Garden Adventures in Quebec, Part Two

– Posted in: Garden Adventures

White and red

On a recent vacation to Quebec, my husband—who is not really into gardens—made sure we visited this one.  It was listed in all the guides as a “must-see” for everyone from tourists with just one day in Montreal (we had two) to horticulturists. Comparable to Kew in London and the Huntington in Los Angeles, the Montreal Botanical Gardens encompass 180 acres, display over 20,000 types of plants, and include extensive exhibition greenhouses.


The setting is parklike, with shrubs and bedding plants beautifully incorporated into the landscape.


 The ambience is inviting, with numerous areas for sitting and enjoying the scenery.

Overview copy

But unlike a public park, the plant material is anything but ordinary. Everywhere you look there are unusual plants and combinations—great ideas designed to inspire visitors to try them in their own gardens.

Pink coneflowers

Pink coneflowers, for example, are paired with an ornamental grass that has delicate pink seedheads.


Yellow & burgundy beds

All plant material is pristine, and many beds are changed seasonally. The garden must employ an army of gardeners.


It’s not all flowerbeds; this lake is surrounded by serene greenery.

Vegetable beds

Everything is on a grand scale…including the vegetable garden. I wonder what they do with all those cabbages.

Chinese pagoda

There are both Japanese and Chinese gardens and numerous examples of bonsai and penjing (a Chinese art form that preceded bonsai).

Chinese garden, bonsais copy

The pattern in the pavement in this walled Chinese garden consists of pebbles turned on their sides.

White collonade

This walkway is within one of the greenhouses. You can go from one to the next without going outdoors. If I lived in Montreal and feeling garden-deprived during the long winter, I’d hang out here all the time.

Red door

Cacti and succulents—the plants that I specialize in—are displayed as though in a SoCa setting, adjacent to a red-painted front door and clay tile roof.


Agave americana gets no respect in my part of the country; in Canada, it’s somewhat exotic.  This specimen looked a little peeved at being grown indoors.

Basket plant

Unusual flowering plants in the greenhouses grow in lush abundance.

Coleus & coxcomb

Another simple yet super idea, which I noticed as we headed for the exit: red-frilled coleus with bright red cockscomb. (Many thanks to my husband, Jeff!)

More info: Montreal Botanical Gardens.

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Debra Lee Baldwin

Debra Lee Baldwin

Award-winning garden photojournalist Debra Lee Baldwin authored Designing with Succulents, Succulent Container Gardens, and Succulents Simplified, all Timber Press bestsellers. Her goal is to enhance others' enjoyment and awareness of waterwise plants and gardens by showcasing the beauty and design potential of succulents via books, articles, newsletters, photos, videos, social media and more. Debra and husband Jeff live in the foothills north of San Diego. She grew up in Southern California on an avocado ranch, speaks conversational Spanish, and at age 18 graduated magna cum laude from USIU with a degree in English Literature. Her hobbies include thrifting, birding and watercolor painting. Debra's YouTube channel has had over 3,000,000 views.
Debra Lee Baldwin
Debra Lee Baldwin
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