Great Botanical Gardens of the World
Lay of the Land: Established in 1931, this 185-acre garden has adapted admirably to the Quebecois winter. As formidable as the outdoor offerings are—particularly the 7,000-species arboretum—the indoor displays are equally compelling. The Insectarium, with its 160,000 live and preserved specimens, is a favorite—even among those who are bug-averse at home. The standout resident, and the collection's mascot, is the monarch butterfly. Another crowd-pleaser: the First Nations Garden, in which Native guides lead guests through displays on—among other subjects—traditional cultivation of corn, squash, beans, sunflowers, and tobacco.
Don't Miss: The Dream Lake Garden. The largest of its kind outside Asia, this attraction took 48 visiting Chinese craftspeople six months to complete. The result recalls the private (and clearly, exquisite) Ming-era gardens of the southern Yangtze region, and houses a 280-specimen collection of penjing, the Chinese answer to bonsai.
More Info: Jardin Botanique de Montreal.
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