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THE ECOLOGY OF POSSIBILITY: 25th Edition of The International Garden Festival

Submitted by on January 27, 2024 – 2:09 amNo Comment

jardins mestisOn the occasion on its twenty-fifty anniversary, Ève De Garie-Lamanque, Artistic Director of the International Garden Festval, has invited designers to imagine the future of the garden. A total of 216 projects by designers from 30 countries were submitted.

The four gardens selected for the 2024 edition are:

Couleur Nature
Vanderveken, Architecture + Paysage | Saint-Lambert, Québec, Canada

Couleur Nature is a curious study into the roles gardens play in our society, comparing the great swaths of utilitarian lawn and our individual leisure devices (with poor social and ecological indicators) with contemplative gardens (with high reflexive and ecological indicators). The installation does not attempt to compare nature with culture or the natural with the artificial. In fact, it strives to juxtapose the two visions of the garden. It demonstrates the absurdity of a dominant monoculture which, in general terms, has no use apart from simply enabling humans to experience satisfaction watering and mowing their lawn and filling their swimming pools on a perpetual cycle that contributes to the gradual decline of our biodiversity.

Julia Lines Wilson | United States

In the first year of the International Garden Festival, priority plant species were identified for habitat protection in the St. Lawrence Vision 2000 Action Plan. One of the species was the Anticosti Aster, a cross between New York and Rush Asters. 25 years later, despite habitat protection, the Anticosti and Rush Asters remain endangered species. This garden is posed as a question on the past and future. If New York and Rush Asters crossed again, what would that look like? What possible futures can be sown by these species’ interactions?

Rue Liereman / Organ Man Street
Pioniersplanters | Belgium

In such a densely populated and urbanized area such as Flanders, the fraction of land occupied by domestic or private gardens (of which there are approximately 2 million) is estimated to be 12%. That’s four times the total surface area of natural areas in the region. As such, as long as they are designed and maintained naturally, domestic gardens have the potential to help reduce the effects of climate change and halt the impoverishment of biodiversity, encouraging people to reconnect with nature.

mat-on | Italy

This year’s theme is explored through the lens of the rhizomatic system, emphasizing the intrinsic value and interconnectedness of life forms and ecosystems. Using a geological map as a metaphor, the garden proposal illustrates the tension between nature’s freedom and humanity’s inclination to impose order. Learning from nature, the installation highlights the co-creation of landscapes by human and non-human entities, showcasing the dynamic, interconnected nature of their interactions.

Special Mention
Three projects received a special mention from the jury: Welcome, Yellow Bricks Garden, by Azzurra Brugiotti (Italy); En Équilibre, by Sonia and Natalia Dacko (Spain); and Aguas, by Jomarly Cruz Galarza and Virgen Berrios Torres (Puerto Rico).

The International Garden Festival is recognized as one of the most important events of its kind in North America and one of the leading annual garden festivals in the world. Since its inception in 2000, more than 180 contemporary gardens have been exhibited at Grand-Métis and as extra-mural projects in Canada and around the world

Presented at Les Jardins de Métis / Reford Gardens, at the gateway to the Gaspé Peninsula, Quebec, Canada, the Festival is held on a site adjacent to the historic gardens created by Elsie Reford, thereby establishing a bridge between history and modernity, and a dialogue between conservation, tradition and innovation.

Each year the Festival exhibits over twenty conceptual gardens created by more than seventy architects, landscape architects and designers from various disciplines. The event acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Canadian Heritage, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, as well as of friends of the Festival and donors.
A cultural space and tourist destination for 60 years, the gardens are an iconic landscape that offers visitors experiences for all of the senses and opportunities to connect to nature. Located at the confluence of the St. Lawrence and Mitis rivers, they were designed by the adventurous

Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Celebrations

Celebrations are in order: in 2024, the International Garden Festival turns 25! While it is certainly something to celebrate, hitting this milestone is also an invitation to reflect on our journey thus far and to look to the future. So, what was the premise for the Festival, the first edition of which was held at the turn of the millennium? What issues and themes have been addressed since then? How have our concerns and ideologies evolved? And what kind of future do we envision for the gardens?

A number of exceptional projects – including a symposium – are on the agenda for this landmark year. Be on the lookout for a special “25th anniversary press release” this spring and plan to join us in Grand-Métis for our opening weekend (June 22-23).

About the Les Jardins de Métis / Reford Gardens

A National Historic Site of Canada and a Quebec heritage site, Les Jardins de Métis / Reford Gardens is a must-see stop for horticulturist Elsie Reford from 1926 to 1958 and are recognized as one of the top gardens of America and rank
Close to 60,000 people visited the Gardens in 2023. Hydro-Québec has been the lead sponsor of Les Jardins de Métis / Reford Gardens since 1999.

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