Two weeks ago I drove (and drove and drove) to Reford Gardens, also known as Les Jardins de Metis in Grand-Metis. The historical landmark sits on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River about halfway up the humped back of the Gaspe Peninsula. The journey there took two solid days of driving from my starting point an hour west of Toronto. It was worth it. Here’s why. Click on any photo to start the slideshow.
Common flowers easily available at any garden centre in Southern Ontario are planted in astonishing colour combinations. Your head will be buzzing with ideas.
Estevan Lodge, once the home of Elsie and R.W. Reford, has been transformed into an entertaining (read unstuffy) museum that’s fun to explore.
The history of the home and characters of its original occupants seem to come alive thanks to sensitive restoration and innovative presentations of artifacts.
Every year the gardens host an International Garden Festival that acts like a mash-up of art and gardening. Landscape designers, architects and gardeners from around the world compete to have their winning designs featured. Some are challenging to look at, others will make you laugh out loud. It’ll redefine “garden” for you in a good way.
There are plenty of “Oh wow!” take home ideas, too. This exhibit within the International Garden Festival highlights tiny forest plants. The reflective containers showcase the plants and eerily melt into the background at the same time. You could use any reflective container to achieve a similar effect.
Parts of the garden are so lush, taking advantage of the creek and hilly topography, that there will be moments when you think you’re on your own in an enchanted forest.
Getting to Grand-Metis is half the fun. B&Bs like this one, called Auberge le coeur d’or in North Hatley, make the trip extra special.