On Monday, it was still bitterly cold but bright and sunny, a good day for a drive, and we set off for the Montreal Botanical Garden. The MBG features a set of linked greenhouses that are like paradise on a cold winter’s day. The photo above shows a model of the greenhouses and gives you an idea of their layout. Each house features different plant species. We especially wanted to see the Butterflies Go Free exhibit, which opened February 20th and runs until April 27th.
When you step into the first greenhouse and are enveloped by the humid, earth-scented air, it is easy to leave winter behind.
This vivid orchid is xLaeliocattleya Ptarmigan Ridge ‘Mendenhall’. What a beauty!
Check out these fiddleheads! They belong to a tree fern.
You can get an idea of the size of this tree fern from the person standing to the right.
Here’s a bit of information about tree ferns provided with the display.
You can walk behind a waterfall and look out over a pond featuring two sculpted cranes.
Here’s yet another reason for banning plastic water bottles!
Look at these monster cones! They belong to a cycas.
I’ve gotten lazy about taking down information. The digital age makes it easy to record whatever information is on offer and read up on topics at your leisure back at home.
The begonia room may be my favorite. There are so many diverse varieties of begonias with all manner of interesting leaf patterns. One of my favorites was the one shown above. The leaves look green in the shade, but when lit by the sun, they are fired with red.
And how about this swirly pattern? This rex begonia is appropriately named Escargot.
After the warmth of the other greenhouses, the bonsai room felt distinctly cool. The bonsai are just awakening from a dormant period and many, such as this Chinese Elm, featured tiny leaves, just beginning to show.
Our last stop was the butterfly exhibit. It’s totally wonderful, with a large, bright, two-storey structure filled with beautiful flowering plants, a tall waterfall and brilliant butterflies everywhere. What a pleasure.
Here’s the chrysalis house, where you can look for emerging butterflies. The butterflies are easy to observe and photograph, a great spectacle. A helpful full-colour guide is included with your admission so you can identify different species. I’ll leave you with a few photos of some of the butterflies, and a giant moth!