Montreal’s Botanical Garden
One of the world’s largest and finest botanical gardens, the Montreal Botanical Garden houses a collection of more than 22 thousand species, ten greenhouses, a tree house, and thirty thematic gardens making it one of Montreal’s most valuable attractions.
The thematic gardens are the jewel of the Botanical Garden:
- the Chinese Garden, the largest of its kind outside Asia;
- the Japanese Garden boasting an impressive bonsai collection;
- the First-Nations Garden, showcasing Native know-how related to the plant world;
- the famous Tree House, an Interpretation center focusing on trees and shrubs.
Guests can always enjoy the garden’s numerous festivals, various workshops, exhibitions, and other celebrations, such as the Magic of Lantern annual festival, featuring hundreds of brightly lit Chinese lanterns in a rainbow of colors and shapes; or Halloween, with its Great Pumpkin Ball and exhibition of decorated pumpkins.
In December and January, the garden offers concerts celebrating Christmas and New Year.
Nature interpreters, botanists, and horticulturists will be pleased to help visitors.
The Keroul path lets visitors with limited mobility explore the main attractions at the Botanical Garden. The path is indicated with green markings.
The path was created with support from RBC Royal Bank, the Montreal Nature Museums Foundation and Kéroul, a non-profit organisation working to make tourism and culture accessible to people with limited physical ability.
Shrub Garden : More than a garden!
Creating a living ecosystem and using environmentally friendly horticultural methods – these are the challenges of the Shrub Garden horticulturist. Water consumption is reduced by half through mulching. Plants that attract pollinators are favoured. Plant diversity repels specialized insect pests.
Soil life is a key element in this more natural balance. Enriched by the humus layer that forms under the mulch, the soil generates surprising biodiversity. On top of this, the Garden also offers plenty of shelter and hiding places for birds and toads alike. And we human visitors can join right in with the living concert.
Is the Shrub Garden affected by climate change? Recent mild winters are preserving the clematis buds. The flowers of some of their plants, which formerly flowered very little, are blooming early. They are larger and more numerous, better distributed on the tree and more intensely coloured. Should we be pleased?
Address of the Montreal Botanical Garden:
4101, Sherbrooke East Street (Pie-IX metro station)
Botanical garden, entrance. Photo: © ProvinceQuebec.com
The lion of the La Feuilée Bridge of the city of Lyon, France. Photo: © ProvinceQuebec.com
Quiet and peace… Photo: © ProvinceQuebec.com
Chinese pavillon of the Botanical Garden. Photo: © Lucie Dumalo
A small wooden bridge over a pond. Photo: © ProvinceQuebec.com
The Rose Garden is home to the most important groups of hardy old garden roses in the history of rose cultivation. Photo: © ProvinceQuebec.com
Bushes of ancient garden roses. Photo: © ProvinceQuebec.com
The name of each group of old garden roses refers to its parentage, with each group being descended from an ancient rose. Photo: © ProvinceQuebec.com
Paths of the garden. Photo: © ProvinceQuebec.com
The First Jewels, artwork by Alice Winant. Photo: © ProvinceQuebec.com
Dozens of small animals have occupied the garden space. Photo: © ProvinceQuebec.com
Arboretum. Photo: © ProvinceQuebec.com
Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris, Watereri, pinaceae), garden origin. Photo: © ProvinceQuebec.com
Flowering Crabapple(Malus, Henriette Crosby, Rosaceae).
Big blue lilyturf Majestic Liliaceae (Liriope muscari), garden origin. Photo: © ProvinceQuebec.com
Quebec Corner : This little bit of nature in the heart of the city displays some of the native plants typically found in the Montreal region. The tree stratum consists of mature trees, depicting the deciduous forest that originally flourished all around here before the colony was founded. The banks of the pond and stream are planted with specimens from the wetlands around Montreal Island. These habitats, with their surprising biodiversity, and threated by urban development. Among the species found there is blue flag iris, the floral emblem of Quebec. The maple stand, with its many spring-flowering plants, becomes a welcome refuge from the heat in summer and an excellent place to watch the birds that come to ding and to feast on fruit and insects. Photo : © ProvinceQuebec.com
Shrub Garden. Spring flowers: Scattered throughout the garden, magnolias kick off the spring ball. The splendid flowers of these plants appear as early as March. Soon they are joined by the spireas, weigelas, daphnes, witch-alders. During this season, check out the collection of spring witch-hazels – their fragrance is well worth the detour. In the spring, the horticultural and gardeners focus on pruning, planting and moving – the collections are shaped based on the desired design. If you take the time to observe the Garden, you will notice the various layers created by the small conifers, the large deciduous trees, the shrubs and the creeping plants. This dynamic composition provides better protection against wind and cold while creating many habitats for wildlife. Photo : © ProvinceQuebec.com
Note that the oldest acquisition still growing the garden is the Fontanesia phillyreoides subsp, fortunel, which was acquired from New York Botanical Garden by Henry Teuscher, in 1936. Photo : © ProvinceQuebec.com
Monastery Garden : This garden, with its central well surrounded by symmetrical beds, is inspired by monks’ gardens from medieval times. It displays a selection of medicinal and aromatic plants. Starting in the 7th century, gardens became an important part of monastery life. Next to the flower gardens, where monks would go to relax and meditate, would be the vegetable garden, the orchard and the medicinal plant garden. Square or rectangular enclosures, with beds neatly marked off and aligned, they symbolized the ideal of order in opposition to the chaos of the outside world. In the centre of the garden, a fountain or well evoked the purifying power of baptism and was used to water the plants. In 812, Charlemagne recommended 90 species of vegetables, aromatic herbs, medicinal plants and fruit trees in his Capitulary de Villis. Many of these species were cultivated in monastic gardens at the time. Medicinal plants or “simples” were the particular realm of physician-monks, who developed a vast pharmacopoeia in the Middle Ages. You can see the Sage (Salvia officinalis) in the foreground. Photo: © ProvinceQuebec.com