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Archive for May 26th, 2014

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Each spring, the Montreal Botanical Garden hosts their Great Gardening Weekend. The highlight of the event, for many gardeners, I’m sure, is the plant sale. Both plants from MBG growers and from area nurseries are available. Somehow, we’ve always missed this weekend in the past, but on Friday we finally made it out to Montreal.

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We arrived about 11:00 AM. The first flush of anxious diehard gardeners who stormed the gates at opening time was done, and the lazier afternoon gardeners hadn’t yet arrived, so it seemed like good timing. Many of the shoppers had children’s wagons or some sort of transport for their purchases. Note to self: Be better prepared next year! As it was, Railguy carried our purchases back to the car while I continued to shop.

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Of course, a bonus to this sale is that you can enjoy the Botanical Gardens when you’re done shopping. We first ate lunch at the restaurant, which has the rather unimaginative but accurate name of Botanical Garden Restaurant. Then me moseyed out into the gardens themselves. At this time of year, the tulips are a highlight.

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While the perennial beds are just getting started, the flowering trees are spectacular.

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Likewise, the vegetable gardens are just being planted, but how about this patterned plot? That’s lettuce!

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We didn’t try to cover the entire grounds but just visited a few of the gardens. Here is the Vertical Crevice Garden. Crevice gardens originated in England. This one was planned by the Czech designer Zdenek Zvolanek. It features flat stones stacked vertically on their edges to simulate the open face of a stratified, upthrust rock wall. The alpine plants growing throughout the garden are natives of North America, Europe and Asia.

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In the Lilac Meadow, the lilacs are just coming into full bloom. We tried out the Muskoka chairs (or Adirondack chairs, depending on what part of the world you’re from). They were very comfortable, and it was pleasant sitting there, in spite of the whine of lawnmowers and other machinery in the distance. The chairs seemed to be new. The scent of cedar overwhelmed that of the lilacs!

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You can sit down by the little lake, too. We watched the swallows dip and weave.

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It’s not quite peony season yet, but there were some gorgeous irises blooming. This one is the miniature dwarf bearded iris ‘Ditton Purple’.

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We made our way over to the shade garden. Many woodland flowers take advantage of the sunlight available before the trees leaf out and bloom in the spring.

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Then we headed home, hoping to beat rush hour traffic out of Montreal, though it always seems to be congested. Here’s my plant bonanza. I spent the weekend getting them tucked safely into the ground.

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