2022 in Pictures

Banner photo : Réflexions colorées, by JC Lemay Photo.

Prologue, by Alexander Reford

The Reford Gardens is wonderfully photogenic. There are so many beautiful plants, people and panoramas. So instead of overloading you with text for our final newsletter of 2022 (and first one of 2023), we thought it best to offer a visual feast with just a few words sprinkled on top. The last year has offered countless photo opportunities. And, as always, we have been fortunate to have been able to welcome some very talented photographers to take advantage of those opportunities. We also have a few shutterbugs on our own staff. You will have seen Charlotte Garneau at many of our events, Nikon at her disposal. Charlotte Garneau joined our marketing staff at the start of the summer of 2021. She has become our photojournalist, documenting the many artisans of our cultural programming and of you and others enjoying the events. She is also a very able photographer of the flowers in the gardens, chronicling the magical moments as plants emerge into bloom. Another photographer of note in our employ is Marjelaine Sylvestre. Now director of the museum department (and hence very busy with mounting temporary exhibitions at Estevan Lodge and in the Great Hall), Marjelaine has a special talent with a camera, having graduated in photography from the CEGEP de Matane and perfecting her knowledge of camera work by managing our archives of historic photos and exhibition projects for nearly a decade.

Like all photographers who toured the gardens this summer, Charlotte and Marjelaine been inspired by special talent of Louise Tanguay who was literally everywhere. Louise was with us in July photographing plants in the early morning, launching her book and full-size mosaic at the entrance. She even showed off her skills on the mandolin and the piano at a musical picnic in the arboretum. Louise’s new books (Reford Gardens – As Time Goes By and Les Jardins de Métis : Au fil du temps) are photographic poems. They show the gardens at their best. We saluted her as our Earth Day Heroine in April and with justice, because Louise’s love of nature is present in every image that she has produced in her long career as a photographer.   Many of you have been generous in sharing your photos with us. Day in and day out, we get photos from visitors or see them posted and shared on social media. Now it is our turn to show off a few photos of our own. You will see familiar faces and places. But there are also a few surprises. And even perhaps some regrets, as we hosted so many amazing events over the past year that it would have been impossible to attend all of the events. Enjoy the photo work of Charlotte, Marjelaine and our multiple collaborators.

Alexander Reford, director of the Reford Gardens


Photos: the 2021 edition of the International Garden Festival Magic lies Outside under the snow, by JC Lemay Photo. The Rimouski photographer and partner of the Reford Gardens, JC Lemay, was asked by M. Reford to take a series of photos of the International Garden Festival in winter during the first months of 2022. Hässja, Miroirs acoustiques, the now dismantled Ligne de 100 ans and Réflexions colorées create, each in turn, surprising landscapes, full of magic. JC was the subject of a Notebook earlier this year.

Photo : the Gardens in winter, by the drone photographer Éric Berger.

Photos: recording of the podcast Les fabuleux jardins d’Elsie Reford, by Charlotte Garneau.

Over several months in the winter of 2022, the Radio-Canada Ohdio team responsible for the podcast Les fabuleux jardins d’Elsie Reford, accompanied by narrator Marie-Thérèse Fortin, turned the Gardens into a recording studio. Several key employees were part of the recording, including Patricia Gallant, horticulturist (pictured here with Marie-Thérèse Fortin), Alexander Reford and Marjelaine Sylvestre.

Photo: Photographer Joan Sullivan, in residence at ERE 132, by Charlotte Garneau.


Photos: the first place where green appears in spring – the greenhouses, by Charlotte Garneau.

Photos: students of l’école des Cheminots – de l’Envol, by their teacher Philippe Cavanagh L’école des Cheminots – de l’Envol spent a year conceptualizing a living mosaic for the Reford Gardens lambmowers. Patricia, horticulturist at the Gardens, was present at each field trip for this ephemeral art workshop, which brought together geometry, geography, science, art, and more.

Photos: the first blooms of May, by Charlotte Garneau.

Photo : the Elsie 150 Committee, behind the great festivities of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Elsie Reford, creator of the Reford Gardens, accompanied by former Quebec Premier Pauline Marois, the guest of honor of the launching activity. The committee was composed of Alexander Reford, Élise Godin, Julie Isabel, Marion Desrosiers, Marjelaine Sylvestre and Karine Hébert.

Photos: the first blooms of June, by Charlotte Garneau.

Photo: late spring signals the blooming of azaleas and rhododendrons, an event captured here by Marjelaine Sylvestre.


Photos: the 23rd edition of the International Garden Festival – ADAPTATION, launched on June 23. La vie continue, under the eye of JC Lemay, as well as Mer du vent, under the eye of Mia de Bonis were both extra-murals gardens. Within the Festival itself, Gravity Field and Les huit collines, photographed by JC Lemay, as well as Lichen, Forteresses and Forêt finie, espace infini ? by our collaborator Martin Bond (always the first to photograph the Festival!). The inauguration of the Festival, with the notable presence of Pierre Thibault and Marie-Thérèse Fortin, as well as the visual identity created by Principal, are photographed by Charlotte Garneau.

Photos : the meadow, by Charlotte Garneau.

Photos: the omnipresence of music at the Reford Gardens, by Charlotte Garneau.

Photos: the peonies on the terrace at the end of June, by Charlotte Garneau.

Photos : Alexis Aubin-Laperrière, gyotaku print artist and spouse of Alice Pascual, actress playing Elsie Reford in the play Les saumons de la Mitisipu, written by actress and playwright Christine Beaulieu and scenography by Geneviève Lizotte, under the eye of Charlotte Garneau.

Photos: Blue poppies in bloom, by Charlotte Garneau.

Photos: contemporary dance at the Gardens, by Charlotte Garneau.

Photos: the beauty of the Gardens in the rain, by Charlotte Garneau.

Photo: the Estevan Lodge, by Marjelaine Sylvestre. This photo quickly became the official visual of the podcast From Downton Abbey to the Reford Gardens, produced by the Gardens and Umanium, and available on our website, Spotify and Apple Podcast.

Photos: some of the many varieties of roses in the historic gardens, by Charlotte Garneau.

Photos: visual art at the Reford Gardens – Louise Tanguay in front of her mural As Time Goes By…, Olmsted 200 by Geoffrey James, RESTORATION and The Four Seasons by Mark Raynes Roberts, as well as Look-à-tout, by Alexis Aubin-Laperrière – photographed by Charlotte Garneau.

Photos: the variety of the vegetable garden, by Charlotte Garneau.

Photos: delightful and full of local flavour – the fine dining at the Gardens, the employees, collaborators – like the Mitis Distillery – and events, by Charlotte Garneau. The 2022 season has been a busy one for the catering staff.  Frédérick Boucher, chef of the Villa Estevan Lodge restaurant and the Bistro Le Bufton, held down the fort with a masterful hand, presenting, again and again, delicious meals made exclusively from local ingredients – his signature. On August 17th, Frédérick hosted Chef Ricardo in his kitchen for the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee, a benefit event for the Elsie 150 Legacy Fund.

Photo: The Gardens hosted an event of the Circuit électrique, powered by Hydro Quebec, partner since 1999. This vehicle was photographed by Charlotte Garneau.

Photos: late summer blooms – lilies, by Charlotte Garneau.


Photo: museology at the Gardens, by Charlotte Garneau. Marjelaine Sylvestre, director of the museum department, and Gisèle Villacorta-Murcia, collections archivist, are essential to the institution’s conservation vocation. Fishing Guides, the 2022 temporary exhibition, is the result of a year of hard work, fueled by the desire to share history and knowledge. This desire is now facilitated by the consultation room in the Great Hall of the Reford Gardens, making the collection of objects related to the Gardens and the family of their creator Elsie Reford easily accessible to the public.

Photos: The Great Hall of the Reford Gardens, a new multidisciplinary building, and its designers – the Atelier Pierre Thibault – shining like a beacon in the night, photographed by Maxime Brouillet.

Photos: the Reford Gardens in autumn [seen from up close], by Charlotte Garneau.

Photo: the literary tea party Les racistes n’ont jamais vu la mer, by Rodney Saint-Éloi and Yara El-Ghadban, photo by Mathieu Gosselin.

Photos: the Reford Gardens – community gatherers for 60 years, by Charlotte Garneau.

Free Sundays, an initiative of the Ministère de la culture et des communications, allow greater accessibility to culture for the community here – much to the delight of our director Alexander Reford (second to last photo above), who sees the towns and villages of the MRC de La Mitis gather at the Gardens for splendid days of activities.

This photo selection only scratches the surface of the richness of 2022 for the Reford Gardens. That sixtieth year of opening, which also celebrated the 150th anniversary of the birth of their creator Elsie Reford, was full of projects and great revelations – but 2023 will bring just as many, and we hope to have you with us to participate, and make the Gardens as photogenic as they were in 2022.