Montreal Botanical Garden (or as it is often referred to as Jardin Botanique) covers 190 acres of land. It contains an astounding 22,000 diverse plant species in impeccably architectured gardens many of which are themed. Just taking a look at the map of the Garden is enough to give visitors an idea of the overwhelming number of gardens one can visit.
Through the 10 public exhibition greenhouses at Jardin Botanique visitors are given a unique opportunity to learn about different flora as they hop from one greenhouse to the next. Visitors can explore the Orchid Greenhouse and learn about the 1500 species of orchids growing inside, visit the Cacti and succulents greenhouse, or for a feel of Asia visit the Bonsai and Penjing greenhouse. Other themed gardens include the Rose Garden, that for Toxic Plants, the Medicinal Plants Garden, and the Food Garden just to name a few.
The Botanical Garden also offers 3 cultural gardens which bring native flora and the iconic architecture from the region together. The Chinese Garden features a pagoda surrounded by water, paved paths with tiny stones, and native flora including cherry blossom. Crossing over to the 6 acre Japanese garden with streams and water features, which offers a serene environment complimented by a visit to the cultural pavilion. The First Nations Garden interestingly offers insight and recreates an environment inspired by Native America with 300 different plant species. The Frédéric Back Tree Pavilion is another area worth visiting, which encourages visitors to learn more about different trees, their uses, and the ecology in general. Every year the Magic of Lanterns Festival is organized at the Chinese Garden, where the whole garden is illuminated with Hundreds of Silk Chinese Lanterns creating a magical experience.
The entrance fee for the botanical garden is $21.50, with concessions for the elderly and students, a reasonable price to pay when considering that this is the 3rd largest botanical garden in the world, following Kew Garden in London and The Botanischer Garden in Berlin. This also explains why a garden that was founded 86 years ago has close to 1 million visitors annually. The garden is also a popular spot for bird watching, especially through the various feeding stations around the area.
The Montreal Botanical Garden is guaranteed to make an impression and to offer a day of relaxing, fun, and informative exhibits. The garden forms part of the largest Canadian Science Museum Complex, so if you are in the area it is also worth visiting the nearby Biodôme featuring 5 different ecosystems under 1 roof, the Insectarium and the Planetarium.