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Where the Plants Look Like People – Mosaicultures Internationales at the Montreal Botanical Gardens

Where the Plants Look Like People – Mosaicultures Internationales at the Montreal Botanical Gardens

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.  –

Mosaicultures Internationales

This entry was from the USA and was depicting California farmers.

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.

Mosaicultures Internationales

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.

Mosaicultures Internationales

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.

Mosaicultures Internationales

See that car in behind the tree? That’s a minivan. Should give you a sense of scale.

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.

  1. Lesli Peterson 26 June, 2013

    Love these photos! We have a temp exhibit at the gardens here in Atlanta with something similar. This art form is new to me too, but I think it is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing!

    • Amy Moore 26 June, 2013

      Where in Atlanta? I’ve got it on our list for a trip soon – just not excited to visit during the summer months 🙂

  2. Lisa Goodmurphy 27 June, 2013

    What a beautiful exhibit! I had never heard of mosaiculture before either – the creations are incredible! I have been thinking of a trip to Montréal for a while now and this exhibit might just be the incentive that I need to make it happen this summer.

  3. Sophie 27 June, 2013

    I’ve been in Montreal and really liked it, but didn’t know about the botanical garden. Looks very creative and fun.

  4. Tonya {The Traveling Praters} 27 June, 2013

    I would love to visit this garden. I think topiaries are the coolest sculptures ever. There is a topiary garden about an hour from us that I love to visit with the kids- it’s actually modeled after a famous painting and every time I’m there I imagine that I’m a part of the masterpiece. Sappy, I know. But I love it.

    • Amy Moore 27 June, 2013

      You are still trying to entice me to Ohio, aren’t you? 🙂 What’s the garden?

  5. Nancie 27 June, 2013

    I’ve been to these gardens, and loved them I would really like to see this exhibit. Your photos are great. The second shot is my favorite.

    • Amy Moore 27 June, 2013

      Thanks! They are beautiful gardens – but I’ve never seen anything like this exhibit!

  6. Dana Carmel @ Time Travel Plans 27 June, 2013

    Mosaiculture is such a unique artform. I especially like the California farmer piece – so original!

  7. budget jan 28 June, 2013

    Is this the garden near the olympic stadium. We went to a garden there which was wonderful, but these wonderful plant sculptures were not there. We were there in May 2010.

    • Amy Moore 28 June, 2013

      Yes! This is right across the street from the Olympic Stadium, and is considered in the same area. This is also where the Biodome and Planetarium are.

  8. Marisol@TravelingSolemates 28 June, 2013

    Oh my goodness,what an impressive art form! I guess it’s science, too! I’ve never seen anything like it. The woman hugging a crane is super spectacular. Lovely photos and thank for sharing them, Amy.

  9. Michele {Malaysian Meanders} 29 June, 2013

    Beautiful! I love topiary, and this is tons better than that with all the colors added in. The only place that I’ve ever seen something close to this is Disney but this is so much prettier.

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