So I realize I am a really lucky duck. I first saw images of the glorious "Four Winds" gardens floating around Pinterest and could not believe they were from a garden in La Malbaie, Quebec province right where we were planning on spending a week. Then I read that they were only open a few days a year, but one of the days was during our trip. Then I went to make a reservation and was told it was booked a year in advance. I decided to go anyway and beg at the gate. Yep, beg at the gate.
I mentioned my plan to the hotel concierge who made a call for me... And through a series of mysterious e-mails and secret handshakes, they managed to get me in on the last day of my trip. And oh, did I mind, "there were no tours that day?" Just me and the garden. Heaven. I was an hour and half into my walk before I even saw another human.
Armed with my rain hat and a brioche au caramel in my tummy I had the sublime pleasure of a solo wander through the most gorgeous gardens I have ever seen. These are private gardens, built by American Francis Cabot who died a few years ago. (That's all I know because I missed the tour.)
I have a ridiculous fixation on water in gardens and I have never seen so much, done so well. So please, do yourself a favor and get up to Quebec Province to the Jardin des Quatre Vents, and start planning now !