March 17, 2012

For immediate distribution


The Feature Garden Presented by the International Garden Festival at Canada Blooms in Toronto wins award as the Most Imaginative Garden Design

March 17, 2012, Grand-Métis (Québec). The feature garden presented by the International Garden Festival at Canada Blooms, Surface Deep, took the award for Most Imaginative Garden Design at Canada Blooms. The garden is designed by asensio_mah of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Canada Blooms opened yesterday in Toronto and runs until Sunday, March  25  at the Direct Energy Centre.

Surface Deep Canada Blooms is a uniquely innovative garden that presents 210 white boxes that conceal hidden beauty beneath the surface. The garden unwraps in twists and undulations to reveal pocket gardens. Hiding within the unfolding surfaces of white plastic are secret micro moss gardens that reveal themselves and their beauty to inquisitive visitors. Revisiting the garden wall, an element that has been a consistent expressive element within the history of gardens, the wall is augmented and transformed to form a ribbon surface that constructs new associations, expressions and functions for the entry sequence. Its undulating form also embeds an experimental moss surface that flips between wall, floor, cover, creating multiple orientations and microclimates for the living material.

Surface Deep was created for the 2011 edition of the International Garden Festival at Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens and has been conceived and developed with the collaboration of students from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, where Leyre Asensio-Villoria and David Syn Chee Mah are faculty members. Surface Deep will be presented again this summer from June 23 to September 30, 2012.

About the Designers
Asensio_mah is a multi-disciplinary design collaborative active in the design of architecture, landscape design, masterplanning, interior design and installations. Asensio_mah was established by Leyre Asensio-Villoria and David Syn Chee Mah in 2002. Asensio_mah is currently completing a number of projects in Europe and have published and exhibited their work internationally.

The mosses for this garden Callicladium haldanium and Thuidium delicatulum were grown in a nursery environment by Suzanne Campeau, biologist and founder of Bryophyta Technologies, a firm that specializes in growing moss carpets based in Cookshire in the Eastern Townships of Québec.

This is the 10th time the Festival has presented a feature garden at Canada Blooms. The garden presented at last year’s edition of Canada Blooms was awarded the Leslie L. Solty Memorial Award Best Creativity in Garden Design for designer Deborah Nagan. The gardens also have a booth in the Via Rail Garden Route area.

13th Edition of the International Garden Festival
The 13th edition of the International Garden Festival will feature 24 gardens (the largest number ever) by designers from Montréal, Toronto and Winnipeg and from the United States, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. The Festival is also presenting extra-mural gardens in London as part of the inaugural edition of the Chelsea Fringe festival and on selected sites in the nearby communities of Ste-Flavie and Mont-Joli.

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 more than 125 gardens by over 500 designers from fourteen countries over the past decade. This artistic event allows visitors to discover inspiring spaces bringing together the visual arts, architecture, design, the landscape, and nature.

About Les Jardins de Métis / Reford 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. A national historic site, the gardens are one of North America’s premier garden and tourist destinations. Created by Elsie Reford over a period of 30 years, they are a living testimony to her passion for gardening and plants. 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. During the summer of the 2012, the gardens will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the opening of the gardens to the public and the 125th anniversary of Estevan Lodge, the historic fishing camp at the heart of the gardens.

Les Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens are open from June 2 to September 30, 2012. The International Garden Festival is open from June 23 to September 30, 2012. To obtain additional information on the gardens or the International Garden Festival, consult the garden’s web site:

The International Garden Festival is presented with the financial assistance of many public and private partners: Canada Council for the Arts, Canadian Heritage, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Tourisme Québec, Canada Summer Jobs and Emploi-Québec The sponsors of the 13th edition are: Premier Horticulture, Miellerie Tête en Fleurs and Pépinière Charlevoix. Hydro-Québec has been a major partner of Les Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens since 1999 and is the lead sponsor of the 13th edition of the International Garden Festival.

To learn more:
Harvard Graduate School of Design  
Bryophyta (specialized moss grower) 
Adams Kara Taylor (engineering) 
Canada Blooms 
Landscape Ontario 

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Alexander Reford
Director, Reford Gardens / International Garden Festival
T: (418) 775-2222, x 222 or during Canada Blooms at: (418) 750-3930



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