The 2015 International Garden Festival opens

SE MOUILLER (la belle échappée) | Image Credit: Photo credit: Groupe A / Annexe U
SE MOUILLER (la belle échappée) | Image Credit: Photo credit: Groupe A / Annexe U

The International Garden Festival opens its 16th edition in the company of more than 50 landscape architects, architects and designers from Canada, the United States, France and Israel. The 2015 Festival is opening 6 new gardens chosen from among the 309 proposals submitted from designers around the world. Visitors are invited to move, touch and smell the gardens and even get their feet wet.

Many of the ephemeral gardens of the 2015 edition are interactive. The goal is to intrigue and excite our visitors with the unknown and the unfamiliar. Trees that move through the landscape, blue flowers that are woven into a pathway or green roundels that shimmer like poplars in the wind. Children, large and small, can don coloured gumboots to traverse a pond and discover what is hidden in its midst.

The new garden installations chosen by the international competition are by designers from Tel Aviv, Paris, Winnipeg and Québec City:

Around-About | Image Credit: Martin Bond

Around-About by Talmon Biran architecture studio [Roy Talmon & Noa Biran], Tel Aviv, Israel

Unlike the Japanese Zen garden, which is designed to be seen from the outside, this garden will be viewed, created and experienced from the inside, through a joyful and playful activity. As visitors walk away from the roundabouts, their footsteps violate the orderly pattern of the gravel. Once they get back on the roundabouts and spin them, the garden returns to its ordered perfection.

Carré bleu sur fond blanc | Image Credit: Martin Bond

Carré bleu sur fond blanc by Kihan Kim & Ophélie Bouvet, Paris, France

A white surface is installed over the garden, which acts as a revealing filter activated by (the) blooming. The vibrating surface of the cordage creates confusion between the immersed or submerged parts of the plants. This creative growing moment goes along with the buzzing bees attracted by the honey plants. The resulting tapestry woven by the flowers will gradually take shape under the eyes of the visitor each days of the Festival.

I like to move it | Image Credit: Martin Bond

I like to move it by DIXNEUFCENTQUATREVINGTSIX Architecture [Mathilde Gaudemet & Arthur Ozenne], Paris, France

In this garden, the visitor will face a seemingly wild meadow. Grasses and a few birch trees grow together against the backdrop of dense greenery. There seems to be little going on here. But the straight lines at ground level, punctuating the space, create a rhythm and attract the visitor’s attention. On approaching one turns around, scans, wonders and finally touches. That is when the trees begin to move. Visitors can slide the trees along their tracks and create their own garden. The banal becomes strange. Nature domesticated transforms the landscape into a garden.

Popple | Image Credit: Martin Bond

Popple by Meaghan Hunter & Suzy Melo, Winnipeg (Manitoba) Canada

This garden is a distillation of the existing site through the use of colorful curtains that mimic the magical sounds and imagery of the trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides). A vertical plane of multi-colored discs dance in the wind, creating a melody and visual buzz indicative of the trembling leaves of the aspen. Visitors are encouraged to interact with the curtains to enhance the movement of the disc leaves.

Se mouiller (la belle échappée) | Image Credit: Groupe A / Annexe U

Se mouiller (la belle échappée) by Groupe A / Annexe U [Jean-François Laroche, Rémi Morency, Érick Rivard & Maxime Rousseau], Québec (Québec) Canada

The installation explores the discussion about invasive species and the delicate balance of ecosystems. Here plants will be kept in a kind of vise that visitors will be invited to enter. The plant will escape over the course of the summer. Loss of control? When what is beautiful becomes dangerous.

Macro / Micro / Myco | image Credit: Martin Bond

A special invitation was offered to Pete North and his master’s degree students in landscape archiecture at the University of Toronto to create the garden Macro / Micro / Myco : An invitation to be fully enveloped by these enigmatic organisms, the mushrooms, allowing one to experience their delicate and provocative forms. The garden offers the unique experience of traversing scales in which we appreciate the mycelial process: macro, or the vastness of the environment they inhabit and support and micro, or the wonder of these tiny organisms and the intimacy they invoke.

All of the 309 entries are exhibited on-line on the website of the Festival as part of the annual exhibition of competition entries:

The International Garden Festival is the leading contemporary garden festival in North America. Since its inception in 2000, more than 150 gardens have been exhibited at Grand-Métis and as extra-mural projects in Canada and around the world.
A National Historic Site and Québec heritage site, the Reford Gardens / Jardins de Métis are an obligatory stop for all those visiting eastern Québec. Cultural space and tourist destination for over 50 years, the Reford Gardens is one of the most popular attractions in the Gaspésie region, providing visitors with experiences for every sense.

The gardens will be open every day up to September 27, 2015. Children 13 and under are admitted free of charge. Find out more at more about the International Garden Festival.