The International Garden Festival unveils designers selected for its 24th edition on the theme ROOTS

11 Jan 2023

The International Garden Festival is pleased to announce the projects selected for its 24th edition, titled ROOTS, which will run from June 24th to October 1st, 2023.

Photo credit: Jinny Yu, Ki Jun Kim and Frédéric Pitre, Germany / Canada (Ontario + Quebec)

The International Garden Festival is pleased to announce the projects selected for its 24th edition, titled ROOTS, which will run from June 24th to October 1st, 2023. This year, Ève De Garie-Lamanque, the event’s Artistic Director, invited designers to imagine a present and a future that is ecologically, economically, and culturally responsible by drawing on the teachings of past generations. Close to 60,000 people visited the Reford Gardens in 2022.

A total of 134 projects by designers from 32 countries were submitted. The five gardens selected for the 2023 edition are:

Photo credit: Jinny Yu, Ki Jun Kim and Frédéric Pitre,
Germany / Canada (Ontario + Quebec)

Le jardin des quatre colonnes

Vincent Dumay and Baptiste Wullschleger, Sweden / France

With a project that is both poetic and a manifesto, we hope that the public will discover solutions for a more desirable and virtuous future. The intent is to raise awareness of the question of the finite character of our resources. Le jardin des quatre colonnes is an experience that unfolds through time, where elements built with raw earth within a living environment will evolve freely over the years.

Adobe construction is a technique that consists of compacting soil mixed with moisture in successive layers inside a casing – it makes visible what normally lies hidden beneath our feet. The fluted boles are built using a tubular casing which gives them their specific shape, evoking Doric columns.


Friche Atelier (Frédérique Allard, Jean-Jacques Yervant and Aliénor de Montalivet), Canada (Quebec)

The use of plants is at the heart of the development of our civilizations. Whether for nourishment, protection, healing, or clothing, their multiple applications have allowed populations to survive and prosper.

The dyeing properties of plants have been known since Antiquity, and their use as a colouring agent for plant and animal fibres reflects millennium-old know-how, exploiting the different parts of a plant (leaves, roots, flowers, fruits…). Maillage explores the relationship between two worlds, that of the textile, and that of the vegetal, on a metaphorical level.


Studio Haricot (Marie-Pier Caron-Desrochers, Tristan Morissette), Rose-Marie Guévin and Vincent Ouellet, Canada (Quebec)

matière-matière is the intrinsic experience of a tone-on-tone relation (texture upon texture, colour upon colour): volumes emerge like fruits from the site as extensions of the vegetation. Three walls bend, converge, and project themselves, dilating and contracting. The project is an invitation to tactilely feel one’s way through materiality stripped bare, inside moments of uncanny encounters. This structure of hemp concrete, deposited in the context of a patch of wheat and a carpet of mulch, offers a parallel between the possible transformations of vegetal fibres up to the materialization of the proposed spaces.

Racines de mer

Cassandra Ducharme-Martin and Gabriel Demeule, Canada (Quebec)

In a climate similar to ours, on the island of Læsø in Denmark, women built the roofs of their houses with the help of a marine plant called eelgrass. Due to the waterproof and fireproof properties of these marine plants that are harvested on beaches, these roofs have resisted the ravages of time for more than three hundred years.

Racines de mer proposes a reflection on the built environment of the future. It offers the visitor the possibility of discovering Quebec’s territory and traditional skills. On the one hand, the light wooden frame left uncovered, celebrates the elegance of this method of construction, a system omnipresent in North America. On the other hand, its roof made of algae, inspired by those of the island of Læsø, exploits the riches of the St. Lawrence River and reveals its dormant potential.



Jinny Yu, Ki Jun Kim and Frédéric Pitre, Germany / Canada (Ontario + Quebec)

Visitors are invited to enter a submerged maze: a puzzle with various possible routes and dead ends meant to confuse and challenge those who explore. At the same time, the top of the wall of the trenches, which is at ground level, allows for the possibility of deciphering the pathway with an overall view of the route before entering. Upon entering the subterranean world, visitors reach the first level of the substratum of the root system, where they can walk around a network composed of earth and white clover, representing the pattern of the roots of two trees linked by fungal mycelium.

The white clover, like older and more recent settlers, came from Europe and took root spreading across the North American continent and interacting with the ecology of the native soil. S’y retrouver invites visitors to slow down and reflect both on the root system and post-colonialism.

Special Mentions

Two projects received a special mention from the jury: Divine nature, by Bernard-Félix Chénier, Hugo Duguay, Nathaniel Proulx Joanisse, Karl Robert and Justine Valois; and Edwidge, by Ariane Ouellet-Pelletier and Thomas O. St-Pierre.

Selection Committee

This year’s selection committee was composed of David Bonnard, Architect HMONP (ENSAL) and founder of HYTT Architecture, Lyon, France; Stéphanie Henry, Landscape Architect AAPQ-CSLA and co-founder of Castor et Pollux – Agence de paysage et design urbain, Montréal; François Côté, Senior Partner at Norton Rose Fulbright Canada and member of the Festival’s Board of Directors; Alexander Reford, Director of the Reford Gardens / International Garden Festival; Ève De Garie-Lamanque, Artistic Director of the International Garden Festival; and François Leblanc, the Festival’s Technical Coordinator.

Photo credit: Friche Atelier (Frédérique Allard, Jean-Jacques
Yervant et Aliénor de Montalivet), Canada (Québec)