Botanical Garden - Insectarium, Montreal
Butterflies Go Free exhibition will transport you to a world of beauty, warmth and lush greenery.
TIPS on how to shine and let butterflies alight on you.
- Wear bright colors.
- Stay under sun ray's spot. (the green house is in glass roofing and lots of shade from the trees cover some part).
-Squeeze a drop of orange on the tip of your fingers if you would like the butterfly to have a dainty and soft landing on it.
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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.
Le Jardin Botanique is an enormous tract of land set aside to showcase flowers and plants from around the world. There are acres of outdoor gardens each with their own theme, and there is a building on the grounds containing several greenhouses as well as a gift shop. They sell unique gardening supplies as well as some small plants.
An avid gardener myself, I was truly impressed by the size, health and quality of the plants with Montreal being so far north. Some of my favorite gardens were the Chinese Garden, a huge exhibit complete with its own pond and small mountain, and the water garden, a series of man-made ponds in which several varieties of water lillies flourished beautifully.
There is also an arboretum here where you can see many varieties of trees. They even have a shuttle bus to take you there, as it is a long walk from the main entrance.
The greenhouses are not to be missed. One of the most varied and gorgeous collections of orchids I have ever seen is housed there among many other varieties of tropical plants and trees. Complete information is given about each flower and plant in both French and English.
Also on the grounds of le Jardin Botanique is the Insectarium, a museum completely dedicated to the study of creepy crawlers. The majority of the insects here are preserved specimens, which takes away somewhat from their creepiness. However, they do have a tank full of South American millipedes. I did my best to avoid looking at those, but you may enjoy them. Some of the most interesting bugs we found here were the giant moths and butterflies from Africa. If you've never seen any you'll be amazed at their size. The only down point to our Insectarium visit was that it was a very hot day and the building is not air conditioned. After a while the indoor temperature became too much for us to handle, but you should be fine on a cooler day.
Admission to the gardens and insectarium was $10.50 (Can.) but you can buy tickets to the gardens only for a bit less.
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
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.
The Chinese gardens are the most elaborate and the highlight of the Jardin Botanique. There are so much more than just a garden of Chinese plants. The exhibit includes a small rice exhibit, numerous examples of Chinese architecture and even live performances from Chinese traditional artists.
Indeed, with its collection of 22,000 plant species and cultivars, 10 exhibition greenhouses, some thirty thematic gardens, and teams of researchers and activities staff, the Montréal Botanical Garden ranks as one of the world's largest (185 acres (748,668 square meters)and most spectacula gardens.
There is also a train ride that goes from site to site evrynow and then.
The Chinese garden reminded me of those that I saw in Beijing. It has many winding paths, an artificial mountain, and a building in the Chinese style housing a collection of "penjing"(the ancient Chinese art of growing trees and plants, kept small by skilled pruning and formed to create an aesthetic shape and the complex illusion of age). The garden is the largest Chinese garden in the world outside China.
The Japanese Garden is populated with (of course) Japanese plants, and it contains a building in the Japanese style containing an exhibit on tea. The Japanese tea ceremony is performed there during the summer and other traditional Japanese arts, such as Iaido and Ikebana are occasionally demonstrated there as well. It also includes a large koi pond where visitors can feed the koi fish.
The First Nations Garden is populated with Canadian plants; the maple, birch, and pine trees. It has several totem poles and exhibits demonstrating traditional Native American artwork.
The Alpine Garden has several paths winding over a rocky outcrop which is covered with tiny, delicate alpine plants.
Other gardens include the poisonous plants garden (which has samples of various poisonous plants along with information on the effects of various doses), the economic plants exhibit, the flowery brook, and an arboretum. The botanical gardens are also the home to some wildlife; primarily squirrels, ducks, turtles and herons.
Most of us fail to appreciate the importance of insects--which pollinate our crops, and prey upon each other. Most animal species on this earth are insects. The Insectarium will educate you on what they are and what they do. It's not only educational, but very entertaining. Ever since it opened in 1990, the Insectarium has impressed visitors with its displays of insects and their activities.
After walking all the way around the Olympic Stadium, we finally reach the insectarium. If you exit the Pie-IX station instead of going west, go east and it's much easier to find. So, we happen upon what looks like not such a very big building and wondered how much of attraction could this be. Well, it was extremely interesting. I was really surprised with how many live bugs they actually had! The horned beetles were my favorite. They are quite large and colorful. I so glad we don't have bugs like that in SoCal. You don't get to touch the bugs but you can get very close to them. They also have a vast display of dead bugs. Some of them the size of birds! You shouldn't miss this!
Please see my travelog for more Insectarium photos!
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!
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.
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
A botanical garden with 21000 spieces and cultivars of plants, 10 exhibition greenhouses, 30 thematics gardens, Noah's Ark greenhouse, chinese garden, first nation garden, birdwatching, picnic, gift shop and more! Great events take place on occasion. Last time, there were a butterflies exhibit where tropicals butterflies flew free in the greenhouse. And on the same lot, there's the Insectarium which is a insect museum. They too have great events such as the tasting of the bugs!!
Botanical garden is next to the Olympic Stadium. We were there on a hot day and it was nice just to sit next to the pond and watch the world go by. My favourite place was Japanese or Chinese garden. This place is very clean. I recommend to take the little train which will take you all around the garden.
With gardens representing cultures and habitats from all over the world, these gardens rate second only to the Royal Botanical Gardens as a must-see for the green thumb. It has over 22,000 plant species and 30 themed gardens. There are also school and gardening programs, plus children's activities. You'll need a few hours to see everything here.