Call for Proposals – 16th International Festival of Mixed Gardens, Wesserling Park

Listed as a “Historic Monument” (Monument Historique) and recognised as a “Remarkable Garden” (Jardin Remarquable) in 2005, Wesserling Park is testimony to an extraordinary textile adventure in a valley of the River Thur in the Upper Vosges.

This unique site is a former “Royal Textile Printing Factory” with an incredible number of preserved buildings linked to the textile industry. The gardens have been landscaped ever since the site was first managed and the château was built. They were originally created as ornamental gardens for the enjoyment of captains of industry, bearing witness to the landscaping conventions of the various centuries. Later they were steadily turned into vegetable gardens for workers, and then abandoned, before being gradually restored. Each year for almost 15 years, designers, visual artists and landscapists have brought life to these gardens, producing temporary creations which surprise, question and enchant. More than just a Festival of Gardens, it aims to encourage the inhabitants of the valley to occupy the spaces trod by their ancestors, to invite visitors to walk through centuries of history and to encourage the next generation to ask questions about the future of their environment.

Through this new theme, the Festival reaffirms its desire to unite innovation and respect for the past. It provides an opportunity for designers to introduce play, interactivity and entertainment into the heart of a centuries-old heritage park. The intermingling of eras, uses and plants shapes the unique character of the Festival of Mixed Gardens at Wesserling.

This consultation is open to all creatives, whether they are landscape designers, visual artists, landscaping professionals or simply inspired amateurs.

Landscaping colleges and town departments are invited to take part in the consultation and propose ideas.

The call for proposals is deliberately open to everyone and provides an opportunity for all artists and other creative specialists to express themselves through the creation of monumental and temporary works.

There is only one rule: take pleasure in designing and installing your work while respecting the specifications! All the information can be found in Programme


10 November 2017 – Deadline for receipt of proposals

15 January 2018 – Deadline for receipt of complete proposal dossier

1-15 February 2018 – Selection date

by mid-March 2018 –  Date of site visit for teams selected for the Festival (meeting with garden staff and project timings)

30 March 2018 –  Deadline for submission of communications dossier (in digital format)

In 2018, we will depart for the Land of the Rising Sun, to discover the ancestral philosophy of the samurai and the modernity of manga. We have selected several supporting works, each of which presents landscapes, atmospheres and stories in which we want to immerse our visitors.Read, watch and observe. Take inspiration from these characters, give us the desire to take their place, recreate their worlds within your gardens, and invent challenges and workshops so that each one of us can be immersed in their fates!

Princess Mononoke draws us in to defend the spirits of the forest (or kodama) against the metal forges of Lady Eboshi which consume trees for fuel. Accompanied by the wolf goddess Moro and her two sons, the Princess journeys through enchanted forests, populated by small kodama, and is followed by Ashitaka, a courageous and handsome young man. The enchanting natural environment of a Japan of lush green mountains, mixed forests and crystalline lakes and rivers is given pride of place in the story.

Princess Kaguya, on the other hand, shows us the magnificent culture of Japan through the most beautiful of its arts: calligraphy, precious kimono fabrics, the tea ceremony and the Zen garden. Born in a forest of bamboo and residing in a traditional dwelling, she reveals the subtlety and finesse of ancient Japanese towns, as well as their astonishing décor and inimitable rituals. Her face gradually assumes the appearance of a geisha, before she returns to live on the Moon where the inhabitants of the celestial star await her.


Each of the philosophical tales we have selected draw on traditional objects or places and feature characters which progress along the path of wisdom.

In “The Arrows of the Mori”, three brothers learn from their father’s highly illustrative demonstration that they are stronger when united.

The Cherry Tree Branch” demonstrates the superiority of the poetry and harmony of a garden over the power of the desire of the powerful. How man, by fashioning nature with his own hand, creates a haven of peace for all beings and a source of inspiration for painters.

“The Challenge of Flowers for Tea” speaks of the unusual aestheticism of the tea ceremony and the importance of each detail in everyday rituals.

Learn to be stoic and calm thanks to the “Insulted Samurai” and imagine the clothes and weapons of such a legendary warrior.

 “The Samurai and the Willow” shows how the gentleness and patience of a child will always conquer the violence of adults. This fairy tale, based on an iconic species found in Japanese gardens, encourages us listen to the wind rustling in the leaves of the trees like a whisper, or a prayer.

Finally, “The Art of the Sword according to the Oral Tradition of the Ken” is a prose poem about the indispensable weapon of great Japanese warriors.

You will find full versions of these philosophical tales as well as more detailed descriptions of the manga stories in the annexes.

Possible Types of Proposal

At Wesserling Park we suggest two ways of approaching the theme of the Festival.

The Complete Garden

The most ambitious and courageous applicants can propose a large-sized garden occupying a complete plot with a surface area of 150 to 600 m². The works must be vast and offer surprising progressions or innovative structures. They must immerse visitors in a parallel world and make them forget where they are.

The Snapshot

The idea of a snapshot is to evoke the theme of the Festival in a small work – anecdotally, humorously or artistically. The construction is less ambitious as it is smaller, but the design is just as complex as it must be based on an idea which “strikes a chord”. A snapshot aims to surprise and astonish the visitor, like a fleeting apparition.


Content of Dossier

Your application must be submitted to the organiser by 10 November 2017 at the latest (fill in and send the form provided at the end of the specifications).

The complete dossier must be submitted by 15 January 2018 at the latest.

This dossier can be sent by post or delivered in person to the following address:


Parc de Wesserling – Ecomusée Textile

Festival des Jardins Métissés 2017

Rue du Parc

68470 Husseren-Wesserling

Administrative documents to be included in the dossier:

• Participation form detailing the names and addresses of all members of the team and that of its representative.

• Succinct dossier presenting your former achievements and your work.

Documents to be included in the dossier:

• Description of the essence of the project in connection with the theme and the site and a suggestion for the title of the garden.

• Ground plan of the garden in colour, on a 1:100 scale (or 1:50 for a snapshot), specifying the planned materials and planting plan.

• Significant cross-section of the project.

• Free-style pages featuring perspective drawings, freehand sketches, axonometric projections and/or schematic diagrams for every specific technical element (floor anchorage, hanging elements, etc.).

• Technical description detailing the installation procedures for the garden and the condition in which you would like to find your plot upon arrival on site.

• Detailed costing of the project.

• Timetable specifying the number of days required to install the project and the number of people who will be working on its installation.

• Programme for managing the plot for the duration of the Festival.

• Optional: project model.

The final location will be determined by the organiser and may entail adaptation of the work.

The jury will only consider complete dossiers with estimated materials costs less than or equal to 5000.00 euros incl. taxes for a complete garden or 1000.00 euros incl. taxes for a snapshot.

For all information, please consult Programme


Parc de Wesserling

Ecomusée textile

Rue du Parc

68470 Husseren-Wesserling

Tel. : +33 (0)3 89 38 28 08


For all information, please consult Programme