Integation of the ERE 132 into the Reford Gardens
HISTORY OF THE CREATION OF THE REFORD GARDENS
A personal interpretation of the great tradition of botanical gardens, the Reford Gardens are the result of the hard and inspired work of one impassioned individual: Elsie Reford. During the summer of 1926, at 54 years of age, Elsie undertook the task of transforming her fishing lodge, located on the banks of the Mitis River, into gardens. Determined to succeed, Elsie involved people from the region, including farmers and fishing guides, in her ambitious project. Over the course of three decades, together they would create gardens of great beauty.
Situated on the northern portion of the Gaspé Peninsula, these are the most northerly gardens of eastern North America. While perfecting her horticultural practices, Elsie Reford succeeded in acclimatizing various plant species to the harsh local climatic conditions. Most notably acclimatized was the emblem of the gardens, the Himalayan blue poppy, in bloom from mid-June to the end of July.
Here of a summer’s night, when there is one of those rare all-pervading stillnesses and the world seems wrapped in a sacred silence, broken only by the slow rhythm of the sea lapping its waters upon the shore; with the moon, silver clear in a cloudless sky, flood-lighting every petal of every lily and the upturned face of every flower, the ineffable beauty of the scene transcends time and place to bring an awareness of the eternal beyond and of a closeness to it.
Elsie Reford, 1949
Over the years, exhibiting an exceptional desire to construct and constantly hone her expertise, Elsie Reford has sculpted an enchanted universe of subtly arranged pathways, detours and rest-stops that skillfully intermingle aromas, colours and textures.
Thus was born this plant paradise whose splendors are suffused with some 3,000 species and varieties of native and exotic plants in 22 gardens. They border one and a half kilometers of trails where one can breathe fresh air and marvel at the shimmering waters of the Saint Lawrence. World renowned for its exceptional artistic value and as a national heritage site, Elsie Reford’s work of art has been passionately cared for and put on display, offering to one’s senses a pleasing, soothing and memorable experience
To discover the Reford Gardens: http://www.jardinsdemetis.com
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