Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Montreal Botanical Gardens

The best part of the trip to Montreal was our visit to the Botanical Gardens. Still in the city of Montreal but away from the city center, we took the metro to get there. The metro in montreal is very similar to the metro in Washington, DC. We loved it and used it exclusively to get around the city. It is clean and easy to navigate. The Botanical Gardens are right next to the Olympic Stadium in Montreal, which sadly isn't being used. The Gardens are huge. We spent five or six hours wandering about and saw in total probably half of what they had to offer. The day was sunny though and it didn't get warmer than 70 degrees, which made it the perfect weather for walking around beautiful gardens with so much in bloom. Huge flower beds with all sorts of late summer flowers blooming. We saw morning glories, hibiscus, sunflowers, and hundreds of others, including an entire section of food, kale and onions and, yes, blackberries. There is a great combination of gardening techniques. One of my favorites was the "grass bed" which I've photographed below.

After our visit to the main flowers, we sat on a bench beside a pond, where ducks, quite domesticated, came up to us, almost smelling us like dogs do. My beloved feared that they would poke at my feet or bite me. They didn't. The six of them frolicked in the lake, swimming about and periodically dunking their heads so far down to feed that their bottoms went up vertically. We watched them for a while until a heron caught our eye by flying over the lake and landing in the brush. We rushed over to see it and watch it feed. It was gorgeous. After eating a while, it flew off.

We walked on. There is a full Japanese and Chinese garden in the Botanical Garden as well as a garden that has the plants of high elevations - it reminded us of living in Colorado.

One of the best and most unique displays of the Botanical Garden is the "bug house." An interactive display that is a feast for entomologists. Bees and bugs and insects. It's great.

There is trolley that shuttles visitors about the Gardens. It was our last thing to do in the park. There is a huge Tree House that we didn't get to see and groves and groves of trees that we only saw from the trolley. While walking up to the gate, we notice the green bottle stream. It was magical. I was glad to get this photograph - and nearly a hundred others from this incredible day in the garden.

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