Hundreds of kilometers from the nearest nursery, Elsie Reford faced challenges that are hard to conceive of today.
Little by little, she turned a spruce forest into a garden that would become one of the largest plant collections of its time. To get there, she dug, built stone walls, moved trees, and had stones transported from neighbouring fields. The fine compost required for exotic plants is composed of leaves bartered from local farmers. Where experienced specialists had failed, she succeeded in transplanting rare species such as azaleas and Tibetan Blue Poppies. Determined, Elsie enlists the help of locals like farmers and fishing guides to bring her amazing project to life. Over three decades, they’ve built magnificent gardens together.