Tahitian Sunset and Apricot Nectar

WeMontreal Botanical Garden, Japanese Garden hope to one day take in a Tahitian Sunset while partaking of Apricot Nectar, but for today at least, those are just some of the colorful names given to the 10,000 roses that populate the Montreal Botanical Gardens; many of which were still in bloom when we visited in mid-August. Not merely a rose garden, or even just a flower patch, the 185-acre “jardin botanique” includes ponds adorned with water lilies, winding forested paths, and a re-creation of a mountainous Alpine garden, one of 30 or so themed oases displaying plants from around the world.

What most captured our attention was a locked gate in the Japanese Garden (above). Really, we thought, there must be something good in there if they have to keep it under lock and key. No one was around to explain, so we continued on. But curiosity reigned, and eventually we circled back to the elusive locked gate. It turns out they were trying to hide a Japanese tea garden from us. They only allow ten people at a time in the garden because of the fragility of the plants, and it has to be seen with a guide.Montreal Botanical Garden Image

During the 10-minute tour, we learned the tea garden’s purpose. It’s a transitional space to clear your mind before taking part in the tea ceremony. Actions like crossing stepping stones and kneeling down to wash your hands at a tsukubai (basin), set against the backdrop of the tranquil and carefully designed garden, are meant to help you leave the outside world behind and find serenity.

The other highlight of the day was the Chinese Garden, modeled on the private gardens of the Ming Dynasty and the largest of its kind outside China. Paths lead around “Dream Lake,” linking seven vibrant red pavilions (including one where we enjoyed a picnic lunch) and leading to a waterfall, a bonsai display, and beds of blooming pink lotus flowers.

So can you have wanderlust while you’re already traveling? China and Japan have officially moved up on my places-to-visit list, along with some Tahitian sun and apricot nectar.

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One Comment on “Tahitian Sunset and Apricot Nectar”

  1. gigi August 21, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    Sounds beautiful! Yes China is nice too but you’re pictures look better!


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