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25 August 2012 / leggypeggy

A peek at Montreal’s sensational Botanic Gardens

Lollypop plant

Lollypop plants that come from Brazil, Ecuador and Peru

We’ve been skipping around North America, so I reckon it’s okay if the blog skips around a bit too. I just have to jump in and do thing because, frankly, the photos of the Montreal Botanic Gardens have been burning a proverbial hole in my brain.

These gardens are sensational and an absolute must-see if you are ever in Montreal. We spent most of a day there and it was the first touristic thing we did in the city—unless you count the bus rides we took to get there, which were entertaining in their own right.

Brenda, an online friend of many years, welcomed us to the gardens, which are on the east side of town. She and her husband, Lee, have annual memberships and go often, and it’s easy to see why. Not only did Brenda ‘lure’ us there, but she cagily managed to buy our admission tickets too. That woman is quick, good-hearted, gracious and very generous.

Costa Rican skullcap

Costa Rican skullcap

The garden was founded in 1931 in the midst of the Depression by then Mayor Camillian Houde. Henry Teuscher designed the grounds and Lucien F. Kéroack, architect, designed the art deco administration building.

The garden spreads over 190 acres (75 hectares). There are 30 outdoor gardens—each with a theme—and numerous greenhouses including 10 for exhibits, and another 45-plus for plant collection, research and propagation.

With such diverse responsibilities, display areas and almost 22,000 plant species and cultivars, the garden is considered one of the most important botanical gardens in the world. Four years ago it was also designated as a National Historic Site of Canada.

penjing display

A penjing display

Garden staff strive to educate the public in general and students of horticulture in particular, as well as to conserve endangered plant species. The grounds are also home to a botanical research institution, to the Société d’astronomie de Montréal and to the Montreal Insectarium.

Even in winter, when the outdoor gardens are bare or covered with snow, the greenhouses remain open to visitors. Each year, there is also an indoor Butterflies Go Free exhibit that runs from February to April.

In summer, there are more than 100 employees working in the gardens as well as scores of volunteers. There’s no shortage of work, especially when you realise that another name for the Chinese Garden is the Garden of Weedlessness.

By the way, the garden is so huge and with so many themes that I will post separate items on Japanese, cactus and bromeliad gardens—and maybe begonias and simply beautiful leaves too. Stay tuned—so many pics to share.

Sorry for when I don’t know the exact names of everything. I photographed plaques when I saw them and have provided the names I know. Contributions and corrections are most welcome. Garden lovers may also like to see my posts from Adelaide, Dallas and Georgia. And if you’re hungry, check out Cooking on Page 32.

Thanks again Brenda for a fantastic outing!

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Leave a Comment
  1. Lyn connell / Aug 25 2012 9:00 am

    Wow Peggy simply wonderful. I am battling high winds and dry here but the orchids are Devine. Love lyn and peter


    • leggypeggy / Aug 25 2012 4:13 pm

      Sorry to hear about the winds and dry, but relieved to know your amazing orchids are hanging in there. Someday I post pics of them. 🙂


  2. lmo58 / Aug 25 2012 11:38 am

    Hi Peggy,
    Those gardens are very beautiful indeed. I’m really pleased that you have good friends to show you around. And thank you for the beautiful photos. The colours are stunning. A membership sounds like such a good idea because there’s so much to see. Were you also able to visit the Butchart Gardens when you were in Vancouver? I understand that they are also wonderful. Keep on having a fun time.

    Best wishes


    • leggypeggy / Aug 25 2012 4:10 pm

      The gardens are fabulous and I’ll be posting more pics soon. We didn’t get to Butchart, but did spend an entire day in the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria. Fantastic place.


  3. Roberta Horne / Sep 4 2012 3:19 pm

    Looks like you’re have a wonderful, wonderful time and yes, I’d love to share some of your material in our newsletter – we have lots of garden lovers too who I’m sure would enjoy sharing your adventures.


    • leggypeggy / Sep 4 2012 11:21 pm

      Hi Roberta
      We are having a great time. Thanks for the tip about your garden lovers. I’ll do something for that.
      Cheers, Peggy



  1. Japan a hit in the Montreal Botanic Garden « Where to next?
  2. Stuck on cacti at the Montreal Botanic Garden « Where to next?
  3. Showy bromeliads at Montreal Botanic Garden « Where to next?

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