|Surface Deep from the International Garden Festival at Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens|
A friend asked me about Canada Blooms, “Is it good this year?” And I replied, “There are ideas worth stealing, so that’s reason enough to go.” It is.
Many of those ideas make better experiences than photographs, like this exhibit from Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens in Québec. Reford’s gardens are typically conceptual. Remember the blue stick garden? This one is from their International Garden Festival designed by asensio_mah and students at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. The reaction to a Reford installation ranges from “I want to marry them and bear all their children” (that would be me) to “Huh?”(many mainstream gardeners, if my tour guide experience is to be trusted). The plastic boxes with cut-outs on one side (the more horizontal ones housing living moss) undulate down the space in a way that must be seen and sensed in person.
Here are some other reasons to visit.
|Landscape architect Victoria Taylor designed it; Ecoman contractor Jonas Spring built it, using chunks of waste concrete – and judges awarded it for creativity. It’s a metaphor, Victoria told me, for the inspiration that emerges from between the cracks. It’s also a pretty cool idea for a scree garden. Believe me, in real life it’s more compelling. Those pillar-like light fixtures are old metal roofing, blasted full of buckshot holes. Wow. Also, I have an enduring fondness for teasel.|
|Among my favourite recyclees at the show are the leaping deer fashioned from old car parts by former engineer turned sculptor Kam Ko. Different sculptors are liberally featured in Parklane’s garden, one of the few large gardens in the show. In fact, Parklane won in its category.|
|Of course, masses of forced bulbs and flowers is what it’s all about, isn’t it. Especially as most years don’t deliver today’s California weather. The quick shot of spring is why we call it Canada Blooms, the antidote to Canada Glooms.|