Our final stop on the first day was at the Botanic Gardens, I actually hadn’t intended on going to them since it was already around 4 pm but we were there, it was a warm sunny day and I wasn’t quite ready to hop in the car for the long drive to Quebec City. The Gardens here are the 2nd largest in the world behind Kew Gardens near London and well worth a visit if you are a fan of gardens.
Since our visit was short we stopped briefly at the sensory gardens, a delightful place where you can touch and smell various plants and then onto the greenhouse since the indoor gardens close before the outside. We didn’t spend much time here but the greenhouses were very nicely arranged and comprehensive. They had a lovely collection of orchids, which are my favorite flowers and they have some really interesting spotted begonias.
Back outside, we headed for what I thought was the highlight of the gardens, the Chinese Garden, featuring several buildings of traditional Chinese architecture overlooking a lake and a lovely collection of penjing, the Chinese equivalent of bonsai, some of them listed as being over 200 years old. The website below has wonderful descriptions of the elements that go into the different gardens and is well worth a look BEFORE you go to heighten your appreciation of what you are looking at, the website is really well done.
Other highlights include the Japanese Garden with it’s collection of bonsai plants, the Rose Garden which was in full bloom during our visit, and the First Nations Garden featuring Canada’s native plants and trees. Included in the admission is the Insectarium, we unfortunately didn’t have time to visit.
Admission is a rather steep $12.75 CAD, it’s included on the Montreal Museum Pass so consider getting one if you plan on visiting the Biodome, the Botanic Gardens and a couple of museums. We spent about 2 hours here and could have easily spent a couple more hours.
Inside the Botanic gardens but requiring an additonal entry fee is the insectarium, essentially an insect zoo. Its a pretty interesting place to visit if you are at the Botanical gradens but not worth a special trip
The single best botanical gardens I have ever visited! Its actually much more than just botanical gardens, the Chinese, Japanese and First peoples sections are as much outdoor cultural museums as botanical gardens. Do not miss this if you visit Montreal.
At the Botanical garden in Montreal, we have the biggest chinese garden outside of Asia. This is a unique chance to travel to China without going in the far east (i went in China recently and let me just say that i don't see any difference between this garden and those in Beijing and Shanghai). A real pleasure to wonder around, with real bonsais, real chinese music, plants and trees, a beautiful waterfall and many landmarks of chinese architecture.
Very peacefull, this space is the most beautiful of all the gardens at the Botanical garden.
Not to be miss !
N.B. I shot shorts clips recently in the chinese garden. If you want to see them, go to http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=etrehumain. Enjoy !
Another great spot at the Montreal Botanical garden, is the japanese garden. Zen, minimalist, pure and very quiet, again you have a small lake with very nice fishs, a nice museum with very interesting expositions (right now it is about the sake tradition) and many bonsais and small trees.
A very nice visit.
The Montreal botanical garden is the second biggest in the world, and one of the most beautiful of all. With the biggest chinese garden outside of Asia, the japanese garden, the insectarium, the inside gardens, the house of trees and the outside gardens, there is a lot to see here. For complete day, are simply the afternoon, this quiet space is compose of beauty only: flowers, trees, many kind of birds, a few lakes and much more.
A must see in Montreal !
Out on the northeast side of Montreal, a huge, very well kept up garden area. The Insectarium is on the grounds too.
It’s divided up into many different areas. There’s a real peaceful area called Japanese garden built to remind you of a Japanese garden with a small waterfall, quiet big pond and a little Japanese-like building. Another one is dedicated to the First Nations (or what an American would call Native Americans--I like their wording better) gardens and plants. Also a rhododendron and azalea area. Shade garden and Chinese garden.
In the main building where you buy your ticket and get the layout of the land there is an enclosed greenhouse area that emulates different areas of the world. There is a big area that has many cacti and plants from the dessert southwest, walk thru that building and you’re in the middle of a South American rainforest with their plants everywhere and the humidity beating down on you, walk thru that and you’re in Africa with cacao trees and other things from that area--and so on. Nice place to spend a few hours when the cement, hustle and bustle of the city start to wear on you.
You’ll spend 2-8 hours here. Try to combine it with any combinations of the Insectarium, Biodome & Olympic Stadium if possible, since they’re all in the same block or two.
Part of the museum pass
We visited the Botanical Garden during the Chinese Lantern festival in October 05. It was beautiful. There were so many lanterns lighting the pathways and when you got to the lake, the decorations were gorgeous. Very nicely done.
The Japanese gardens were also beautiful. There is a koi pond and small waterfalls. Please see my travelogue for more pictures.
The only drawback to going at this time is that a lot of the plants are not in full bloom. It was not as colorful as it would be in the summer. It was also quite cold at night and quite crowded. But the lanterns are worth if that is what you want to see!
The Montreal Botanical Garden ranks as one of the world's largest and most spectacular botanical gardens. Beside its chinese garden, japanese garden, it contains many thematic gardens and many exibitions are held in all seasons.
I was very impressed during our Springtime visit to the Montreal Botanical Gardens. We had a wonderful day exploring the greenhouses and the various outdoor gardens. The highlight for us was the traditional Chinese Gardens. The insectarium was cool too!
These gardens, located near the olympic village deserve a visit.There are sections with oriental vegetation, (and a chinese garden), or alpine vegetation, and of course Canadian; the garden displays the plants but also explanations of their use or meaning for Indian, or the European; and the maple tree of course! Big alleys flowers everywhere, for dreamful walks.
Halloween is something that we take very seriously over here...as serious as we can be with a witch's hat on our heads...and a crooked nose on our faces.
Ok! Ok! we're not serious at all, but it's a good thing, since we create tons of activities for kids of all ages. And one of them is this fun labyrinth that the people at the Botanical Garden re-invent every year, during their Great Pumpkin Ball. I saw adults of fifty getting more lost than some of the kids, and looking like they had the time of their lives! They were really cute to watch.
The Pumkin Ball usually lasts from October 4th to 31th.
Other actvities are their Pumkin-Decorating Contest exhibition in their greenhouse, and the Magic of Lanterns in their Chinese garden. Both to see in two other " Things to do tip".
Every spring, for roughly 2 months (from late February to late April), the Botanical Garden presents its Papillons en liberte (Butterflies Go Free) exhibition.
If the Botanical Garden is worth a visit at any time, the butterfly exhibition makes it a must-see. The spectacle of hundreds of colourful butterflies flying all around you is a unique experience.
Along the way, you will come across informative signs (in both English and French) that teach you about the life of the butterflies and of the plants in the Botanical Garden.
The Botanical Garden is open Tuesdays to Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Rendez-Vous at Montreal's "Insectarium" the live insects exhibition hall. A few times during the year you'll have a couple of special events like the "Monarch Odyssey" last week ends in August and first couple week ends in September (Monarch being the "Canadian Butterfly"), don't miss the bug tasting event on June 6th to 19th, where you get to actually taste different dishes prepared with bugs: fruit fly banana cake, larva pizza, grasshopper chips! Children love this magical place!
In the weeks leading up to Halloween, the Botanical Garden presents its Magie des lanternes (Magic of Lanterns) exhibition, as a series of lanterns are set up in the Chinese garden (as well as on the way there, to save you from getting lost).
While you can visit the Chinese garden by day, it is best to way until dark, since the lanterns are lit up shortly before sunset. Night time is when the beauty of the site can best be appreciated.
If you go there in October, make sure you also check out the Grand bal des citrouilles (Great Pumpkin Ball) in the Main Exhibition Greenhouse. The hundreds of pumpkins on display are the year's entries in the annual pumpkin-decorating contest. It is no trick, but definitely a treat to see the fertile imagination of kids aged 3 to 103.