A series of romantic gardens complimenting an industrial heritage site
The museum gardens surround the Moulin de la Blies, an old watermill formerly used for manufacturing earthenware clay. The mill, built in 1841 over the river Blies, now houses the Le Musée des Techniques Faïencières (Museum of Claymaking Techniques). The gardens are divided into areas with different themes, each influenced by the industrial past of the site and designed for the visitor to discover gradually as they follow the path.
The goal was to preserve the genius locii, the “spirit” of the place. The design seeks to evoke; using an alchemy of colour and memory within the layout and planting; the industrial heritage of the site.
The visitor's exploration begins at the Tree Peony Terrace, where oriental peonies are planted alongside a very local cultivar 'La Moselle'. The walk continues through the Labyrinth of the Ruins, a vestige of the factory walls colonised by climbers followed by the Garden of Wheels, where abandoned millstones sit in islands of flame-colored Eremerus. The Garden of Large Leaves, hidden between the walls of two gabions, conceals a brook with atmospheric mist sprays, sheltering damp-loving flora. Around the Belvédère a trail leads to a viewpoint looking over the landscape of the Franco-German border. Finally, the Small Spontaneous Wood completes the walk. The trees grow on a strata of old broken pottery, forcing the roots to rise from the ground, forming natural sculptures.
This garden has been awarded the label "Jardin Remarquable" (Outstanding Garden) by the French government. It won the 2011 Eden Award for tourist destinations of excellence, as well as the 2015 Geste d’Or Award for excellence in landscape construction.