JARDINS DE MÉTIS : From the barely audible to the highly melodic sound resonates in the contemporary garden
JARDINS DE MÉTIS
From the barely audible to the highly melodic sound resonates in the contemporary garden
Lesley Johnstone, April 23, 2007
Soundfield_Doug Moffat and Steve Bates_Quebec_Canada
Soundfield_Doug Moffat and Steve Bates_Quebec_Canada


The 8th edition of the International Garden Festival celebrates sound, one of the essential yet frequently overlooked senses in the garden experience. This edition includes fourteen outstanding contemporary gardens by designers from France, Germany, the United States, Québec, and Ontario.

While sound is an important part of how we experience the garden, we often pay attention only to birdsong or rustling leaves. In five ingenious new gardens, designers propose myriad ways sound may have an impact on visitors’ experience and heighten their awareness of the audible in the landscape. The result of collaborations between landscape architects, architects, and sound artists, the gardens become musical instruments in themselves, include sound elements activated through the movement of the visitor, or are pure soundscapes. From the electronic treatment of the sound of poplar trees to the harmonic resonances of sonic cubes in a water garden, visitors are invited to explore the landscape in new and exciting ways.


Pomme de terre_Angela Larocci, Claire Ironside, David Ross_Ontario and Quebec_Canada
Pomme de terre_Angela Larocci, Claire Ironside, David Ross_Ontario and Quebec_Canada


Bois de biais_Atelier Le Balto_Germany
Bois de biais_Atelier Le Balto_Germany


Bois de biais_Atelier Le Balto_Germany
Bois de biais_Atelier Le Balto_Germany


Keep an ear to the ground in these five new gardens

Angela Larocci, Claire Ironside, and David Ross, from Ontario and Québec, have conceived Pomme de
parterre
, in which the lowly spud becomes a generator of light and sound, creating a visual and sonorous environment within a potato patch.

Traversée, by [The User] (Emmanuel Madan and Thomas McIntosh), from Québec, is a water garden in which the very act of walking is translated into a gesture that generates music.

Soundfield, by Doug Moffat and Steve Bates, from Québec, is an open-ended listening experience in which electronically treated sounds of poplar trees are transmitted within a buffer of these same trees.

In La boîte noire by Jasmin Corbeil & Stéphane Bertrand with Jean-Maxime Dufresne, from Québec, the sounds of children’s voices emanate from an enigmatic black box that rises out of a fallow field.

Bois de biais_Atelier Le Balto_Germany
Bois de biais_Atelier Le Balto_Germany


Cat's Cradle, Catalyse Urbaine_Juliette Patterson, Michel Langlois, Gerard Leckey_Québec_Canada
Cat's Cradle, Catalyse Urbaine_Juliette Patterson, Michel Langlois, Gerard Leckey_Québec_Canada


Cat’s Cradle by Catalyse Urbaine (Juliette Patterson and Michel Langlois) with Gerard Leckey, from Québec, is a garden-sized aeolian harp, in which a lattice of piano strings, objects, and plantings combine to transform the site into a veritable musical instrument.

In addition, a special environmental project by 5.5 designers (Jean-Sébastien Blanc, Anthony Lebossé, Vincent Baranger, and Claire Renard), from France, will be presented. Fleur de pot consists of biodegradable oversized flower pots that gradually become miniature gardens.


Sous-terrain de jeu_Cédule 40_Quebec_Canada
Sous-terrain de jeu_Cédule 40_Quebec_Canada


Reflections on the Landscape

In keeping with a recent tradition, the Festival has invited six teams of designers to revisit their gardens created last year. These thoughtful and playful reinterpretations of the landscapes of the Gaspé region, as well as far-off lands, will enchant and delight visitors anew.

CÉDULE 40 (Québec) evokes vernacular rural, agricultural, and playground vocabularies in Sous-terrain de jeu, an interactive garden in which visitors participate in the planting the garden, but the earth is not as collaborative.

In Bois de biais, Atelier le balto (Germany) reaffirms the force of vegetation alone to transform a space and advocates the garden as a place of movement and evolution.


Sous-terrain de jeu_Cédule 40_Quebec_Canada
Sous-terrain de jeu_Cédule 40_Quebec_Canada


Core Sample_North Design Office_Ontario_Canada
Core Sample_North Design Office_Ontario_Canada


In Core Sample, by North Design Office (Ontario), a grid of fabricated core samples filled with organic and non-organic materials collected from the region traverses the site, which is structured with beautiful grassy landforms.

Core Sample_North Design Office_Ontario_Canada
Core Sample_North Design Office_Ontario_Canada


Core Sample_North Design Office_Ontario_Canada
Core Sample_North Design Office_Ontario_Canada


Core Sample_North Design Office_Ontario_Canada
Core Sample_North Design Office_Ontario_Canada


L'effet désert_Bosses design_Quebec_Canada
L'effet désert_Bosses design_Quebec_Canada


Playing with the phonetics of the translation for “greenhouse effectBosses design (Québec) evokes the dramatic effects of climate change on our planet in L’effet désert.

In Safe Zone, by Stoss Landscape Urbanism (United-States), an array of commercial products designed for potentially dangerous situations are turned to whimsical uses.

Le jardin des Hespérides, by Cao - Perrot Studio (United-States and France), draws on the sounds, scents, and materials of Vietnam, Cao’s country of origin, while in its own way evoking the riverine landscape of the St. Lawrence. A traditional Vietnamese lantern looms oversized in a black reflecting pond.


L'effet désert_Bosses design_Quebec_Canada
L'effet désert_Bosses design_Quebec_Canada


L'effet désert_Bosses design_Quebec_Canada
L'effet désert_Bosses design_Quebec_Canada


Sous-terrain de jeu_Cédule 40_Quebec_Canada
Sous-terrain de jeu_Cédule 40_Quebec_Canada


And finally, the elegant and visually intriguing garden installations by Hal Ingberg (Québec) and Benjamin Aranda & Chris Lasch (United States) are being held over from previous editions.

Sous-terrain de jeu_Cédule 40_Quebec_Canada
Sous-terrain de jeu_Cédule 40_Quebec_Canada


Sous-terrain de jeu_Cédule 40_Quebec_Canada
Sous-terrain de jeu_Cédule 40_Quebec_Canada


L'effet désert_Bosses design_Quebec_Canada
L'effet désert_Bosses design_Quebec_Canada


Les Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens

Les Jardins de Métis are located on the shores of the St. Lawrence and Mitis rivers in eastern Québec. A national historic site, the gardens are one of North America’s premier garden and tourist destinations with as many as 100,000 visitors every summer. Created by Elsie Reford over a period of 30 years, they are a living testimony to her passion for gardening and plants. The gardens are open to the public daily from 2 June to 30 September 2007.

International Garden Festival

Launched in 2000, the International Garden Festival takes place on a site adjacent to the historic gardens. A unique forum for innovation and experimentation, the Festival presents temporary gardens created by Québec, Canadian, and international designers. This artistic event allows visitors to discover inspiring spaces bringing together the visual arts, architecture, design, the landscape, and nature.

Since its inaugural edition, the Festival has won several awards, including the National Post Design Exchange Awards, the Grand Prix du tourisme québécois, and the Société des musées québécois prize for the best exhibition. In addition, numerous gardens have received awards from the Institut de Design Montréal (IDM), the Ordre des architects du Québec, the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects, Canada Blooms, and the Design Exchange.

www.refordgardens.com