March 14, 2011

For immediate distribution


International Garden Festival Presents a Feature Garden at Canada Blooms in Toronto

For immediate release

March 14, 2011 – Grand-Métis (Québec).
The International Garden Festival returns to Canada Blooms in Toronto from March 16 to March 20 for the presentation of a feature garden by London-based landscape architect Deb Nagan. Canada Blooms is Canada’s premier garden show and attracts more than 100,000 visitors to view the gardens and displays at the Direct Energy Centre.

The Festival will present “how green is the garden?” by Deb Nagan. The garden features 5 colourful garden sheds displayed on a parterre of materials that will intrigue and entrance visitors. How green is the garden? is intended to make gardeners think of the environmental impact of their own garden. Gardeners make beautiful places – but just how environmentally aware, or indeed environmentally friendly are we? Can our little gardens face up to and expose the big issues that our changing and increasingly un-natural world is imposing on us? Our own garden sheds often contain pesticides, chemicals, broken tools, years of accumulated junk, projects started but unfinished, a snapshot of the hidden truth in our garden and our lives. This garden challenges us to look at the real impact we are having on the environment, and also provides the perfect white space in which to find new inspiration.

Each of the five sheds is a minimal garden in itself. But the sometimes uncomfortable juxtaposition of the materials outside the shed, and the contents within are intended to provoke questions about gardens and built landscapes. Are gardens, and all our landscaping efforts as green as they seem? Should we really be leaving nature alone? Is it time to stop exploiting our natural resources, or is it time to harvest and use them with more care?

Deborah Nagan ( designs landscapes and conceptual gardens and is a partner at naganjohnson in London, England. She has created small gardens in London, Luxembourg and Canada, and large landscapes in Qatar, Barbados, Bahrain, Italy, the United Arab Emirates and the UK. In both cases the landscapes have a strong concept at their core. For her, gardens consist of many layers, and may reveal their meaning over long periods. She is interested in contemporary design, but is also a practical gardener, growing fruit and vegetables from her front garden in central London.

This garden is a variant of Every Garden Needs a Shed and a Lawn, the garden designed by Deb Nagan for the 10th anniversary edition of  the Festival in 2009. The garden has been the crowd favourite for the past two summers and will return to be exhibited for the 12th edition of the Festival this summer.

This garden is presented with the assistance of Landscape Ontario. The sponsor of this garden is Le Groupe Germain.  A family-owned Quebec company, Groupe Germain Hospitality owns and operates five Le Germain Boutique-hotels – in Quebec City, Montreal, Toronto and Calgary. In 2010, Hôtel Le Germain Calgary and Hôtel Le Germain Maple Leaf Square opened and strengthen the brand’s offer and national reach.  Groupe Germain Hospitality also owns and operates two “no frills chic” ALT Hotels: in Montreal's Quartier DIX30 and Quebec City. A third ALT Hotel – the brand’s first property outside of Quebec – is scheduled to open in the spring of 2012 at Pearson International. Groupe Germain Hospitality is renowned for the impeccable warmth and style it brings to its properties.

12th Edition of the International Garden Festival
The 12th edition of the International Garden Festival will feature 23 gardens (the largest number ever) by designers from Canada, the United States, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Among the highlights of the 2011 edition of the Festival will be the presentation of the three gardens by leading landscape architects based in New York. Special projects for 2011 include the installation of Verdant Walk by Toronto landscape architects Pete and Alissa North of North Design.

Les Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens offer activities for every taste: design days with the designers during the week the gardens are under construction, exhibitions, tastings, musical brunches and literary teas from June to October. Culinary events in aid of the International Garden Festival will be held with guest chefs in July and August. For more information on the program of events and activities, consult the gardens web site or come by the booth in the Via Garden Route section at Canada Blooms where Pierre-Olivier Ferry and Melanie Gauthier will be happy to respond to your questions and help organize your trip this summer. 

About the Gardens
Les Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens are located on the shores of the St. Lawrence and Mitis rivers at the gateway to the Gaspé Peninsula, dubbed by National Geographic Traveler magazine as one of the “20 Best Trips of 2011”. A national historic site, Les Jardins de Métis are ranked as one of the “great gardens of North America”. Created by Elsie Reford over a period of 30 years, they are a living testimony to her passion for gardening and plants. The gardens will celebrate the 50th anniversary of their opening to the public and the 125th anniversary of Estevan Lodge in 2012. Today, her great grandson, Alexander Reford, leads a team committed to preserving this unique horticultural heritage and presenting the unique gardens of the 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 has presented 200 gardens by more than 400 designers from fourteen countries. This artistic event allows visitors to discover inspiring spaces bringing together the visual arts, architecture, design, the landscape, and nature.

Les Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens are open from June 4th to October 2nd, 2011. The International Garden Festival is open from June 25th to October 2nd.

To obtain additional information on designer Deb Nagan or photos of the Canada Blooms garden or additional information on the International Garden Festival, consult the garden’s web site: or contact Alexander Reford at the number below. 

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Alexander Reford
Director, Les Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens
T: (418) 775-2222, x 222 or during Canada Blooms at: (418) 750-3930



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