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My Trip in Gaspésie: The Reford Gardens
  • Royal Alley (Allée Royale) in the Reford Gardens
    Le Québec maritime

My Trip in Gaspésie: The Reford Gardens

Without question, fall is one of my favourite seasons. The air is fresh and crisp, and the sweet sunlight warms us up without beating us down. It’s a great time for me to enjoy nice days outside. Fall also means harvests and colourful foliage, with leaves turning ochre, crimson and orange. So you can imagine that, when I was given the opportunity to discover the Reford Gardens on these last days of September, I accepted the invitation without hesitation.

Contrary to what one would think, the Reford Gardens are still radiant in September. Even if the flowering time is over for some flowers, several others are more beautiful than ever. Moreover, a visit of the Gardens goes well beyond the simple observation of numerous plants; it’s a full experience appealing to all the senses.

Sight: Fall light

Fall light is particularly interesting, especially for photography. Diffuse, sweet and warm, when shining through branches, it gives the impression that the flowers are staged under the spotlights. This creates the perfect combination to play with light and shadows, adding depth to the pictures. A great time to take wonderful photos!

Hearing: Singing birds

Beautiful gardens... even in the fall
© Le Québec maritime

My visit coincided with the time of the year when migrating Canadian geese pass through the area. On many occasions, I could see hundreds of them flying over the gardens in V formations. At the bird garden, the singing of the black-capped chickadee catches my attention towards the feeding dish where several birds – and some squirrels – were competing for food. It was fascinating to watch this show of nature! Old and young alike will be filled with wonder by this section of the Gardens.
 

 

Smell: The perfumes of flowers and herbs

I have a confession to make: upon my arrival at the Reford Gardens, I branched off from the usual path to go directly to the vegetable garden of Elsie Reford, recreated for the 50th anniversary of the Gardens. Boasting flowers, vegetables and fines herbs, it’s an amazing display of perfumes and colours.

Reford Gardens
© Le Québec maritime

Everywhere in the Reford Gardens, the scents of flowers and shrubs fill the air. Have you ever heard about olfactory memory? When an odour reminds you of something, someone, or a specific occasion? I’ve experienced it in the primrose garden where a sweet perfume brought me deep into my memories (I’m still searching by the way). I think the culprit was the fragrance of the flowering tobacco, but I’m not 100% sure.


 

 

Taste: The unusual flavours of the Gardens’ horticultural collection

If you visit the Reford Gardens, make sure to have lunch at the Estevan Lodge. Chef Pierre-Olivier Ferry offers a menu inspired by regional products and horticultural products from the Gardens. Some are actually up for sale at the gift shop so that you can share your culinary discoveries with your loved ones! We have collected for you some recipes based on these products; you can find them here.

Touch: The creations of the International Garden Festival

International Garden Festival
© Le Québec maritime

Even if the temptation is great, I recommend you not to touch the flowers of the Gardens. They can be so fragile… On the other hand, I invite you to have a look at the International Garden Festival where you can handle, experience and marvel at the exhibits. Every year, artists are invited to reinvent the gardens with their impressive creations. It’s a unique opportunity to see the amazing integration of artistic works with horticulture.

 


 

The Reford Gardens are open to the public from early June to late September. Whether you visit in the spring, summer or fall, the Reford Gardens will make you discover their own seasonal secrets. I have been charmed by my fall visit and I hope you will be too. Enjoy your visit!

For more details:
Reford Gardens
200, route 132
Grand-Métis (Québec) Canada
G0J 1Z0
Phone: 418-775-2222
www.quebecmaritime.ca/en/jardinmetis

Author Tanya Paquet

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