The blue poppies were what excited me. Although the sprawling splendor of the Gaspe Peninsula's Reford Gardens showcases hundreds of beautiful blooms, from violet azaleas, to periwinkle lupine, the famous Himalayan blue poppies were what lured me across hundreds of miles, just to glimpse them. There are about 18 gardens, walks, meadows and pastoral displays at Reford and I strolled through all of them until I arrived at the Blue Poppy Glade.
This rare poppy grows in the southeast corner of Tibet, at altitudes of up to 3100 feet. Notoriously difficult to cultivate, Else Reford, the gardens founder, managed to nurture them in the shadow of the St. Lawrence River. Taking in the brilliant blue flowers waving against green ferns, I was filled with appreciation.