A Visit to the Montreal Botanical Garden

Because of time constraints, Judy and I only got to see a modest portion of what is on offer at the Montreal Botanical Garden. Its 185 acres of indoor and outdoor spaces provide rich opportunities for exploration. For this post, I want to focus on the Aquatic Garden.

Entrance area of the Montreal Botanic Garden, with the Olympic Stadium looming in the background.
Entrance area of the Montreal Botanic Garden, with the Olympic Stadium looming in the background.

The entrance area is full of planters overflowing with bright flowers and foliage.

Another view, this one showing, I think, the Insectarium.
Another view, this one showing, I think, the Insectarium.

The orange Cannas were particularly attention-grabbing.

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I like the contrast of the flamboyant plants and plain metal containers, though as Judy pointed out they do look sort of like they were originally used for trash disposal.

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Soon after we entered the grounds we came to the Aquatic Garden.

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The design here was really clever. Sunken paths traveled between rows of concrete raised “beds”, each containing a different aquatic environment and a different plant. This gave us a close look at the various species in the collection.

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Unfortunately, the water lilies were pretty much done. However, they had some interesting seed pods.

Water Hyacinths
Water Hyacinths

We had never seen water hyacinths (Eichornia crassipes) before; I was impressed by their beauty.

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This garden has over 200 aquatic species.

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There was a diverse mix of exotics and plants native to Quebec.

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Cranberries! No picking allowed, though.

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Cattails.

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Plus lots of cool fountains.

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More posts soon on the Montreal Botanical Garden.

39 Comments on “A Visit to the Montreal Botanical Garden

  1. 185 acres?! Holy moley, that’s big. If I had that much water I would definitely have those variegated cattails. I think the water lily seed pods you showed are actually lotus flower pods – aren’t they great?!

    • They have a lot of stuff going on. In addition to so many different kinds of gardens, there is an insectarium, a biodome, and a planetarium.

  2. I really enjoyed looking through the photos of the Montreal Botanical Gardens….surprisingly not all that different to parts of our Australian Botanical Gardens….but I guess more indoor areas. Well, 185 acres must keep a lot of people busy!

  3. What a clever arrangement! Those fountains look so welcome on hot, sultry summer days. Love the lotus flower pods and the cattails.

  4. Not having a water garden I find them and the plants you can grow in them fascinating. I have seen water hyacinths before but never in bloom. I didn’t even think about them blooming. They are quite pretty. The lotus are taking over several ponds in our area. Gotta be careful with them. I have never seen variegated cattails before either. The building in the first photo looks like it is tethered so it won’t blow away. ha…

    • I am not really clear on the distinction between lotus and water lily, to be honest. That building makes me nervous, I wouldn’t want to be up at the top.

  5. We visited there a few years ago and I really loved it…there was so much to see…but I doubt we even scratched the surface…as you mentioned…it’s huge!

  6. Looks like great place to explore, but I can also imagine just sitting on that bench in front of the fountain for a long, long time. Great photos!

  7. This is one of my favorite gardens in the world, second I think only to Kew. I have photos of those same water hyacinths; love them. Did you get to the Chinese garden with its tall aquatic lotus flowers growing beside a boardwalk? They have those same seed pods, only gigantic!

  8. Hello Jason, it’s awful but when I saw the picture of the wire-strung dome, I wanted to go a long with a pair of scissors and cut a few of the “ropes”. I would have loved to have seen the water lilies at their best, they’re one of my favourite (in a long list of) plants.

  9. Awesome water photos! I love the plants, and the layout is cool… and so much less kneeling to get a good look… but it’s a lot of concrete!

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