And if Vauban had been a gardener

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Clou de jalonnement circuit Vauban


From garden to garden, these marker studs show us the way to go, with the Place Abbatucci as a start and finish point.

Perennials garden

Le pouvoir des fleurs

Quite honestly, the ideal garden for me would be a little more chameleon-like with different flower varieties and colours for each season. But as a sensible gardener, just like for the hundred soldiers that I always preferred to save my king rather than take a thousand from my enemy, I prefer today to save the environment and the men rather than run out of our resources in the name of fashion.

With annual plants, which certainly inspire me, I wouldn’t chose as many whereas with perennials I can choose just as many simple and hardy plants for my flower beds. Moreover these plants can resist all seasonal sieges, even the most difficult!

Vauban jardinier : illustration Jardin des Vivaces


From the fortress to the canal: a new era

At the end of the 17th century, Vauban was already presenting the principle of a canal in Alsace, “a canal next to the river, separated by chambers and locks which could start at the end of Huningue’s fore-ditch and continue up to Strasbourg.”

The interest of a segment until Mulhouse – the Huningue Canal – wasn’t obvious however until the canal project of the Rhone to the Rhine, imagined in 1744 by Claude-Quentin La Chiche, a young officer from the Royal Engineering Corps. Although the objective of this junction of 28,086 km was to guarantee the feeding of the future canal, along with the Largue and the Ill rivers, it was immediately built between 1810 and 1833 with a navigable size and with locks.

Canal de Huningue au 19e siecle

It thus contributed to the flourishing of the Huningue port with all the traffic starting or stopping there as still unable to reach the Rhine lock. The towing then became electrified, making Strasbourg only four days away.

The drop in harbour activity after the Second World War anounced the downgrading of the canal for navigation, imposed by the commissioning of the Kembs-Niffer connection on the great Alsace canal in 1961.

The Huningue canal has since returned to its initial function of supplying water and earned the role of an ecological corridor, reinforcing the green infrastructure of this tri-national conurbation. The harbour wilderness has been transformed into the Parc des eaux vives, as a result of a reclassification operation finalised in 1993.


Long Live Perennial!

Massif d'EchinaceaIn the fields, forests, ponds and more and more in the urban gardens, hardy plants are everywhere. Botanists describe them as being perennials which means they live for several years, as opposed to annuals or bi-annuals.

More specifically, horticulturists recognise herbaceous and semi-ligneous plants as being hardy plants. They fructify several times in a lifetime, disappear most often during winter, but their stems remain for a couple of years. Plants only stay perennial when placed in conditions similar to the country of origin. In Alsace, the continental climate requires plant species which can handle both freezing winter weather and summer heat waves.

As for gardeners, perennials are their pride and joy, embellishing their borders and flowerbeds for a long time with infinite combinations of colours and textures! They can thus avoid incessant planting, treating or watering, and simultaneously greatly enhance biodiversity.

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