A total of 134 projects by designers from 32 countries were submitted
The International Garden Festival is pleased to announce the projects selected for its 24th edition, titled ROOTS, which will run from June 24th to October 1st, 2023. This year, Ève De Garie-Lamanque, the event’s Artistic Director, invited designers to imagine a present and a future that is ecologically, economically, and culturally responsible by drawing on the teachings of past generations. Close to 60,000 people visited the Reford Gardens in 2022.
The five gardens selected for the 2023 edition
Le jardin des quatre colonnes
Vincent Dumay and Baptiste Wullschleger, Sweden / France
With a project that is both poetic and a manifesto, we hope that the public will discover solutions for a more desirable and virtuous future. The intent is to raise awareness of the question of the finite character of our resources. Le jardin des quatre colonnes is an experience that unfolds through time, where elements built with raw earth within a living environment will evolve freely over the years.
Friche Atelier (Frédérique Allard, Jean-Jacques Yervant and Aliénor de Montalivet), Canada (Quebec)
The use of plants is at the heart of the development of our civilizations. Whether for nourishment, protection, healing, or clothing, their multiple applications have allowed populations to survive and prosper. The dyeing properties of plants have been known since Antiquity, and their use as a colouring agent for plant and animal fibres reflects millennium-old know-how, exploiting the different parts of a plant. Maillage explores the relation between two worlds, that of the textile, and that of the vegetal, on a metaphorical level.
Studio Haricot (Marie-Pier Caron-Desrochers, Tristan Morissette), Rose-Marie Guévin and Vincent Ouellet, Canada (Quebec)
matière-matière is the intrinsic experience of a tone-on-tone relation (texture upon texture, colour upon colour): volumes emerge like fruits from the site as extensions of the vegetation. Three walls bend, converge, and project themselves, dilating and contracting. The project is an invitation to tactiley feel one’s way through a materiality stripped bare, inside moments of uncanny encounters. This structure of hemp concrete, deposited in the context of a patch of wheat and a carpet of mulch, offers a parallel between the possible transformations of vegetal fibres up to the materialization of the proposed spaces.
Racines de mer
Cassandra Ducharme-Martin and Gabriel Demeule, Canada (Quebec)
In a climate similar to ours, on the island of Læsø in Denmark, women built the roofs of their houses with the help of a marine plant called eelgrass. Due to the waterproof and fireproof properties of these marine plants that are harvested on beaches, these roofs have resisted the ravages of time for more than three hundred years. Racines de mer proposes a reflection on the built environment of the future. It offers the visitor the possibility of discovering Quebec’s territory and traditional skills. On the one hand, the light wooden frame, left uncovered, celebrates the elegance of this method of construction, a system omnipresent in North America. On the other hand, its roof made of algae, inspired by those of the island of Læsø, exploits the riches of the St. Lawrence River and reveals its dormant potential.
Jinny Yu, Ki Jun Kim and Frédéric Pitre, Germany / Canada (Ontario + Quebec)
Visitors are invited to enter a submerged maze: a puzzle with various possible routes and dead ends meant to confuse and challenge those who explore. At the same time, the top of the wall of the trenches, which is at ground level, allows for the possibility of deciphering the pathway with an overall view of the route before entering. Upon entering the subterranean world, visitors reach the first level of the substratum of the root system, where they can walk around a network composed of earth and white clover, representing the pattern of the roots of two trees linked by fungal mycelium. The white clover, like older and more recent settlers, came from Europe and took root spreading across the North American continent and interacting with the ecology of the native soil. S’y retrouver invites visitors to slow down and reflect both on the root system and post-colonialism.
About the Festival
The International Garden Festival is the leading contemporary garden festival in North America. Since its inception in 2000, more than 250 gardens have been exhibited at Grand-Métis and as extra-mural projects in Canada and around the world. Presented at the Reford Gardens, at the gateway to the Gaspé Peninsula, the Festival is held on a site adjacent to the historic gardens created by Elsie Reford, thereby establishing a bridge between history and modernity, and a dialogue between conservation, tradition, and innovation. Each year the Festival exhibits conceptual gardens created by more than 70 architects, landscape architects, and designers from various disciplines in a pristine environment on the banks of the St. Lawrence River.
About the Reford Gardens
A National Historic Site of Canada, and a Quebec heritage site, the Reford Gardens is a must-see stop for anyone visiting the Gaspé and the Lower St. Lawrence. A cultural space and tourist destination for 60 years, the Reford Gardens are an iconic landscape that offers visitors soothing and innovative experiences of connection to nature. Located at the confluence of the St. Lawrence and Mitis rivers, they were designed by the adventurous horticulturist, Elsie Reford, between 1926 to 1958. Reford Gardens is listed as one of North America's most famed gardens, and one of the top 150 great gardens in the world. Since 1999, Hydro-Québec has been the lead sponsor of the Reford Gardens.