenty years in an agency, most of whose projects were carried out in close collaboration with urban planners and local communities. When I finished my studies at the landscape school of Versailles in the early 90s, it was not easy for me to find my precise vocation. So I followed the most valued voice at the time by working in various landscape agencies abroad, on large-scale projects. This experience led me to Portugal, where for 10 years I participated in the exterior design of public gardens, schools, hospitals with Atelier ARPAS ... Although these years were extremely rewarding. 'From a personal and professional point of view, I wanted to turn to a smaller structure, in which I could benefit from total freedom. So I embarked, alone, on the adventure "Lulu Jardine" almost three years ago.

How do you approach your daily work?

First of all, I appreciate the contact with my customers! Advising them and reassuring them about their choices is an important step during the first interviews. I take the time to listen to their requests and point them in the right direction so that their project is consistent: an outdoor space, whatever its nature, must indeed remain easy to maintain while being in harmony with its environment (sunshine, wind…). On the plant side, I favor local plants as much as possible, which are not afraid of the heat of Marseille or the blows of Mistral.

You have invested a lot in community life, tell us about your different projects…

I embarked on school activities, with the establishment of gardening workshops for children. An activity decided somewhat by chance, following a request from a Marseille association looking for professionals in this sector. The opportunity for me to diversify my daily life, but above all an enriching experience, which allowed me to approach the winter period with much more lightness! In addition, I am in contact with the Terre de Mars and Terre en vue collectives, which are working to reintroduce urban agriculture. The idea consists in putting back into cultivation abandoned land or targeted by real estate projects, which not only allows to integrate local populations through collective work in the garden, but also to contribute to a renewal of food sovereignty by short circuits, associated with an awareness of techniques and growing cycles. We are in the process of establishing an agreement with the city of Marseille on the Place de la Rotonde, where we will offer gardening workshops from the start of the school year.

Finally, what are the gardens that inspire you?

My tastes tend more towards simple gardens, where everything is to be created from an existing complex. I particularly like the initiative taken in the brownfield site of Saint Nicolas in Redon, in which an association has been experimenting for several years with cultivation on polluted ground, not intended for this type of project. It is a big challenge, coupled with an interesting experience since gardeners and various stakeholders use only the elements they have on site, without bringing anything from the outside. In addition, I am very interested in the work of Thomas Martin, a young DPLG landscaper in Marseille, who is experimenting among other things with lasagna culture: the latter consists of superimposing cardboard and compostable waste to form the nourishing substrate likely to fertilize the places neglected of the city. "Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed", is a motto which applies fairly well to my way of understanding the garden, because it is essential for me to value what we have ... This will be the biggest challenge for generations to come.
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