From now until the end of this presidential mandate there is no chance of any more important laws being passed, but No 55, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, which is the official residence of the President of the Republic does have a one and a half hectare garden…
This large garden and the palace were built on a marshy area where the pastureland and market gardens that were originally there provided food for Parisians. A French style garden in the palace was transformed into an English style garden which can be visited on the first Sunday of every month, a practice that has been kept up by François Hollande.
Monsieur Hollande will still be busy up until the end of his five-year term in 2017 even though he will not be on the Presidential election campaign trail. But maybe he could find time to walk in the gardens between two trips or a couple of meetings.
And what if he created a vegetable garden in a small corner of the grounds?
Michelle Obama made one at the White House in 2009 and it is to be kept on now the Obama family has left. This initiative meant they could foster a healthy and balanced diet.
The association Humanité and Biodiversité, is grateful to President Hollande for having kept his promise to pass a law to help win back biodiversity. Now it could be an idea for him to create a space for biodiversity in this big garden. A Natural Oasis?
The Oasis charter imposes a voluntary commitment to apply good gardening practices to encourage the proliferation of wild fauna and flora. An Oasis in the grounds of the Elysée Palace would inspire visitors to the garden and mean that new oases would see the light of day in other gardens, on balconies and on terraces and biodiversity would flourish.
As well as an organic vegetable garden there could be a country hedge, a wild flower meadow, a few nesting boxes, insect shelters, a pond - all that could be created before the President leaves the Elysée and he could then bequeath it to the next President of the Republic.
This article first appeared in French in L’Humanité newspaper, translated and reprinted with permission