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Quebec's Garden of Books

Quebec’s Garden of Books in Decline


The Jardin de la Connaissance, made of stacks of old books, is slowly becoming part of the beautiful surrounding forest.

Fungi, ferns and moss grow on old books in a garden in Quebec. What better elements could go together into a sentence? Landscape architect Thilo Folkerts and Canadian artist Rodney LaTourelle designed the Jardin de la Connaissance in 2010, and since then, the 4,000 books that make up the garden walls have rotted and deteriorated into a perfect microclimate.

Quebec Book Garden

The books are stacked to form divisions, rooms and seats, and they’re partially submerged in the earth to become an organic soil. No doubt, for the true reader and lover of books, the Jardin de la Connaissance generates a mixed emotion. On one hand, it’s not easy to see books doomed to disappearing slowly and completely. On the other hand, one can’t help but admire the perfect mythical relationship achieved between knowledge and nature; a Paradise. As cultural artifacts – par excellence – books are also subject to a cycle of life on the planet, and thus, are reclaimed by nature.

A 2012 article in Dezeen magazine held that:

Seedlings and insects have activated the walls, carpets and benches. Mushrooms – those cultivated and those who have come by themselves – have made the garden their home. Many of the originally bright colours of the books have faded. Culture is fading back into nature.

For a third stage of the project, the authors want to introduce moss taken from a Quebec forest to create a graffiti effect on the structures of the walls. While the success of the growth of life is evident, the moss also aesthetically accelerates the disappearance of the garden back into the forest. And after all, what every garden wants is to evolve into a forest.

Quebec Book Garden


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