Thursday, February 21, 2013

Montreal Botanical Gardens

Recently Farah and I trekked out into the cold Montreal weather and headed for the warmth of the Botanical gardens greenhouses. It has been months since we have seen any sign of green and although I love winter and the snow, sometimes it breaks you and you end up craving the summer months.

I had been only once before to see the butterflies, when they are free to roam the greenhouse. Unfortunately, I have little knowledge about plants, so I cannot tell you whats what, but I can tell you that if you are missing summer then this place is a hit.

This greenhouse was full of Begonia's, there are over 1500 species (I had no idea) and Gesneriads (again no idea but it is supposedly like an African Violet). They put them together because of their beauty and diversity and their need for similar environments.

The Ferns greenhouse was gorgeous. All these plants need to adapt to their environment to survive but the fern is pretty much the MAGICIAN of plants because they can be found everywhere. They are highly diverse and have adapted to life in the hot humid places as well as places without water.

The Garden of Weedlessness was a collection of bonsai tree's ranging in age from 15 to over a 100 years.

The Hacienda, capturing details of a Hispanic garden. It has an amazing display of cacti.

The tropical rainforest greenhouse. My favourite and where everything grows with abandon. This is where I want to build my tree house. It was just a jungle of plants.

The tropical foods greenhouse, yes an entire greenhouse with some 80 amazing plants. This was a close second favourite, most likely because of the spices. Fruit like mangoes, bananas and star fruit were perfect for the picking, some even a little too ripe.  It took all my strength to not be like Dennis the Menace and pick some. I was most excited to see the plants that contribute to spice rack at home: star anise, cardamom, cinnamon, vanilla, allspice, black pepper, nutmeg, mace and cloves. This may have been the best smelling greenhouse.

After our day with the plants, we decided to warm up at Orien Thé with some chai, Japanese sencha and baklava.

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