Montreal Botanical Garden

We just got back from a weekend in Montreal, and the highlight for me was a visit to the Montréal Botanical Garden [Jardin botanique de Montréal].  There were 10 different connected greenhouses, all with their own climates, to suit the vegetation on display. We walked from hot, steamy tropical rainforests into cool and dry desertscapes, and from a mediterranean hacienda to a wonderful Chinese garden full of fantastic bonsai trees. It really was a great experience.

During my visit I was delighted to finally identify an unusual mystery plant that my friend Atilla gave me last winter. I’d never seen one like it, and my attempts at research went nowhere. The plant has done extremely well for me, and I now know what it is: Crassula muscosa, or “Moss Crassula”, from South Africa. It also seems to be commonly known as “Watch Chain”.

We also wandered through the Insectarium, and the Biodome.  The Biodome especially is worth a visit. It is is made up of 4 distinct ecosystems — the Laurentian/Canadian Shield, the St. Lawrence River, the Antartic, and a tropical rainforest, with representatives of some of the flora and fauna (including some cute river otters, a very anxious and pacing Canada Lynx, some penguins, bats, and Capybaras). I walked through the whole place with my mouth open, fascinated, oblivious to poor Laird who was excruciatingly bored and in pain from his broken toe. I guess it’s a place recommended only for nature lovers!