Montreal Botanical Garden: 6 Reasons to Go

Don't miss these attractions at the Montreal Botanical Garden, from the peaceful Japanese Garden to the Arid Regions Greenhouse.

arid regions garden, montreal botanical gardenJardin botanique de Montréal
Arid Regions Greenhouse at the Montreal Botanical Garden

With about 22,000 plant species on 190 acres, the Montreal Botanical Garden is a plant lover’s paradise. It’s one of the largest botanical gardens in the world with 10 greenhouses and more than 20 themed spaces.

1. Chinese Garden

The Chinese Garden was designed by Le Weizhone, an architect and master landscaper. It combines the four major elements of Chinese landscaping (plants, water, stones and architecture) to create a sense of harmony, each with its own metaphorical meaning.

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2. Japanese Garden

Taking a hike through the Japanese Garden is also a wonderful escape. It spans over 6 acres, but is carefully balanced with a variety of trees, shrubs and stone. Visitors wind through peonies, rhododendrons, irises, crabapple trees and numerous perennials and can see a pond with a series of mini-waterfalls.

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3. First Nations Garden

Walk through the First Nations Garden, which celebrates the bond between the indigenous people of Canada and the plant world. The area boasts more than 300 kinds of plants and about 5,000 trees, shrubs and grasses.

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The Garden of Innovations at the Montreal Botanical Garden is packed with vivid flowers.Claude Lafond/Jardin Botanique de Montreal
The Garden of Innovations at the Montreal Botanical Garden is packed with vivid flowers.

4. The Garden of Innovations

Stroll through the Garden of Innovations to see the latest and greatest plant trends in real life, including the newest annuals, perennials and ornamental trees and shrubs. The landscape changes by the season, so it’s a worthwhile stop every time you visit. Many cultivars shown in the garden will be available at garden centers in the future.

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5. Toxic Plants Garden

Learn what to avoid in the Toxic Plants Garden. This small tucked-away space showcases about 40 species that are potentially dangerous. The point isn’t to scare you, but rather help you recognize and identify plants you may encounter in the wild.

6. Arid Regions Greenhouse

Wander in the dry heat of the Arid Regions Greenhouse, featuring cactus species from the Americas and succulents from Africa. Shapes and textures, and a few blooms, abound as you wind your way through the dry habitat.

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Rachel Maidl
Rachel Maidl is a former senior editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. She enjoys bird-watching in her urban backyard and local state parks, gardening for pollinators and researching new plants. Her favorite backyard visitors are the bumblebees that visit her sedums.