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Horticultural expertise at the Botanical Garden

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Gardens of the Flowery Brook and the pond.
Photo: Jardin botanique de Montréal (Gilles Murray)

Growing plants from all over the globe in one place is no small feat! And yet that is what the Montréal Botanical Garden accomplishes, day after day, thanks to the expertise of the specialized employees in its Horticulture and Collections Division.

Objectives of the Horticulture and Collections Division

  • Maintaining and enhancing the collections
  • Showcasing the various collections and gardens for the public
  • Implementing sustainable development programs
  • Working in partnership with other institutions and associations that are friends of the Garden
  • Sharing expertise in ornamental horticulture

Each of the specialized horticulturists must strive to constantly enhance their individual collections or gardens, while collaborating on inventories and labelling. They must showcase the plants by displaying them according to the most innovative technical, esthetic and educational criteria.

In many cases, the outdoor gardens and exhibition greenhouses must recreate the soil and environmental conditions specific to the native habitats of the different species. The plants must then be arranged in keeping with the theme and style of each garden.

Some numbers

With the help of botanists and assistant botanists, the specialized horticulturists are responsible for:

  • 22,000 taxa, including 920 threatened species
  • More than 20 gardens and an arboretum, the whole spread out over 75 hectares
  • 9 specific collections
  • 52 greenhouses, including 10 exhibition greenhouses open to the public, housing 6,600 taxa

Teamwork

A specialized horticulturist is responsible for each garden and each collection, often assisted in his or her work by one or more gardeners, depending on seasonal requirements. A team of horticulturists specializing in propagation, phytoprotection and irrigation is also available to lend a hand.

During the high season, over one hundred people work on horticultural maintenance in the gardens and greenhouses. Division and section heads and five horticultural foremen supervise a team of 35 specialized horticulturists, 12 horticulturists/drivers, 2 pruners, 72 gardeners and 3 gardener’s helpers. Five driver-operators and two greenhouse supervisors round out this largest skilled horticultural workforce in Canada.

The École des métiers de l'horticulture de Montréal

Montréal School Board (CSDM)

Floristry, horticulture, landscaping ... There are many different specializations at this horticultural trade school. Aside from the regular teaching staff, many specialists from the Montréal Botanical Garden teach there, in disciplines directly related to their work at the Garden. Students who choose to train in horticulture, floristry or landscaping work directly with nature, learning to tame the landscape and shape it and to enhance our surroundings. They are natural artists who devote all their know-how to serving an ideal of beauty, always with respect for the environment. The field of horticulture is full of exceptional potential, just waiting to be explored.

The École des métiers de l'horticulture de Montréal offers four programs:

  • The D.E.P. (vocational diploma) in Horticulture and Gardening (1,335 hours)
  • The A.S.P. (attestation of vocational specialization) in Horticulture (450 hours)
  • The D.E.P. in Landscaping (1,035 hours)
  • The D.E.P. in Floristry (1,035 hours)

For more information:

Telephone: 514 596-4600

An internationally renowned garden

The Montréal Botanical Garden enjoys a global reputation. It is one of the world’s four largest botanical gardens, with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in England, the Berlin-Dahlem Botanic Garden in Germany, and the New York Botanical Garden in the United States. While Kew is indisputably the leader among these vast gardens, it is difficult to establish a precise ranking for the other three. All of them have vast plant collections and are involved to different extents in conservation, education and research. They range in size from 40 to 123 hectares.

 

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