Planting a Magnolia Grandiflora in the gardens of Matignon


It has been a tradition since 1978 that each French Prime Minister taking office plants a tree of his or her choice in the gardens of Matignon. Jean-Marc Ayrault and on Thursday, November 29, 2012, it also lent itself to the exercise. He did not hesitate to give of his person to settle in this high place of the Republic, located in the 7 th arrondissement of Paris, a magnificent Magnolia Grandiflora – botanical name of the Louisiana Magnolia or Magnolia with big flowers.

The Prime Minister chose this evergreen tree, which particularly appreciates the climate of mild and humid regions and which, as a reminder, celebrated the tercentenary of its arrival in France via the port of Nantes last year.  The latter thus joins Raymond Barre’s sugar maple, Michel Rocard’s Copalme d’Amérique, Édouard Balladur’s silver maple, Édith Cresson’s tree of forty écus, Dominique de Villepin’s pedunculate oak, François Fillon’s Cornouiller des pagodes…

For the occasion, students from professional horticultural high schools were associated with this ceremony as well as professionals, specialists in magnolia. Unep, the professional organisation representing the 26,500 companies in the landscape recognised by the public authorities, was thus entrusted with the responsibility of providing the setting in which this Magnolia Grandiflora was planted. A “home-made” substrate was carefully prepared by the Gardening Expert, Alain Fontaine.

The latter has concocted a heather soil from a compost of leaves collected in the gardens of Matignon and added a third of leaf compost, then a third of topsoil. Emmanuel Mony, president of Unep, for his part, expressed his satisfaction at being associated with this plantation: “We are delighted to be associated with this plantation.  We are delighted to contribute to this event in the prestigious gardens of the Hôtel de Matignon.

It is a magnificent park that the French can discover during the Rendez-vous aux Jardins, an event that takes place at the beginning of June every year. The landscape entrepreneurs, whom I represent, welcome the planting of this tree: beyond the symbolic act, it is a signal to the French people about the contribution of plants to our cities and more generally about the importance of green spaces, which create social links and are an element of public health”.

Visitors will therefore be able to come and admire this magnolia at the next opening of the Matignon Gardens to the public.

For more information:

Laetitia Devillars
Photo credit of Une : Pierre Chabaud/Matignon