Posts Tagged ‘garden tourism’


Lavender’s blue, dilly dilly, lavender’s green,
When I am king, dilly, dilly, you shall be queen.
Who told you so, dilly, dilly, who told you so?
‘Twas my own heart, dilly, dilly, that told me so.

On our weekend jaunt to the Eastern Township region of Quebec, one of our stops was Bleu Lavande Farm. The farm is situated south of Magog, near the village of Fitch Bay, and the rural roads that take you to your destination offer a very scenic drive. The roads are quiet, winding up and down and around the hilly landscape and there doesn’t seem to be much traffic. It was a surprise, therefore, when we reached the farm and found the parking field filled with cars and a tour bus. Where did they all come from?


Even the view from the parking area is lovely. The Eastern Township region is very pretty.


We headed for the entrance. There is a gift shop where every imaginable lavender product is available for purchase, and if you want to give growing lavender a try, you can buy plants. I settled for a t-shirt in a beautiful lavender blue.


There are displays about how the lavender is grown and processed, but the main attraction is, of course, the lavender fields themselves.


You can walk all around the sweetly-scented fields or picnic at tables set along the edges. The farm was started in 1999. Lavender is borderline hardy this far north, and it took a few years to explore the best options for successful lavender production. In 2002, 50,000 of the 60,000 plants failed to survive the winter, a major setback. However, by July of 2004, the farm was able to open its doors to the public and received over 30,000 visitors.





Since then, the farm has gone from strength to strength and is now the second largest commercial producer of lavender in North America. By 2008, the farm was drawing more than 190,000 visitors. It was certainly a pleasant spot to visit on a beautiful late July afternoon. You can visit the Bleu Lavande website here.


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My interest in mosaiculture was piqued during a trip out east last year, when I visited the New Brunswick Botanical Garden near Edmundston, NB. When I describe mosaiculture, I sometimes get the response “Oh, you mean topiary!’, but mosaiculture is a completely different art form. In mosaiculture, plants and forms are used to create three-dimensional sculptures. You can watch a little slide show featuring the mosaicultures on display at the New Brunswick garden here.


After I returned home, I did a little research about mosaiculture and found that Parc Marie-Victorin in Kingsey Falls, Quebec, features a number of sculptures. Accordingly, we planned a weekend trip to the Sherbrooke area to visit, amongst other spots, Parc Marie-Victorin. We were not disappointed! This beautiful garden was inaugurated in 1985 to commemorate the birth of Kingsey Falls’ most famous son, botanist Brother Marie-Victorin (born Joseph Louis Conrad Kirouac, April 3, 1885) who is perhaps best known for his contribution to the development of the Montreal Botanical Gardens. He also wrote Flore laurentienne,a botanical record of all southern Quebec indigenous species, the first such record to be compiled. You can learn more about Brother Marie-Victorin here. For more information about Parc Marie-Victorin, visit their website here.


One of the first mosaicultures you encounter as you enter the garden is this sizable representation of Brother Marie-Victorin himself, working in his garden. It even bears a pretty good resemblance to Brother Marie-Victorin. Many of the mosaicultures are of native fauna. Although there is plenty to see in the gardens, I’ll feature the sculptures in this post.


Situated close to Brother Marie-Victorin is this beautiful butterfly. Nearby, hanging in a tree, is a giant cocoon.


I loved these giant cactus, which form a backdrop to an attractive bedding planting.


Here are two magnificent puffins.


A frog can be seen behind this giant goose. When you approach the frog, there is an information board and you can listen to a recording of the frog’s song.


When you walk around to the rear of this snapping turtle, you see that she has just finished laying a clutch of ‘eggs’ in the sand.


This green darner dragonfly is particularly eye-catching.



Here’s a Common Snipe, a shorebird of the region.


This salamander is one of the largest sculptures.


Visitors have nothing to fear from this giant bee. A nest built with bark hangs nearby.



I’ll close with this caterpillar. Visitors can push a button to activate the caterpillar, whose mandibles move as he munches and crunches on his leaf.


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