Gardening on the Wild: Elsie Reford’s Gardens in Grand-Métis

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Date(s) - 24/10/2017
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre
102 Greenview Avenue

When Elsie Reford began gardening in Grand-Métis on the shores of the St. Lawrence and Metis Rivers in the 1920s, she was a horticultural pioneer. With determination and hard work, she transformed the forests and fields next to her fishing camp into a vast horticultural paradise. With the help of collectors, hybridizers and other gardeners, she developed a collection of plants that had few rivals in eastern Canada. Almost one hundred years later, her gardens are today at the cutting edge of landscape design. With the addition of the International Garden Festival in 2000, Metis is now synonymous with contemporary garden design, adventurous cuisine and cutting edge exhibitions.

Alexander Reford is an historian whose job for the past two decades has been to look back and look forward. Working with an extensive archive of photographs and documents, he has led efforts to chronicle the story of his great grandmother’s gardens in books and documentaries. He has also worked with a vast network of architects, landscape architects and artists in various fields to transform the gardens into a collaborative laboratory for creators from Canada and around the world. Join him for a presentation on the unique story of Elsie Reford’s gardens.

 About Alexander Reford

Alexander Reford is the director of Les Jardins de Métis / Reford Gardens. Born in Ottawa, and a native of Aylmer, Québec, he was educated at the University of Toronto and Oxford universities. He is the author of several books, including Elsie’s Paradiseand Treasures of the Reford Gardens.


Given the high profile of this speaker, the meeting has been moved to the Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre, 102 Greenview Avenue,  in Britannia.  This meeting will only be open to members of the Ottawa Horticultural Society; please bring your membership cards with you.

Anyone wishing to attend the presentation can purchase an OHS membership at the door for $15 for an individual or $20 for a family.  In addition to seeing a great presentation, membership benefits include a newsletter three times per year; summer garden tours, and discounts at local nurseries.