Saturday, August 27, 2016

Summer's End

I decided to spend my last weekend of the summer returning to Montreal to visit the Montreal Botanic garden. I first visited the gardens here in April of 2015. At the time, it was still cold in Montreal and much of the garden was covered by snow. Although beautiful, I knew then that I would have to return to see both the Chinese and Japanese gardens in their full summer splendor.

Montreal is just over three hours away from where I live in central New York, so I didn't put much effort into planning the weekend trip. That proved to be a bit of a mistake. Had I checked the website, I would have seen that the Chinese garden was under a major renovation, one that would not be complete until September of 2017. 

As a result, I was unable to tour the Chinese garden, but only look at it from the edges behind fencing. Much work remains to be done, and I am sure it will be much improved next year. 

I was taken back by all the colorful lanterns that were spread around. 

Apparently lighting up the garden with these lights is a tradition from September to October, the Garden of Lights. Honestly, this aspect of the garden did not appeal to me. It takes away from the beauty of  the garden itself - maybe I am becoming a garden snob, but the lights seem a bit too ticky-tacky tourist. It could be that I am just getting old. I will plan my future visit for mid summer so as to avoid these features.

The Japanese Garden was open, so I took full advantage of my early arrival to see what the garden looked like without a covering of snow and ice.

click here to see panoramic image

click here to see panoramic image

click here to see panoramic image

The garden is worthy of its reputation as one of the best in North America. The only drawback I could see was that the pond was created by using a large waterproof tarp as its base. Its unfortunate, but in many places along the edge and throughout its clear water, the tarp is visiable. 

There is also a Tea Garden along the side of the Japanese Pavilion.

Additionally, a  Stone Garden provides a nice Zen atmosphere comprised of eleven peridotite stones that stand as islands is a sea of what shirakawa sand.

There is also a large Bonsai Courtyard containing as many as thirty bonsai that range in age from 25 to 350 years of age. The one below is 250 years old - amazing!

click here to see panoramic image

I was really glad I returned. In the future I will return to see the completed Chinese garden and stroll once more through the Japanese garden.

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