An oasis in the city!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by RLB2 on November 10, 2011

O.k. so as a twenty-something I have to say visiting botanical gardens wasn't really high on my list of things to do in Montreal, however, have done lots of things I wanted to do I had to make a concession for my Mum. We had had a busy day sightseeing and so thought it would be a nice relaxing way to spend a June day. The gardens are quite easy to get to, you just hope on a subway or catch a bus and get off at Olympic Parc. You could also cycle here very easily from downtown Monteal, which I think would be something really enjoyable to do on a nice day.

It doesn't really seem to matter when you visit the gardens, as they have displays on all year round. However I have to say that initially I felt like we had arrived at the wrong time because the rose garden was not in bloom. A little disappointed we continued on to the centre of the gardens to ponds, which were much more impressive, especially with the duckling following their mamas everywhere. There were quite a few people about, but not enough to make it feel overcrowded. In ft we managed to find quite a few quiet little spots to sit and savour the atmosphere. As we wandered around the ponds we found some lovely flower beds that were in full bloom, they had lots of my favourite Alyiums as well as lots of different types of irises. The colours really were spectacular as well as the smells.

Most plants were well signposted, although we did find that the map was a little tricky to follow and the signposts within the gardens were difficult to follow. Perhaps it was just our rubbish British sense of direction, but all I can say about it is that it's a good job that it was a nice place to be lost. By complete accident we found our way to the herb and vegetable gardens, which I particularly found interesting and a pleasure to wander around.

We didn't however, manage to get to the Aboretum, a supposedly spectacular collection of trees. They boast an area of 40ha of every different type of tree that is capable of growing in the Montreal climate. There is a great list online of all the flowering times, so you know what to expect when you visit.

Overall I would say that the Botanical Gardens are a good way to spend a relaxing day, whether you are young or old. They are a little pricey (so mention your student card/OAP card if you have one), the maps are not that great to use and expect to get lost a few times. Just don't get stressed out and enjoy the beautiful, relaxing surroundings!
Montreal Botanical Garden
4101 rue Sherbrooke Est
Montreal, Quebec, H1X 2B2
(514) 872-1400

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