Monday, October 12, 2015

Montreal’s flower planters

Montreal is a city of flowers and greenery.

The Montreal Botanical Garden founded in 1931 is considered to be one of the most important botanical gardens in the world due to the extent of its collections and facilities. It comprises 75 hectares of thematic gardens and greenhouses. We are told that 200 different bird species and a fox family live on the grounds. There are 22,000 types of plants, flowers and trees. With annual events such as Butterflies Go Free the garden is a popular year-round attraction for the people of Montreal. It was designated a national Historic Site of Canada in 2008.

The city of Montreal has created 76 community gardens with 6,400 allotments since 1975. These serve some 10,000 people a year, which makes the program one of the most significant in North America.

Mosaïcultures Internationales de Montréal (MIM), a non-profit organization was created in 1998. In association with the city’s Parks, Gardens and Green Spaces Department, its mission is to promote gardening and horticulture as both an expression of new millennium values and a vital component of the urban landscape. Mosaïcultures Internationales is an international mosaiculture competition, an exhibition of horticultural art and a chance for the representatives from parks, gardens and green spaces around the world to exchange ideas.

                          A replica of a mosaic from the museum of Gaziantep, Turkey titled Gaia was presented by Turkey in 2013

Come spring, planters with exquisite flower displays are placed all around the city. The City of Westmount in Montreal where I live is a very green place. The city promotes horticultural and environmental protection and activities. Among its 13 parks the main park (started in 1892) is beautifully landscaped and has ancient trees. A perennial plant exchange is held by the city in the spring. There is a conservatory and its greenhouses which put on shows and grow plants for exchange.

As proposed in 2010 by a member of the Horticultural Association, Westmount has replaced its traditional flower displays around the commercial district with edible herb and vegetable arrangements. What began as a pilot project with 8 street planters and 3 raised large planters has now expanded to cover 44 street planters as well as the 3 original hanging planters.

                                                   Photograph: Howcheng-Howard Cheng, flat leaved parsley flower

Parsley is one of the herbs that have been planted in Westmount planters. Parsley or Garden Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is a species of Petroselinum in the family Apiaceae, native to the central Mediterranean region (southern Italy, Algeria and Tunisia), naturalized elsewhere in Europe, and widely cultivated as a herb, a spice, and a vegetable.

Parsley attracts several species of wildlife. Some swallowtail butterflies use parsley as a host plant for their larvae; their caterpillars are black and green striped with yellow dots, and will feed on parsley for two weeks before turning into butterflies. Bees and other nectar-feeding insects also visit the flowers. Birds such as the goldfinch feed on the seeds.

Parsley grows best in moist, well-drained soil, with full sun. It grows best between 22–30 °C, and usually is grown from seed.

In many countries dishes are served with fresh green chopped parsley sprinkled on top.

Flat leaf parsley

The two main groups of leaf parsley used as herbs are: The curly leaf (P. crispumcrispum group; syn. P. crispum var.crispum) and Italian, or flat leaf (P. crispum neapolitanum group; syn. P.crispum var. neapolitanum). Flat-leaved parsley has a stronger flavor.

Parsley is a source of flavonoid and antioxidants (especially luteolin), apigenin, folic acid, vitamin K, vitamin C, and vitamin A. (



  1. Hi Beste - Westmount looks an amazing garden .. and I love the idea they've put herbs into the planters and used those instead of flowers, which are so often sterile .. scent and usefulness bred out for colour. Brilliant to see .. cheers Hilary

  2. Hello Hilary, I've been living in Westmount for 30 years now. I love the fact that the place happens to be a pretty special place in all of Canada. Salut, Beste

  3. Yum, now I feel like eating parsley. Hoping to plant some herbs in the spring!
    I hadn't realised the Botanical Gardens were that old. And I love the Westmount greenhouse!

  4. The greenhouse is enchanting in every season.

  5. The greenhouse is enchanting in every season.