William Dyson Moore was born in Montreal on July 12, 1908, to Ellen Dyson and John Moore, immigrants from England. The younger Moore became a well-known hairdresser who rubbed shoulders with Montreal’s bourgeoisie. While he cultivated a passion for human nature and an innate taste for beauty, he also caressed a precious dream: He hoped to one day possess a natural corner of his country that he could develop and shape to reflect his very own ecological vision in perfect harmony with the surrounding landscape.
His dream would be achieved in stages. In May 1944, during a visit to the town of Mascouche, about 30 km north of Montreal, the opportunity to actualize his dream presented itself. Charmed by an abandoned farmhouse and the land on which it was built along the Mascouche River, Moore immediately perceived all the potential of the place. He was eager to preserve the magical setting and further groom it into an environment faithful to his ecological vision.
The sloped site was 22,306 square metres in size and lent itself perfectly to the creation of a garden oasis, which he didn’t begin until 1985. A methodical planner, Moore consulted leading horticulturalist Tony Huber for some sound advice. He also hired a young gardener, Michel Vaillancourt, with whom he developed some innovative and exceptional methods to cultivate flowers in an infertile clay soil. The techniques that were put in place at the Moore Garden are now employed and practised by several professional and amateur gardeners alike, making it possible to bypass all the usual disadvantages, such as frequent watering, weeding and pesticides. Several years of sustained efforts have transformed what was once only hardened clay into more than 18 inches of rich potting soil. With this accomplishment alone, Moore’s floral oasis gained its acclaim, and today the flowers and plants that grow here now reach an exceptional height with plenty of vigour.
Moore’s wife, Dora Casement, supported her husband’s ambitious projects, including the creation of the garden. Casement was born in 1905, the daughter of English immigrants. She had all the aplomb necessary to live alongside a man of character like Moore. Equally passionate about the art of horticulture, she was the garden’s first designer, and according to her granddaughter, “Without her, the Moore Garden would never have existed.”
In 2002, William Dyson Moore passed away. His legacy lives on, however, through the Dyson Moore Foundation, which he established. The foundation is made up of motivated volunteers and members that manage the garden and continue to enhance the work started by Moore and his wife. Past president Richard Dupuis died in 2007, after dedicating much of his life to the garden, which celebrated 32 years of existence in 2017. The foundation encourages the local community to integrate sustainable horticulture practices through awareness, education and dissemination. Huber, the horticulturist who had advised Moore in the beginning, has been recognized as a specialist in the development of iris flowers. In May 1988, he announced the creation of a new flower of his own, an extraordinary iris bearing the name The Dyson Moore Iris a tribute to Moore.
The Moore Garden in Mascouche is a dynamic tourist site and environmental treasure in constant evolution. It plays an important cultural role and has attracted continued notoriety and popularity not only among Mascouche’s residents but also from other regions of Quebec. Normand Ouimet, the garden’s assistant coordinator, explains that many family activities are offered each year. “In addition to guided tours and entertainment, the garden offers musical performances, yoga classes, tai chi and qigong,” he says. “There are also activities for parents and children, horticultural clinics, photography and painting workshops. Art exhibitions of all kinds are also held, including works by professional Québécois sculptors.”
Born in Montreal, Perry Mastrovito is an award-winning professional photographer for over 35 years and lives in Laval, Quebec. Inspired from his youth by natural and built environments, Perry pursued his photographic passion by studying graphic arts, printing and commercial photography before starting his career.
Mainly using natural light and graphic compositions to create his images, Perry specializes in photographing facades and interiors of the most beautiful contemporary and old houses in Quebec, log and one-room log homes, as well as gardens. private and regional landscapes. He also enjoys exploring other subjects, and creating in his studio and around the world (37 countries to date), conceptual and editorial images which are represented by several Canadian, American and European photo agencies.