International Flora Montreal 2006 Press Trip
Garden Writers Region VII Meeting
June 14-16th, 2006

Friday morning up and early again for breakfast and … more goodies from Larry including plants from local nurseries, then we were off to take the train to the Montreal Botanical Gardens. There is a wonderful group shot of us in front of the MBG…who would not be smiling to be doing something they love and with friends. Before we toured the garden we met with Marie-Joelle Filion, the communications coordinator for the gardens. Some of us went on a guided tour while others just did their own thing – to meet later for lunch. The Montreal Botanic Gardens is stunning…I am always so impressed when I visit and always run out of time. “With its collection of 22,000 plant species and cultivars, 10 exhibition greenhouses, some thirty thematic gardens, and teams of researchers and activities staff, the Montréal Botanical Garden ranks as one of the world's largest and most spectacular botanical gardens.” This time I spent most of it in the rose garden with my buddy Wendy (she is past president of the CRS so I kind of expected her to spend time in this garden), then the Japanese Garden, Shade Garden and Chinese Garden on this trip. I could have spent a lot more time in the rose garden – there were some exquisite roses there in bloom, but I also wanted to see the Japanese Garden and along the way, I spotted some water lilies that I just had to visit. Back through a bit of the rose garden to the entrance of the Japanese Garden. At the entrance it was shady with beautiful ferns and white peonies in bloom. I walked through this then took a side trip to the Shade Garden where I saw a plaque stating that this was a national display garden for the American Hosta Society, sat down in the cool shade then back to the Chinese Garden finishing up with the Bonsai Display before heading back to meet the group for lunch at the reception hall..

Thank you Marie-Joelle for the wonderful lunch, beautiful surroundings and for letting us help you celebrate the beginning of your 75th Birthday!

There were a few of us who decided that while we were here, we might as well go and see the Biodome de Montreal. What a wonderful place to bring the family and enjoy learning together…and of course the big draw there are the penguins…thick glass walls allow you to watch them swimming underwater …. what fun that was and what a great way to end my trip before heading back home.

So looking forward to getting together again at our annual Symposium in Valley Forge this August…bring on the gardens and of course the memories! Other special partners to thank are Air Canada and Via Rail Canada but again I want to say how classy Tourisme Montreal is at putting these trips together. They know their product and they know how to show it off!

Donna, Region VII Director, GWA






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