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My passion: gardening

Sylvie Maurice
Credit: Jardin botanique
Sylvie Maurice © Jardin botanique de Montréal
My passion: gardening

Gardening is often a family affair. Some horticulturists at the Botanical Garden tell you how they got started.

Summer holidays

I come from a family of gardeners. I spent my childhood and my summer vacations working in the family garden in the Lower St. Lawrence. Every spring break in March I spent doing transplanting. I have so many fond memories associated with horticulture: the smell of the earth, the moisture and gentle warmth of the greenhouse in early spring when everything outside is still frozen, the smell of geraniums and petunias... In short, horticulture has always been in my life, and this is not only my job but my passion!

Luc Thériault Horticulturist - Shrub Garden

Delicious rhubarb

I discovered the plant world at my grandpa’s place in Abitibi. Under a huge rhubarb leaf, I found happiness! It was my living parasol...I was barely three years old. At that time, I also loved making mud pies – my love of the earth is nothing new! Then came the bouquets of daisies, dandelions and morning glories... And also my collection of four-leaf clovers! These common plants, which grew in our yard, brightened my childhood as well as my first herbarium. This love of plants led me to study botany and still lives inside me. Now I live on forested land and I grow a large variety of plants in my garden.

Sylvie Maurice Horticulturist - Horticultural Information

Thanks to the Youth Gardens

Chinese Garden. In the 1970s I took part in the Youth Gardens for several years. I loved cultivating my little garden and collaborating on all the other horticultural tasks. One of my animators at the time was Robert Malo, now my foreman. In 1985 I applied for a position as an animator myself, and for five seasons I returned to my old love: the Youth Gardens at Angrignon Park. 1990 arrived and several large-scale horticultural projects were implemented in Montreal (Jean Doré Beach, construction of the Chinese Garden). The door was opened: exams were scheduled for gardeners and I jumped at the chance! One week later, my dream came true. I found myself on Île Notre-Dame, working as a gardener. After a few years working here and there, I asked to be transferred to the Botanical Garden. No problem: Robert Malo was foreman and wanted me to be part of the team. The Chinese Garden had existed for just three years and required a lot of maintenance. To my delight, I was able to join the group. In the late 1990s came a change of direction: I was offered the position of team leader. Listening only to my heart, I accepted with enthusiasm. This wonderful experience allowed me to then apply, in 2000, for a horticulturist job in the same garden. Since then, I’ve passionately practiced the art of horticulture!

Louise Moffatt Horticulturist – Chinese Garden.

And you, how did you start gardening?

Don’t miss the Great Gardening Weekends– A family affair, May 23 to 25 at the Botanical Garden.

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