Visiting a garden is a most enjoyable experience, rich in discoveries, which will let you experience a bit of disorientation during this summer when traveling in our beautiful province it is. So here is the description of two of the most beautiful gardens of Quebec which I suggest you do the tour during your summer holidays.
Jardins de Métis
Located at the door of the Gaspésie, les Jardins de Métis are famous for their history and great beauty. These gardens are the work of Elsie Reford began their creation in the 1920s. A few decades after the death of Mrs. Reford, in 1995, his great-grandson Alexander Reford has founded a non-profit organization that has made the acquisition of the Jardins de Métis. Nearly a century later, the gardens continue to impress and inspire visitors.
The development of the most representative of the Gardens of Métis people is, without a doubt, the royal walk, which is made up of a trail of stones along 90 metres, bordered by two strips made in pure English style. At the beginning of July it is the blooming of the peonies, which gives the tone to the development. The collection of Elsie Reford was at the time 42 species and cultivars, and one finds today in the two flower beds of the royal walk more than 200 plants of peonies !
The reford Gardens are an impressive collection of primroses.
The reford Gardens also include a few other amenities that have been created by Elsie Reford. One of these is a large rock garden in which to grow geraniums perennials, iris, lilies, roses as well as many ground cover plants, such as bluebells and carnations. At the centre of this development, called High Bank, flows a pretty stream. Finally, part wooded, shady and cool, is home to a variety of plants in the undergrowth, some orchids native to Quebec, as well as a impressive collection of primroses.
In closing, the international garden Festival takes place every summer for more than 20 years on the site of the Jardins de Métis. The public can admire more works of the landscape, all the more singular and original than the others, created by gardeners, designers and landscape architects from all four corners of the planet.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the website jardinsdemetis.com or call (418) 775-2222. The reford Gardens are located at 200 route 132, Grand-Métis.
Jardins du Grand-Portage
In 1979, charmed by the beauty of the landscapes of the region of Lanaudière, Diane Mackay and Yves Gagnon decided to buy a farm bordering the river Maskinongé. On the ground of two acres which they acquired stood an old barn that they transformed gradually into a quaint and picturesque, perfectly integrated in the surrounding environment. With passion and perseverance, over the years, they created around their residence a spectacular eco-garden. The Jardins du Grand-Portage are today composed of an abundance of majestic trees, shrubs, fruit, vegetables and aromatic and medicinal plants.
Since it had been, for many decades, entirely dedicated to agriculture, the land they were buying was completely bare, without trees, heavily exposed to the winds. They undertook the planting of 20,000 trees to create a windbreak. They also planted a variety of species, including birches, hickories, oaks, spruces, maples, ash trees, walnut trees and pines.
Organic vegetable garden
In the first year, they also created their first organic vegetable garden. During the five or six years that followed, they cultivated an acre of land and their production of organic vegetables was then almost entirely sold in the form of baskets.
The huge garden of the Gardens of the Grand-Portage is divided into several sections, which allows you to practice crop rotation. Thus, the plants greedy and demanding such as cucumbers, squash, melons and tomatoes are grown in a different section of the garden each year to avoid soil depletion. The year following the cultivation of these plants demanding, the plot of land is covered with a green manure that will then be buried into the soil to enrich it.
Yves has a weakness for tomato cultivars ancestral, such as ” Savignac “, a variety that was developed in the mid-Twentieth century by the brother of the J. Armand Savignac, a cleric of Saint-Viateur de Joliette. It is a variety very robust and well adapted to the harsh climate that produces an abundance of large pink fruits especially succulent. For her part, Diana grows many medicinal plants and edible flowers. In the Gardens of the Grand-Portage, we find among others the lemon balm), catnip, milk thistle, comfrey, and echinacea.
The contribution of flowers
The flowers contribute actively to the pollination of the vegetable garden.
The Jardins du Grand-Portage, the wedding flowers to the vegetable plant is not made in a purely aesthetic. In addition to the fact that many of these plants and flowers are edible and possess medicinal virtues, they allow in addition to to attract numerous insect pollinators. The contribution of insect pollinators in horticulture and agriculture is considerable. The yield of many crops is directly influenced by the presence of these insects. Several farmers rent elsewhere of the hives that they set up near their fields in order to obtain good harvests. Thus, apricots, almonds, cherries, cucumbers, zucchini, strawberries, melons, peaches, watermelons, pears, peppers, apples, plums, tomatoes, and sunflower seeds are produced through pollination carried out by insects pollinators.
During the season 2020, the Jardins du Grand-Portage are open from 11 July until 30 August. During the summer, the free tours take place from 10 a.m. to 17 p.m. every day ($10 per person, free for children 12 years and under). For information and reservations : jardinsdugrandportage.com or call (450) 835-5813. The Jardins du Grand-Portage is located at 800 chemin du Portage in Saint-Didace.