Thanks to the Turkish community in Quebec and the Iznik Foundation, the Montréal Botanical Garden is graced with a number of magnificent Iznik tiles bearing floral designs. They decorate nine low walls and nine pillars in the Peace Garden. Every spring, the indisputable floral stars of the show in this intimate garden are tulips, a species that originated in Turkey.
A technique from over 1,000 years ago
Iznik tiles are produced in Iznik, a city in Turkey. The unique technique and the complex process used to make them were lost in the 17th century and not rediscovered until 300 years later, in 1995, thanks to tireless research by the Iznik Foundation. Ancient Iznik tiles can still be seen on Classical-style buildings from the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries, and in the collections of some of the world's finest museums.
Spotlight on tulips
Garden tulips are native to Turkey. In the mid-16th century, Ogier de Busbecq, ambassador to Ferdinand I, sent tulip seeds and bulbs from Constantinople (now Istanbul) to the Austrian Court in Vienna. It took less than a century for tulips to spread throughout Europe. Their popularity produced an unprecedented frenzy in the plant world–— the famous “Tulipomania.” Millions of tulip bulbs are produced each year, especially in the Netherlands, to adorn public and private gardens and for cut flowers.
The Peace Garden is located next to the restaurant terrace, across from the administration building.