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Photo: Jean-Christophe Lemay


Since 1962, Reford Gardens — also known as the Jardins de Métis — has been a National Historic Site of Canada, open to the public. Reford’s legacy lives on across twenty acres of lush and scenic land, home to more than 3,000 species of plants from different locations worldwide. 

For its 18th edition, the Festival has added six new installations, chosen from 162 submissions received from 30 countries. The call for proposals invited candidates to put the concept of “play” into practice—resulting in interactive pieces that inspire visitors to engage with landscapes. The designs are conceived as antidotes to the creep of nature-deficit disorder, bringing back the magic of the outdoors. 

Together with projects retained from past years, this summer’s visitors enjoy some 26 installations that encourage them to pause and reflect—or get moving and play. The following projects are new or revamped for 2017, and are on view until October 8. 

 L’Escale — Collectif Escargo (Pierre-Yves Diehl, Julie Parenteau and Karyna St-Pierre) 

Presented as a collection of small mobile gardens, L’Escale invites visitors to “approach and discover the vegetation of its little worlds,” says St-Pierre. 

Users grab hold of plant-filled wagons and move freely around the site with them, establishing a dialogue with nature that is at once intimate and real. “We wanted to make mobile gardens that are both precious and personalized,” says Parenteau. 

Collectif Escargo is a group of artists, designers and landscape architects based in Montreal. [1]


[1]     Moore, Shannon. “The Practice of Play: International Garden Festival, 2017.” Canadian Architect, May 2, 2019. https://www.canadianarchitect.com/the-practice-of-play/.

Additional information

“Architects and Designers Challenged to ‘Re-Think Play’ for International Garden Festival.” CLAD. Accessed May 29, 2021. https://www.cladglobal.com.

“International Garden Festival 2017 – Announcement of the Designers for Its 18th Edition – International Garden Festival / Reford Gardens.” v2com. v2com newswire, January 19, 2017. https://www.v2com-newswire.com.

“International Garden Festival Canada 2017.” The Garden Drum, August 19, 2017. https://gardendrum.com/2017/08/19/international-garden-festival-canada-2017/.

Moore, Shannon. “The Practice of Play.” Canadian Architect, August 2017.

“The ‘Playsages’ at the Jardins De Métis.” Westmount Magazine. v2com, August 24, 2017. https://www.westmountmag.ca/playsages-aux-jardins-de-metis/.

Profil des jardins. Accessed May 29, 2021. https://www.festivalinternationaldejardins.com/L-Escale/.

“Six Winning ‘Playsages’ for the 2017 International Garden Festival in Reford Gardens.” Bustler, January 24, 2017. https://bustler.net/news/5429/six-winning-playsages-for-the-2017-international-garden-festival-in-reford-gardens.

L’EscaleYouTube. Jardins des Metis, 2018. https://youtu.be/ctFXtgxDj2o.

“L’Escale.” Collectif Escargo, October 10, 2016. http://collectifescargo.com/gallery/lescale.

Project Title: L’Escale
Artists: Collectif Escargo
Place: Price, QC

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