Happy Spring! It’s finally starting to feel a bit more like spring, although it might become cold again for a bit. Real life work is still overwhelming me, so I’m only at one post a month, however, I need to get back to the two posts though as the backlog is building again. Anyways, continuing in Canada…
Jardin Botanique de Montréal located in Montreal, Quebec
(Montreal Botanical Garden)
The Jardin Botanique de Montréal is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9am to 5pm, and to 8pm from Thursday to Saturday; it is closed on Monday. (Seems to be a recurring theme for museums and sites to be closed on Mondays.) Admission to the botanical garden is 20.50 CAD, which also includes entrance to the Montreal Insectarium. The Jardin Botanique de Montréal is part of the Space for Life complex, thus there are various packages offered that allows visitors to visit one or more of the museums. In addition, the botanical garden is part of the Montreal Museum Pass, so look into the pass if you want to visit more museums in Montreal and want to save some money. Public transportation is probably the most convenient way to reach the Montreal Botanical Garden as both the metro and bus have stops nearby; check out the Montreal public transportation for more information. Driving is another option, but plan to pay 12CAD for the day to park the car if you choose to drive. As always, walking is the final option; if you happen to be nearby, then walk on over to the botanical garden, but if you are further, choose another way as it will probably end up being a long walk and you won’t have time or energy to enjoy the garden. Check out the rest of the Space for Life complex for a fun full day out.
The Jardin Botanique de Montréal is really big and contains a variety of gardens and greenhouses (thus I wasn’t able to see everything, I saw maybe half of the botanical garden.) First up is the “Japanese Garden”, which houses a variety of Japanese plants and consists of a Japanese style building. Within the building, visitors can view wall screens, Japanese art work, a rock garden and an exhibit on tea. The Japanese Garden also had an exhibit on bonsai when I was visiting (but as I visited the National Bonsai Museum in Washington D.C. a few years back, the exhibit wasn’t something to write home about, but others may enjoy it if it’s still there). This garden is really tranquil and is nice to just stroll around.
The trails leading from one thematic garden to the next is filled with plenty of greenery and even sculptures made from wood and rocks. The “Chinese Garden” would’ve been the next area to see on my list, but unfortunately it was closed when I was visiting. (It looks quite pretty from the images online.) Next up is the “First Nations Garden”, which contains plant species native to Quebec, and food and medicinal plants of the First Nations. In addition, the garden contains a structure that has exhibits on the traditional artwork and construction methods of the indigenous population of Canada.
Following is the “Flowery Brook and Lilacs” area, which as the name suggests has a brook surrounded by blooming flowers and a variety of lilacs. It’s another picturesque area to just stroll and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. The “Alpine Garden” contains the mountain dwelling plants from all around the world. This garden is separated into smaller sections that focuses on different parts of the world, such as the Rockies to the Arctic to the Alps to Southern Hemisphere mountains. (I really liked this garden because it contained so many different habitats at once, so there are many different colors and sights.)
The Montreal Botanical Garden has a variety of smaller gardens known collectively as the “Exhibition Gardens”, eight in total, that focus on different plants. I missed the first five since they are on the outer perimeters of the botanical garden and are parallel to the path from the “First Nations Garden” to the “Alpine Garden”. (As mentioned the botanical garden is huge, and I was kind of tired by then, so I didn’t feel like doubling back and forth.) The five gardens are “Shrub Garden”, “Toxic Plants”, “Medicinal Plants”, “Monastery Garden”, and ” Quebec Corner”. (I would’ve like to see the “Toxic Plants” and “Medicinal Plants”, since it would be nice to know which plants are harmful and which are useful if I ever get lost in the wild.) I managed to see the last three: “Garden of Innovations”, which is filled with colorful bloom; “Useful Plants”, which sort of resembles an elaborate backyard garden; and “Perennials”, which consists of plants that keep growing back each year. In addition, there is a “Fruit Garden” adjacent to the “Useful Plants” section. (Honestly, I’m not sure what’s in the “Fruit Garden” as I was a bit overwhelmed by the vastness of the garden, and almost ready to call it a day.)
Last, but not least, is the “Exhibition Greenhouses”, which is comprised of ten different themed greenhouses. The greenhouses are connected together, but the whole exhibit is separated into a left wing, which contains four of the greenhouses, the right wing, which contains five of the greenhouses, and the main area, which is the last greenhouse, that is the entrance, and connects the left and right wings. The greenhouses in the left wing contain tropical rain forest plants, economic tropical plants, orchids and aroids, and ferns. The greenhouse for the ferns is really nicely set up, there’s even a waterfall.
The right wing contains begonias and gesneriads, plants from arid regions, a greenhouse based on a hacienda, the garden of weedlessness, and the main exhibition greenhouse. (I enjoyed seeing plants from the arid regions as cacti are fascinating to me.) The hacienda themed greenhouse is very interesting and worth seeing as it transports the visitors to another setting. The garden of weedlessness is based a on Chinese garden, with penjing and gongshi on display and even a small pond. The main exhibition greenhouse was closed when I was visiting, so not sure what’s in there (maybe it’s open now). Last is the Moison Hospitality Greenhouse, which is the entrance to the greenhouse exhibits. This greenhouse contains a variety of plants, and is sort of a makeshift information and waiting area.
My usual travel buddy and I spent about 2 hours at the Jardin Botanique de Montréal, but we only visited about half the botanical garden, so you’ll probably need to double that to visit the whole thing (4 hours, give or take). However one may take more or less time depending on how interested they are and how much they want to see. The botanical garden has a lot to see, so it’s worth the admission as you can probably spend the day if you wanted, and it also includes entrance to the Montreal Insectarium. The Montreal Botanical Garden is a good family day trip idea as there’s lots of space for children to run around and to learn about different plants from different habitats. The general population will enjoy a visit to the botanical garden as it’s a feast for the eyes and has a really relaxing atmosphere. Wear comfy shoes, pack a snack and bring your friends and families to see all that nature has to offer at the Jardin Botanique de Montréal.