|One of the three windows that span a drainage ditch.
Can anyone hear the title of this installation without thinking of E.M. Forster’s book?
Sacré Potager, by the Montreal-based firm Atelier Barda, employs the idea and form of the roadside shrine to mourn the loss of biodiversity.
|Wooden altars like these dot the Quebec landscape.|
|Pois St-Hubert was brought to Quebec by the early settlers and used in a soup
called Hunter Soup, recalling an ancient legend about St. Hubert.
|This beautifully phrased garden first appeared at the Festival in 2010.
Versions appeared at the Isabelle Stewart Gardner Museum in 2013 and the Chelsea Fringe Festival in 2014.
|This photograph fails to capture the splendid simplicity of this installation,
my favourite of all I saw.
|A single birch tree is reflected again and again.|
|Do you see the hint of orange among the trees?
It’s a reflection of the installation behind the photographer, called Afterburn.
|Orange surveyor’s marking paint establishes a strong visual rhythm in this garden installation.
Coniferous saplings are growing at the foot of these charred posts.
|Pink latex rope protects tree trunks from the wilderness around them.|
In 1926, when she was 54 years old, Elsie began to develop the garden as an alternative to salmon fishing, transforming a spruce forest into a garden with a large and unusual collections of plants. One of these is now the garden’s emblem: the Himalyan blue poppy (meconopsis betonicifolia).
|One blue poppy in the poppy glade. Noonday sun has faded the colours slightly
but the blue is still a marvel.
The historic garden remains a delight but the International Garden Festival is what I travel to see. Each visit challenges me to think more broadly and to consider ways I can adapt what I see to my own landscape. The history of the site is a major element, both at the Reford Gardens and at Glen Villa, so I was particularly pleased to see one final installation.
Fighting their way upstream, sequined salmon splash silver and gold over the mugo pines that line paths near the lodge. Delightful reminders of another era, these Atlantic salmon on their way to the spawning grounds offer a glittering view of the future of these wonderful gardens.
|Salmo salar is an installation by Annie Ypperciel and Robert Desjardins.|
It takes time and effort to reach the Reford Gardens and the International Garden Festival — Métis is a minimum six hour drive from Montreal. But it is a destination not to be missed.