The Botanical Gardens are often at the top of the list of “must see” places in Montreal. Walking around the gardens, it was clear to see why. Even though Montreal is green throughout the city, the Botanical Gardens were definitely special. And then… I found out they were hosting the Mosaicultures Internationales festival.
How did I figure that out? I happened upon some giant plant artwork, the likes of which I have never before encountered. It was pretty clear that something spectacular was taking place!
I wasn’t really clear what Mosaiculture was before stumbling upon it during my Montreal Botanic Garden visit. But after seeing it in person, I had to find out more!
Mosaiculture is a refined horticultural art that involves creating and mounting living artworks made primarily from plants with colourful foliage (generally annuals, and occasionally perennials). The colourful two- and three-dimensional drawings, designs, sculptures and reliefs thus created employ a wide variety of flora. This multifaceted and complex discipline, an ornamental art, draws on numerous practices: on sculpture for its structure and volume, on painting for its palette, and on horticulture in its use of plants in a living, constantly changing environment. Mosaiculture should be distinguished from topiary, which features mostly shrubs pruned to create different shapes. – mosaiculturesinternationales.ca
At the Mosaicultures Internationales, hundreds of horticultural artists from around the world come together to create large scenes out of plants and foliage. In the Montreal Botanical Gardens, this translates to a 2 km long walk full of gorgeous, unique artwork. The city of Montreal expects over a million visitors this summer to check out this exhibit.
Each piece of artwork is first formed by a steel frame covered in mesh. Then a soil containing net is hand planted with each and every plant that will make up the final product. The work that looked to me to be a shepherd was actually inspired by “The Man Who Planted Trees”, a film by Frédéric Back, and required no less than 800,000 plants to complete.
Check out the Mosaicultures Internationales at the Montreal Botanical Gardens with your family this summer through September 29, 2013. Kids were captivated by both the size and beauty of the art, and since countries from all around the world were represented you can also work in geography to the visit.
For more information, check out their website.
Disclosure – I was at the Montreal Botanical Gardens as a guest of Tourisme Montreal, but all photos and wide eyed wonder at giant plant sculptures is all mine.