Quebec Press Garden Tour 2003
Including Mosaiculture & Reford Gardens


I and 7 others will be heading off with Roselyne Hebert of Tourisme Quebec for our second part of the trip – via train to Mont Joli. We enjoy dinner on board then come back to our beds to sleep until we arrive at 3 a.m. We are met and taken to our hotel to meet again in the morning for breakfast. I have also included a picture of our hotel the Auberge Jacques-Cartier.


We are an excited group…we are anxious to visit the famous Jardins de Metis or Reford Gardens. We are not disappointed. On hand to meet us was Alexander Reford who very graciously took us on a very thorough tour including some areas not seen by the public. A brand new visitor front entrance greets you now as well as a new visitor center. It is built on stilts and overlooks part of the gardens nursery. It blends right in with the landscape and is clad entirely in western red cedar. While not fully landscaped Alexander indicated to us what it would look like when finished and we could only think that this whole area will be perfectly integrated into the surrounding landscape beautifully.

Of particular note was the blue poppy glade. Elsie Reford started these from seed in the 1930’s and as you can see by the picture they have flourished and grown here since. She obtained these seeds from the RBG in Edinburgh. She was particularly fortunate in that she could obtain plants and seeds readily and have them sent to her via ship because of their connections with Cunard.

What I most enjoyed about this garden was that the plants were labeled. I was surprised to see this since it was not a botanic garden. This garden is a jewel and I encourage all of you who have not made the trip to do so and discover that for yourself. The two story white building is Estevan Lodge, recently restored and still not quite finished, it is a wonderful example of an historic building restored to its former grandeur. It was originally a spacious fishing camp built by George Stephen, then president of the Canadian Pacific Railway. In 1918, Lord Mount Stephen gave Estevan Lodge and adjacent properties to his niece, Elsie Reford. She made changes and from a simple building with a peaked roof it grew to a two story villa with exceptional views of the sea.

We had a wonderful lunch then made our way over to the International Gardens Festival, which is part of the gardens and showcases different regions. This time it showcases the Mediterranean and also includes other parts of Quebec and abroad. Morocco features the misunderstood plant, the prickly Hendiya, originally imported from Mexico. Catalonia presents a striking geometric garden full of contrasts with its coal black layer of soil and straw. Italy wanted to present a garden evoking the colours of the Jardin de Metis, or the blue of the poppy, the symbol of the garden.


We later met Alexander and took a stroll down Metis-sur-Mer before heading to dinner. The red house really caught our eyes while walking, but there were lots to take a look at. As bright as this is, it totally fits in with the area. It was a lovely dinner and afterwards we truly looked forward to going to bed…it had been a great day!




  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row