With Ann Van de Reep July 5 – 12, 2017

Come celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday this year with Worldwide Ecotours in La Belle Province of Quebec with your host, Ann Van de Reep. Our journey takes us from one of the world’s largest botanical garden in Montreal to one of the smallest, the Joan of Arc Garden in Quebec City as well as special access to a few spectacular private gardens. Some gardens such as Reford Gardens (Jardins de Metis) and Domaine Joly-De Lotbinière combine historical and horticultural discoveries. Other gardens blend French and English garden design and traditions. We take a dinner cruise on magnificent Lake Memphrémagog in the Eastern Townships and explore the heritage of Montreal and Quebec City by bus and on foot. We invite you to join us as we explore the diverse and beautiful gardens of Quebec. 


Today is an arrival day. Late afternoon meet Jane in the hotel lobby for a brief welcome followed by a city tour. Experience an overview of Montréal and its sites such as Old Montreal, Mount Royal Park Lookout, Saint Joseph’s Oratory, Notre-Dame Basilica and the Olympic Stadium. Montreal is celebrating its 375th birthday and there are many events throughout the year. D
Credit: Tourisme Montréal, Stéphan Poulin
Today tour the Montreal Botanical Gardens, recognized as one of the world’s greatest botanical gardens. With its collection of 22,000 plant species and cultivars, 10 exhibition greenhouses, and more than 20 thematic gardens spread out over 75 hectares, it offers a colourful program of events, exhibitions and activities all year long. Our tour includes a visit to the greenhouses.

We then visit the Jardins Michel Corbeil created by one of Quebec’s primary wholesale growers of perennials. This garden features a woodland garden, a low-maintenance garden and much more. We tour the garden as well as the greenhouses with over 3000 varieties of perennials and small shrubs.

We end our day with a tour of the private garden of Marcel Renaud and René Poirier in Rosemère. Rosemère is graced with some of the most beautiful estates and gardens in the greater Montreal region. B
Credit: Jardin botanique de Montréal (Michel Tremblay)
Your first visit is to the private garden of Claire Léger. This vast garden includes woodland paths, huge flower beds, magnificent sculptures, water features and a wonderful view of Lake Brome, plus a wide variety of perennials and grasses.

After lunch we tour the private Gardens of Glen Villa. Glen Villa is a 40-acre garden that weaves nature, art and history into a rich horticultural experience. Distinct outdoor “garden rooms,” sculptures and art installations – some by the noted Quebec sculptors Louise Doucet and Satoshi Saito, and others by the owner Pat Webster – highlight the history of the property and the people who have lived here. 

End your day with a dinner cruise on the magnificent Lake Memphrémagog. Overnight Magog. BD
Credit: Patrick A.G. Vuillemin, Bureau d'information touristique de Memphrémagog
Domaine Joly-de Lotbinière, founded in 1828, was the home of Sir Henri-Gustave Joly de Lotbinière, Premier of the Province of Québec from 1878 to 1879. A passionate horticulturist, he turned his vast estate into a trial garden for new and exotic plants. In his most famous experiment, he imported 10,000 black walnut seeds, a species not considered hardy in Quebec and with only a few hundred surviving the harsh winters. Today 100 ancient walnut trees from the original experiment still stand. Domaine Joly-de Lotbinière continues to experiment with new plants and we’ll visit its trial gardens of 2,300 of the latest varieties of perennials, annuals and vegetables and rare plant nursery.

Continue your journey to the Jardins de Gisèle. This magnificent 6,665-square meter flower garden features a collection of 500 irises of different colours along with 200 varieties of lily and 225 varieties of daylilies. 

Overnight Rimouski. B
Credit: Domaine Joly-De Lotbinière
A National Historic Site, the Reford Gardens / Jardins de Métis has been a tourist destination for over 50 years. The Reford Gardens provides visitors with experiences for all the senses. Visitors to this historic domain of over 200 acres can admire the splendours of some 3,000 species and varieties of native and exotic plants displayed in fifteen gardens, including a garden dedicated to the famous blue poppy. The International Garden Festival presents conceptual gardens by leading designers from around the world. 

The group will meet with the Garden Director, Alexander Reford, the great-grandson of Elsie Reford, creator of the Gardens and a student architect will tour the group around the International Garden Festival.

Continue to Quebec City, about a 4 hour drive. B
Credit: Jardins de Métis / Reford Gardens, Louise Tanguay
Today’s visits include both public and private gardens. The public garden, Joan of Arc Garden, was designed in 1938 by landscape architect Louis Perron. It is unusual in that it blends the French classical style with its geometric plan with the British-style flowerbeds containing some 350 varieties of perennials, annuals and shrubs. A statue of Joan of Arc donated by American sculptress Anna Hyatt Huntington to “the most beautiful city in the world” is the centrepiece of a sunken garden. The garden is part of the National Battlefields Park commemorating the Battle of the Plains of Abraham.  

The Roger Van den Hende Botanical Garden is Québec City’s only official botanical garden. It began in 1966 as a teaching garden for the students of the Faculty of Agriculture of Laval University, Canada’s oldest university. Named for its founder, Professor Roger Van den Hende, the garden covers 6 hectares on a wind-blown plateau and displays over 4,000 species of hardy and tender plants. The heart of the garden is the Herbacetum, a systematic garden in the European style where plants are laid out according to their family. But there is also an Arboretum, a water garden, a rose garden, an ericacetum, a climbing plant collection, annual trial gardens, and a compost demonstration. 

After lunch visit the private garden of Marcel Beaulieu and Alan Gagnon. Cut out of the boreal forest, the surprising gardens of Marcel Beaulieu and Alain Gagnon feature plants rarely seen in home gardens, including native plants, giant lilies (Cardiocrinum) and hardy clematis. 

Bernard Carrier is one of Quebec City’s most noted plant collectors and his yard is full of horticultural surprises, including some of his own hybrids, like the variegated crabapple ‘Rainbow’. He also maintains a small nursery of rare plants under the name “Les Introuvables” (the unfindables). You’ll find plenty of zone 6 plants thriving in zone 4 under his special care. End the day with a visit to the Parliamentary Food Garden. This is a fascinating project by a group called the Urbainculteurs. Their aim is to encourage organic, urban agricultural projects and put food plants on public view. The Parliamentary Food Gardens consist of in-ground and raised garden beds of edible plants. Crop selection includes blueberries, grape vines and greens. In addition, there are beehives on top of the Jean-Antoine Panet building. B
Credit: By Cephas - Own work
Credit: Tourisme Montréal, Stéphan Poulin
This morning experience the period charm of Old Quebec on a three hour guided walking tour. We uncover Upper and Lower Town’s colourful history, culture and architecture. Founded in 1608 we explore the Plains of Abraham, the fortifications, the Ursuline's Convent, Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church and many more. We stroll along one of the oldest commercial streets in Canada, Petit Champlain Street and cobblestoned streets lined with mansard-roofed houses.

Remainder of the day yours to wander Old Quebec independently.

Tonight enjoy a farewell dinner. BD
Credit: Québec City Tourism
The tour ends after breakfast. You are welcome to depart at any time. Or you may want to extend your stay in this beautiful city. B
Credit: Tourisme Montréal, Stéphan Poulin

Our Host

Ann Van de Reep

Ann Van de Reep has been involved in horticulture in Calgary for many years, both professionally and as a volunteer. Along with working as a garden designer and consultant, she also spent two years as project coordinator of the Alberta Perennial Trial program and taught both Landscape Design and Perennial Plant ID courses in the botanical education department at the Calgary Zoo. She recently retired to spend more time travelling and gardening

Tour Information

Tour Length: 8 days / 7 nights
Date: July 5 – 12, 2017
Land Price: $2553CAD per person
Single Supplement: $712CAD per person
These rates are based on a minimum of 20 passengers.

Prices quoted are effective as of January 2017. The final price although not expected to change, may be modified if the minimum number of people (20 people) is not met.
Quebec, Garden Tour of La Belle Province Includes:
  • Airport transfers
  • 38 passenger motor coach
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • 13 visits to public and private gardens per the itinerary
  • Guided City Tour of Montreal
  • Guided Walking Tour of Quebec City
  • 7 Breakfasts and 2 dinners
  • Dinner Cruise on Lake Memphrémagog
  • Guiding services of Larry Hodgson
  • Taxes
Quebec, Garden Tour of La Belle Province Doesn’t Include:
  • Airfare
  • Travel Insurance 
  • Pre- or post-tour accommodation
  • Meals not included in the itinerary
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks
  • Excursions, activities, and entrance fees not included in the itinerary
  • Gratuities to guides and driver
  • Personal Items
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