As winter turns the corner into spring, many Comox Valley residents are already out in their gardens, rediscovering their perennial love affair with gardening. What better topic for a film?

“The Gardener” is more than a documentary about Quatre Vents, a world-renowned private garden in the Malbaie region of Quebec. It is an immersive audio and visual inquiry into the philosophy of gardening. The film, which premiered in Montreal in 2017 and has since garnered a number of awards, will be shown at the Stan Hagen Theatre at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 4th as a fundraiser for the McLoughlin Gardens Society. Tickets are $15.00, available at Laughing Oyster, Blue Heron, and Tarbell’s. A limited number will also be available at the door.

Imagine a garden that extends over twenty acres, with a collection of rare plants from all over the world, a Chinese footbridge spanning a pond, and a Japanese meditation hut. The creator of the garden, Frank Cabot, inherited the Quebec property in the mid-1960’s. Over the following years, Cabot devoted more and more time to his garden, which is open to the public for only four days a year. The filmmaker, Sebastien Chabot, was able to interview Frank Cabot before he died in 2011, thus giving audiences an opportunity to hear the gardener describe his vision and his philosophy.

The McLoughlin Gardens in Merville is not so grand a project as Quatre Vents, but it is also a place of refuge and beauty and one that happens to be right here in the Comox Valley. The Gardens are located at the Brian and Sarah McLoughlin Regional Park, off Williams Beach Road in Merville. The park was established in 2016 as a legacy gift to the community. The Society was formed to restore the Gardens and run an artist-in-residence program in the cottage. The April 4th fundraiser is a chance for local residents to learn more about the Society’s vision, and to consider becoming a member. Get your tickets today! For more about the Society, please visit


Margo McLoughlin

McLoughlin Gardens Society