The 17th International Garden Festival Takes Root In Québec

The International Garden Festival is the leading contemporary garden festival in North America. While this year there are a total of 26 projects on display and 5 new gardens being unveiled, the festival has exhibited more that 150 projects from around the world since its inception in 2000.

Presented at Les Jardins de Métis in Quebec, every year Canadian and international landscape artists, architects, and designers create conceptual gardens that transform the banks of the St. Lawrence river. The festival encourages conversations surrounding the interactions of bio and man-made materials, and creates a dialogue about conservation, tradition, and innovation.

We love how the festival is informative, interactive, and picturesque all at the same time!

Here are a few of the premiere exhibits this year:


‘Cyclops’ by Craig Chapple from Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Images by Martin Bond


Cyclops is made up of 255 8-meter long tapering timber planks held in the shape of an inverted cone around a central opening - which the 'user' can occupy. These planks are fastened to each other at the innermost diameter and held upright by a 150mm steel ring beam at the outer diameter. In this exhibit, the viewer or 'user' plays the role of rediscovering the relationship between the object, the frame, and the natural landscape.

At first approach, Cyclops just an object on the landscape. Through its transparency and porosity, however, it becomes an object that is also dynamic and changing, blending with the environment. By entering the central 1.5 m opening at the bottom of the cone, and experiencing it from the inside-out, the object acts to frame the surrounding landscape and sky, and raises questions about perspective and organic versus man-made.



‘Le Caveau’ by Christian Poules, Basel, Switzerland
Images by Martin Bond


Le Caveau is a simple room of stone and earth. The four-sided volume employs stacked stone-filled gabions, that allow light to filter inside the space. At the center of the room, a planted plinth appears to levitate serenely, suspended elegantly above the ground.

Christian Poules says it is a room for reflection. For dreamers. Just as the plane levitates before us, we are held in the balance of the stone cave and within the boundaries of our imagination, suspended in time. The beauty of the garden is found in the simplicity and contradiction of material, light, time, and space. As Poules says, "It is a shelter for meditation and a canvas for nature. In Le Caveau, vastness is held behind its ramparts." - Reford Gardens



‘TiiLT’ by Sean Radford & Chris Wiebe, Winnipeg, Canada
Images by Martin Bond


Part sculpture and part landscape, TiiLT is rooted in the formal geometries of the 'labyrinth', but also the camping traditions of Canadians! It is a transformable and inhabitable place for visitors to act, or to idle, however they may be inclined. The 'tent-like' structures may be flipped between two orientations, responding to the position of the sun, and offering alternating views and shifting pathways through the site. The straw-like lightness of the structures and the white skin call to mind a field of flowers, contrasting the surrounding green landscape and blue sky.



The International Garden Festival is made possible by the financial assistance of many public and private partners: Canada Council for the Arts, Canadian Heritage, Canada Summer Jobs, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Tourisme Québec and Emploi-Québec.

The festival runs from June 24th until October 2nd. Here's a link to more information on the International Garden Festival and its partners.


~ Steven Fudge, the purveyor of and proprietor of, a division of Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage.

If you're a lover of design, consider checking out my Toronto blog at for real estate insight and information, as well as valuable content on housing, culture and design!

Posted In: Quebec

Post your comment