S: CVGC ANNiVERSARY Trip to LES JARDINS de METIS 2011
FC: Chateauguay Valley Garden Club celebrating 20 years in 2011
1: 1991 ...... the beginning Sheryl Morningstar Murphy was a passionate gardener with a far-reaching vision . She saw that within the sprawling Chateauguay Valley community there were many people who shared her love of working with plants and the earth. Sheryl wanted to bring these folk together, both novice gardeners and “old hands”, to share ideas and information and learn from each other. She also wanted to organize group trips to the Montreal Botanical Gardens and other inspiring places we always promise ourselves we’ll visit “someday”! The vision was a little slow in materializing. In early 1991, Sheryl placed an ad in the Gleaner, to which she received one response. Sheryl and another friend had a lengthy phone conversation exchanging ideas and possibilities. Within a short time, a little networking among friends expanded the founding membership to a grand total of five. 2011 ...... 20 years later We are now a club of more than 100 members. We have annual events featuring plant exchanges, bus trips, a pot luck picnic, winter meetings, speakers, garden visits both near and far, and workshops. This year we decided to celebrate by visiting an oft requested garden, Les Jardins de Metis in Grand Metis on the south shore of the St Lawrence River. With 56 passengers, we visited three beautiful gardens over a three day trip; Seigneuries des Aulnaies, Les Jardins de Metis and La Domaine Joly de Lotbiniere in St. Croix. It was fabulous and truly a wonderful way to celebrate our 20 years together
2: Lasting Memories... | the celebrators.....
3: Fifty six of us boarded the large bus early Tuesday morning with excitement and anticipation. The bus was abuzz. After picking up the ET ladies we settled in for what was to be long ride. We were kept occupied with a tour booklet, magazines and snacks. But,before we knew it we arrived at our first destination in Saint-Roch-des Aulnaies, just in time for lunch.
5: The more you laugh the longer you live | Seigneuries des Aulnaies is a unique heritage site, featuring a working flour mill. We had a buffet lunch in the basement of the Manoir, followed by a tour of the ancient home, given by the ghost of one of the original maids Penelope.A tour of the gardens and the mill also were on the agenda for the afternoon. But the time soon came to an end as we had many miles still to go, so with a blow of the whistle (a sound we became very familiar with) we climbed back on the bus and motored off.
6: Finally, Macel pulled up in front of Le Gaspesiana, our home away from home (for the next 2 nights)and were we glad to disembark. There was much flurry as rooms were found, suitcases unpacked, and the beautiful shore explored. | Beach Bunnies | "I hope you always have a shell in your pocket...and sand in your shoes."
7: Genevieve, our very congenial hostess (the motel owner) had set up for us a tent where we were able to partake of the incredible selection of cheeses and pates arranged for us by Karen and her ‘team’. Wine, donated by ‘The Fermented Grape’ was arranged on an adjacent picnic table and served by Penny, much to the delight of us all..
8: And then on to our meal in the motel restaurant of fresh lobster or filet mignon .. absolutely delicious. Our beds were a very welcome sight
9: Nature is painting for us... day after day... pictures of infinite beauty.
10: After a leisurely breakfast, we climbed onto the bus and in a few short minutes we arrived at Les Jardins de Metis, where we were welcomed by Alexander Reford who personally guided us to the Poppy Glade to see the blue poppy in its favoured habitat. What a treat! He gave us an abbreviated history of his grandmother’s garden and a brief summary of the various gardens we were about to ramble through. With regret, we left him and ambled our way through the glorious gardens he had talked about, on our way to Estevan Lodge and lunch. The gardens were full of blooming peonies, rhododendrons, primroses and hundreds of other colourful flowers, following a meandering path as it crisscrossed back and forth across a bubbling brook. Then down a corridor of fragrant peonies that led us to the lodge
12: Estevan Lodge | ......... and lunch
13: And as beautiful as the flowers were, so was the fabulous lunch. After a repast fit for lords and ladies, we were on our own until 3pm, to explore the museum upstairs, to return to favourite parts of the gardens or to the Contemporary Art area (or all three, if we didn’t dawdle). | Elsie Reford | "Here of a summer’s night, when there is one of those rare all-pervading stillnesses and the world seems wrapped in a scared silence, broken only by the slow rhythm of the sea lapping its waters upon the shore; with the moon, silver clear in a cloudless sky, flood-lighting every petal of every lily and the upturned face of every flower, the ineffable beauty of the scene transcends time and place to bring an awareness of the eternal beyond and of a closeness to it.”
15: If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere Van Gogh
16: In the morning, bright and early, with a whistle in our ear, and a wave to Genevieve, we set off for home. | saying good bye
17: But before home, we have another visit to a wonderful garden and lunch. Domaine Joly de Lotbiniere was to be our host for this part of our trip. This garden is well hidden in the countryside of St. Croix along the shore of the St. Lawrence; a beautifully maintained garden open to the public, with a wide variety of garden styles. After a truly gastronomic treat at lunch, we wandered through the gardens, marvelling at the abundance and beauty of the many, many, varieties of plants. There was a border path featuring a symmetrical display of flowers, a parterre in the French style, an alpine garden, a water garden and a calm, relaxing woodland garden. Two hours definitely was not enough time to fully enjoy all this garden has to offer (maybe a return trip?).
20: It was a wonderful trip and so say all of us! The success was due to the efforts of many people:. the CVGC planning committee for all the organizational efforts Karen and her team for the fabulous hospitality event, a crowning touch The Fermented Grape for the wine Genevieve for all her efforts to make our stay at her motel, Le Gaspeiana, a memorable one Alex Reford for personally meeting and greeting us Crabtree & Evelyn for their sensational sample gift pack Marcel, the bus driver for his fine drving, patience and sense of humor And last, but far from least, our members, about whom many people, along our way, commented to us about how easy going and pleasant our group was. Way to go guys.! You make it easy, and fun to plan such events Happy Anniversary ........ to the next 20!