Plant nursery building on a dream
If you build it, they will come. A plant nursery in Vaudreuil-Dorion has created a unique botanical outing that includes the chance to stroll through acres of lavender fields, as well as gardens dotted with living plant sculptures, unique vine domes and intricate sand structures. Mark Rassi, owner of Champs de Rêves plant nursery, is hoping the line made famous in the 1989 movie Field of Dreams holds true when it comes to his own fields of dreams. “I was inspired by the (Montreal) Botanical Gardens in 2013 and wanted to make something (here) that could be an outing for the whole family,” Rassi said of the 30-acres of beautifully cultivated fields he has worked and created since 2014. That’s when Rassi was able to purchase a total 100-acres of farmland across the road from his Daoust street business, which is situated on the Vaudreuil-Dorion, Saint Lazare border. The first order of business was cleaning the untamed land that had been overrun with large pieces of industrial equipment. One enormous tractor tire that’s been painted purple and which sits at the parking entrance is the only visible tribute to the farm’s former designation. People did come in droves to the gardens during the July 1 opening weekend, though not as many on the past rainy Saturday and Sunday. According to Rassi, now is the perfect time to visit the lavender field – which visitors can smell before they see – as lavender, known for its healing and calming properties, will be at peak bloom from now until mid-August. There are also demonstration gardens at which visitors can see how certain plants will grow and mature over time, as well as a store selling a number of products created with lavender grown on site. Rassi says he plans to expand the destination gardens that are situated at 1620 Daoust in Vaudreuil-Dorion a bit each year.