From 1926 to 1958 Elsie Reford, gardener and plant collector, created Les jardins de Métis / Reford Gardens on the shores of the St. Lawrence and Mitis rivers in Quebec, Canada. The gardens and heritage buildings were designated by the government of Quebec in 2013. But even before then, since 2000, the site has served as a location for the Métis International Garden Festival. With her new publication “Experimenting Landscapes: Testing the Limits of the Garden“, the author Emily Waugh honors site and festival projects.
For sixteen years the Métis International Garden Festival in Quebec, Canada has attracted more than one million visitors. Since 2000 more than 150 temporary gardens at the cutting edge of garden design and environmental art have been presented. Famous designers such as Diana Balmori, Claude Cormier, Ken Smith, Snøhetta and Topotek 1 experimented with materials, methods, and design concepts. Now, between the 17th and 18th edition of the festival, the new publication “Experimenting Landscapes: Testing the Limits of the Garden“ presents a selection of 25 projects as well as essays by landscape critic Tim Richardson, landscape architect Marc Hallé and comments by festival designers that explore how the garden can challenge our assumptions, provide new meanings, and change how we perceive even the most familiar things.