Hortulus Animae

Jean-Marc Flack - Mindful Garden Design


About Me

Mindful Garden Design

Hortulus Animae is a niche design studio providing integrated full-service solutions focusing on residential landscapes and estates in the Hudson Valley and beyond.

Exuberant plant-driven design with an emphasis on sustainability and ecology. 

Site specific and client appropriate designs for Formal, Casual, Traditional, or Contemporary Styles. 

The values of Hortulus Animae include: seeking the path of least resistance, choosing native plants whenever possible and no chemicals. Landscapes should create a beautiful and sensual retreat for the client while also becoming inviting habitat for local pollinators and their friends.

Garden and planting design are iterative processes that by the very nature of the living materials being used change and evolve over time. Successful plantings take close observation and tweaking over several seasons to mature.

Hortulus Animae is the title of a medieval prayerbook that literally translates as “Little Garden of the Soul”, or “Jardin des Âmes”... This title resonates with me for gardening has always been a spiritual practice in my life.



Jean-Marc Flack

I am a self confessed plant nerd with 15 years of hands-on gardening experience designing rooftop terraces in Manhattan and now working on firm land on 177 acres of woodland in Greene county, NY.

Over 20 years expertise as a fashion executive and a unique personal background that includes residing and studying in France, Switzerland, Greece, Algeria, the Ivory Coast, and the Philippines as well as other extensive travels.




  • Horticulture

  • Art

  • Modern Dance

  • Philanthropy

  • Eastern Philosophy

  • Yoga

  • Travel


  • meadows and native plants

  • woodland/shade gardens

  • cottage gardens

  • gravel/xeric gardens

  • perennial borders

  • container plantings.


  • Naturalistic landscape design

  • New Perennial Movement

  • English Arts and Crafts gardens

  • Japanese Zen meditation gardens


Baccalauréat, Philosophy - Lycée Français d'Athènes, '80
BA, Philosophy & Psychology - Georgetown University, '87
Sustainable Garden Design Certificate - New York Botanical Garden, '15
Landscape Design Certificate - New York Botanical Garden, ongoing



 I am certified with the New York Botanical Garden.  nybg.org

I am certified with the New York Botanical Garden.

 I am a member of the APLD   www.apld.org

I am a member of the APLD

 My garden is Certified as a Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation  www.nwf.org

My garden is Certified as a Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation

Home Improvement Contractor license: 
WC-28878-H16 PC-7115




The Journal News, Life & Style

Fort the last seven years — after way to long in New York — Jean-Marc Flack has been creating a wonderful garden in Carmel that now fully surrounds the charming 1790 farmhouse he shares with his husband, the choreographer Stephen Petronio…

by Bill Cary, Journal News

Some Glowing Praise

Jean-Marc melds his exquisite eye for design and a passion for sustainable ecology in landscape work that seamlessly integrates beauty and function.
— Vicky Lowry, Special Projects Director, Architectural Digest
I just wanted to let you know how pleased Susan and I are with your efforts on our terrace. The plants have grown lush and it seems like every week there is a new bit of color sprouting somewhere.
I know that nature takes time but on the other hand, good taste is timeless and your good taste is evidenced each day. I didn’t want the summer to go by without acknowledging our satisfaction. Thank you. Alan
— West Village Penthouse Terrace Client





Favorite Plants


All are needed to paint a full picture with year-round interest. The key is choosing the appropriate plants for the site conditions.




You can reach me via,

email: Jean-Marc@hortulusanimae.info
phone: (917) 346-7960

or maybe sign up for my newsletter.