Secret Treasures of the North Shore

In my memoir, Ready to Come About (Dundurn Press), I recounted that, while sailing along the north shore of the St. Lawrence Seaway, heading toward the Atlantic Ocean, David and I navigated an unfamiliar channel to a marina in the dead of the night. It was against our better judgement, but we were exhausted and cold. Carrying on had its own risks. So, we chose to put in.

The entrance was dark, but beyond the stone breakwater a twinkling marina nestled among rock cliffs and tall pines unfolded and we were warmly greeted by locals on the lamp-lit docks.

In the morning light, we were awe-struck by the pristine beauty of this little-known harbour, Port de Refuge de Cap a L’Aigle.

Last week, I was contacted (through Vocamus Press) by an author, illustrator, and gardener-extraordinaire, Janice Wiseman. She had just finished reading Ready to Come About, and reached out to connect.

In our email conversation, Janice informed me that, within mere kilometers of Cap a L’Aigle, is another Canadian best-kept secret; Les Jardins de Quatre-Vents, the mostly private gardens of Francis H. Cabot, yes a direct descendant of that Cabot. Who knew!

Developed and enlarged by Francis H. Cabot, the Gardens of Quatre Vents are considered among the best private gardens of our times. They are a source of exquisite enchantment for those fortunate enough to visit them. Wandering through the sets of gardens, visitors can discover over 1000 different species of plants that are revealed in original, unexpected and audacious ways.