Montréal’s Jardin botanique is the third-largest botanical garden in the world, after London’s Kew Gardens and Berlin’s Botanischer Garten. The 75-hectare park, which was first opened in 1931, has expanded to contain tens of thousands of species spread across more than 20 themed gardens. Its abundance of flowering plants is carefully tended to bloom in stages. The rose Beds are a sight to Behold in summertime. Climate-controlled greenhouses house cacti, Banana trees and 1500 species of orchid.
The twinning of Montréal with Shanghai gave impetus to plant a Chinese Garden. The ornamental penjing trees from Hong Kong are up to 100 years old. A Ming-dynasty garden is the feature around Lac de Rêve (Dream Lake).
In fall (mid-September to early November), the Chinese Garden dons its most exquisite garb for the popular Magic of Lanterns, when hundreds of handmade silk lanterns sparkle at dusk. Montréalers are devoted to this event and it can feel like it’s standing-room only even though it’s held in a huge garden.
These artworks were created in Canada by International Mosaiculture of Montreal, the leaders in the art form known as mosaiculture.
Just how are these amazing artworks formed? “Each sculpture is a living, sophisticated evolution of the traditional ‘stuffed topiary technique,” states the Garden. “Thousands of meticulously groomed annuals are planted into soil-and-sphagnum moss filled netting covering the steel forms – hidden works of artisanship themselves – to carpet the skeletons in colorful patterns. Complex irrigation systems beneath the surface of the sculptures allow the plants to grow – and the creatures to flourish – in Atlanta’s summer heat.”