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We just returned from a few days in Quebec. After an eight hour drive up, we found a French-speaking city on the St. Lawrence River with a history of English landscape tradition as well.
Of course we visited the famous Quebec sites where the French and the English once battled for the city, including the Plains of Abraham, which today stands as a park for all to enjoy. The wall that separates parts of the old city takes your breath away because of its height.
In discussing Frank Cabot’s garden in Quebec, Boston landscape designer Sally Muspratt once wrote in the Journal of New England Garden History that in Quebec are “gardens appropriate to each of the powerful cultures which shaped the Province of Quebec: the Edenic gardens of nuts and berries of the native Indians, the laboriously cleared fields of the habitants, the formal allees, tapis verts, and rondeux of the aristocratic French conquerors, the perennial beds and wild gardens of the Scots-English settlers, and the garden visions of the well-travelled summer residents.”
My interest in the English garden infuence inspired the daily site-seeing plans for the few days we were there. I found the English style reflected in three nineteenth century houses and landscape.
Villa Bagatelle shows the picturesque English architectural style of the nineteenth century. Today the Canadians use the house for art exhibits.
The Stuart House, an authentic English cottage, dates back to 1849. The House lies along Quebec’s main artery, Grand Allee. I loved its wild garden.
The Domaine Cataraqui, also built in the nineteenth century, sits on the banks of the St. Lawrence whose waters you can see below the expansive lawn along the front. The English picturesque landscape style required the lawn.
I sought out these three houses because they all dated from the nineteenth century and were built in an English style. Their landscapes as well reflect the English garden style of that time, with features like a lawn, a wild garden, and a woodland garden.