The International Garden Festival announced the designers selected for its 23rd edition, with the theme being “Adaptation.” The Reford Gardens opens on June 4 this year and the festival runs from June 25 to Oct. 2, 2022.

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A kid walking through a wooden structure

The International Garden Festival is considered the leading contemporary garden festival in North America. Founded in 2000, it has since featured more than 200 gardens exhibited at Grand-Métis in Quebec and around the world. The event exhibits conceptual gardens created by dozens of architects, landscape architects and designers on the banks of the St. Lawrence River, Canada. There are the five installations scheduled to be created for the festival.

Related: Biodegradable sparks of light make up this organic firework

Two people standing in a forest


Lichen is “a perceptive, malleable and mutable organism,” according to Designers Marie-Pier Gauthier-Manes, Chloe Isaac and Victor Roussel. “It metamorphoses in contact with the topography, humidity and ambient temperature. Like its namesake, it is sensitive to disturbances in its environment and is therefore a valuable indicator of environmental change.”

Furthermore, it is created from small earthenware rings that work together to create a structure to support other plant species on the ground. This material allows for drainage and water retention. Lichen is appropriate for constant irrigation of the soil and longer moisture retention for better plant growth.

A spiral structure in the middle of a forest. The photo to the right is trees growing out of the spiral structure


Urban Planner Eadeh Attarzadeh and Architect Lorenzo Saroli Palumbo from Montreal created the installation Forteresses.

“Forteresses is an intervention within the forest, symbolizing an aggressive way to protect our flora from its greatest predator: ourselves,” said the designers.

Each fortress system was inspired by organic geometries often presented in a simplified manner in nature. The geometry of each modular system is suited to the protected tree varying by height and age. The installation is meant to ask the question about how we can protect flora that can’t protect itself.

A square building structure in the middle of a forest

Foret finie, espace infini?

From a distance Foret finie, espace infini? looks like a pile of sawn and dried wood waiting to be used in a construction project. Creators Antonin Boulanger Cartier, Melaine Niget and Pierre-Olivier Demeule created the project. It is covered with plastic sheeting like a construction site, to sit in the middle of a path crossing the boreal forest.

“By approaching, a section of the tarpaulin is unhooked and you are invited to slip into it,” said the designers. “Inside, a structure made of finely assembled wooden slats reveals a path modulated by a play of solids and voids. Surrounded by mirrors, the space with its elusive limits offers a thousand reflections.”

More funhouse of mirrors than a traditional garden, this provocative piece asks us to reimagine the spaces around a garden, the meaning of constructing it and what the purpose and reach is of building structures.

Sunflowers hanging from an overhang with people walking underneath it

Gravity Field

TERRAIN WORK’s Theodore Hoerr, Kelly Waters and Rebecca Shen created Gravity Field. It is a structure covered in sunflowers, exploring the concept of adaptation through nature’s ability to thrive in harsh environments.

There is a theme of fragile balance and the frailty of sensitive species with the rapid destruction of the natural world that cannot keep up with climate change.

Gravity Field explores the “robust adaptation” of plants in even extremely strenuous conditions. A floating cloud of sunflowers will transform while the installation is on display. The sunflowers are first grown upside down, but will bend up as they grow towards the sun.

Two photos of the typography of a land

Les huit collines

ONOMIAU’s Noel Picaper and Levallois-Perret created Les huit collines, an evolving set of structures that imagine biological spatialities.

Les huit collines functions as a seating area, a micro-garden, a contemplative space and an ecological reservoir. The project’s modularity adapts to the different events of the festival.

“Our desire, behind this assembly of surfaces, is to reveal the richness of a whole environment, catalyzing other forms of interactions for various living beings,” the designers said.

+ Festival International de Jardins

Images via Antonin Boulanger-Cartier, Melaine Niget et Pierre-Olivier Demeule, TERRAIN WORK, Theodore Hoerr, Kelly Waters, Rebecca Shen, Marie-Pier Gauthier-Manes, Chloé Isaac, Victor Roussel