Let nature do its work.

Let nature do its work.

Magali Duburcq and Arnaud Douilliez met in their native France, they lived in Belgium for seven years, but it is in the Eastern Townships, in Orford, that they put down roots with their three children. The land where they built their ecological house two years ago is changing at a rate that surprises them, thanks to their desire to let nature take over.

Posted at 12:00 pm

Danielle Bonneau

Danielle Bonneau
Press

The house, built with a view to LEED certification, stands in the middle of an ancient pine forest, planted about forty years ago. “There were pines between which nothing grew,” explains Magali Duburcq. It was a monoculture and we tried, at home, to revive an ecosystem by growing completely different varieties. The soil was very acidic and you had to lend a hand to the vegetation. »

The couple turned to landscape architect Stéphanie Desmeules. “You had to meet certain prerequisites to get LEED certified, like choosing plants that need little water, using little or no fill, keeping as much of what’s in the ground as possible to avoid transportation, selecting local materials, explains this Last. Local slate was chosen for the patio and pathways. We have beautiful quarries in Quebec that offer different colored materials. »

Recovering biodiversity was a problem, and the owners were very open and very sensitive to this issue, specifies Ms.me Desmiles. “Monoculture had made it possible to see very far between the logs,” she says. Many large bushes and small trees were planted on the roadside to prevent people from having a direct view of the house, and 150 varieties of plants, shrubs, perennials and trees were planted around the house. Everything had to be indigenous, edible or have certain medicinal properties, to make herbal teas, for example. »


PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, THE PRESS

Magali Duburcq is surprised to see how quickly the environment in her home changes. The harvest of fruits and vegetables is already abundant.

The planting took place in the spring of 2021. In the second summer, Magali Duburcq could not believe the speed with which nature reclaimed the land.

There does not appear to have been any human intervention. We let everything grow back completely naturally. I find it magnificent, because it brings authenticity.

Magali Duburq

“Often the gardens are disinfected. Everything is clean. It’s very pretty, but it’s very cold. While he’s there, it’s an invitation to relax, to tell himself that a plant can grow crooked and still be beautiful and attractive, he adds. This gives us the ability to do our best and not always have to be perfect. »

  • The house, built with a view to LEED certification, stands in the middle of an ancient pine forest, planted about forty years ago.

    PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, THE PRESS

    The house, built with a view to LEED certification, stands in the middle of an ancient pine forest, planted about forty years ago.

  • The plants have been chosen with care.  Everything that has been planted grows back naturally.

    PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, THE PRESS

    The plants have been chosen with care. Everything that has been planted grows back naturally.

  • The chosen plants had to be native, edible or have certain medicinal properties, to make infusions, for example.

    PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, THE PRESS

    The chosen plants had to be native, edible or have certain medicinal properties, to make infusions, for example.

  • Local slate was chosen for the terrace.

    PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, THE PRESS

    Local slate was chosen for the terrace.

  • All family members feast on, among other things, the strawberries that grow in the field.

    PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, THE PRESS

    All family members feast on, among other things, the strawberries that grow in the field.

  • Recovering biodiversity was a problem, and the owners were very sensitive to this issue.

    PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, THE PRESS

    Recovering biodiversity was a problem, and the owners were very sensitive to this issue.

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wish to return

Stéphanie Desmeules won the Habitat Design Prize, Landscape Architecture 2021, for transforming the site into a living and nurturing space. However, she had almost given up the profession after the death of her husband, also a landscape architect. During her illness, the couple got very close to nature, in Saint-Denis-de-Brompton, in the Eastern Townships. “I found myself as a single mother, with three children, and I no longer wanted to find the rhythm of before, in an office”, reveals Ms.me Desmiles. I needed my community during my spouse’s illness and wanted to give back to my fellow man. »


PHOTO SUPPLIED BY STÉPHANIE DESMEULES

Landscape architect Stéphanie Desmeules believes in mutual aid and cooperation. She found her calling in seeking to help the environment and humans.

He found his way seeking to help the environment and humans, using the research he conducted on the benefits of nature in the health of sick and vulnerable people. She designs landscapes for schools, residences, and businesses. It also has a residential clientele. Believing in mutual help and cooperation, he offers various discounts to people and organizations that share the same values ​​as him.

“The people who come to see me don’t have the car of the year,” he explains. They really have an ecological conscience, which goes through the sensitivity of living together and sharing. They like to interact with their neighbors, share their tips, share their gardening tools, and learn from each other. »

It is another way of living, having the feeling of being able to trust others. This philosophy is widespread in the eastern municipalities.

Stephanie Desmeules


PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, THE PRESS

Around 150 varieties of plants, shrubs, perennials and trees have been planted around the house.

This generosity attracted Magali Duburcq, who is very involved in Orford, where she launched a mutual aid movement, notably through the Abondance Orford Facebook page.

“I also liked that he went looking for a more spiritual, energetic side of the plant and everything that is invisible and yet has an impact on the physical world,” he continues. We do not look for aesthetics, but in the end we find it, because we let life decide. It is much more powerful than when it is the human who decides. »


#nature #work

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