24th International Garden Festival, Jardins de Métis / Reford Gardens

Matière-Matière (Photo credit: Martin Bond)

The 24th edition of the International Garden Festival, entitled RACINES | ROOTS, is now open to the public.

The International Garden Festival stands as the premier contemporary garden festival in North America. Since its establishment in 2000, over 250 gardens have graced the grounds of Grand-Métis and other locations in Canada and worldwide.

Taking place at the Reford Gardens, situated at the entrance of the Gaspé Peninsula, the festival occupies a site adjacent to the historic gardens originally created by Elsie Reford, forging a connection between the past and present while fostering a dialogue between conservation, tradition, and innovation.

Racines de mer (Photo credit: Martin Bond)

Each year, the festival showcases conceptual gardens crafted by more than 70 architects, landscape architects, and designers from diverse disciplines, all within the pristine environment along the banks of the St. Lawrence River.

This year, Ève De Garie-Lamanque, the artistic director of the event, has invited designers to envision an ecologically, economically, and culturally responsible present and future by drawing inspiration from the wisdom of previous generations.

This edition of the festival features 22 contemporary gardens created on-site, including five brand-new designs, as well as the standalone installations Mer du Vent and Absolues Jardin.

Maillage (Photo credit: Martin Bond)

In an era marked by digital advancements, globalization, and rapid technological progress that have transformed our perception of time, the physical world, and our connections with one another, the theme “ROOTS” challenges the mindset imposed by the industrial revolution and embraces an approach that seeks nourishment from a shared heritage.

This theme counters the forces of homogenization that accompany globalization, incorporating the concept of “globality” coined by Martinique poet and philosopher Édouard Glissant (1928-2011).

It calls for a return to the essential by integrating native plants, local materials, whether reused or with minimal environmental impact, and traditional construction methods, all combined with a contemporary vision that encompasses regional communities and ecosystems.

Le Jardin des quatre colonnes (Photo credit: Charlotte Garneau)

This year’s festival will feature projects including Le Jardin des quatre colonnes by architect Vincent Dumay, which aims to “raise awareness of the question of the finite character” of resources.

It will also feature projects including Maillage by Friche Atelier, Matière-Matière by Studio Haricot, Rose-Marie Guévin and Vincent Ouellet and Racines de Mer by Cassandra Ducharme-Martin and Gabriel Demeule.

The event will run until Oct. 1, 2023.