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Frequently asked questions

FAQ - Jardin botanique

Is it possible to buy a plant from the Jardin botanique?

Unfortunately, the Jardin botanique de Montréal does not sell its plants to the public as a rule. There are exceptions, such as the Great Gardening Weekend and special plant sales at the Garden’s boutique.

Occasionally, the Jardin botanique’s affiliated societies also organize plant sales. However, these special events are generally reserved for members.

Can I take a picnic to the Garden?

Unfortunately, the Montréal Botanical Garden’s official policy does not allow picnics on site, except in areas that are designated for meals (the picnic areas situated in front of the Lion statue and at the Frédéric Back Tree Pavilion). The restaurant’s patio offers outdoor tables, and you can eat a meal there brought from home.

Please note that alcoholic beverages, chairs, coolers and blankets are not authorized inside the Garden. Only alcoholic beverages purchased on site can be consumed at the Garden’s restaurant, on its patio.

You can also start with a visit to the Garden and then enjoy a peaceful picnic at Maisonneuve Park. Afterwards, you could always come back to the Garden to continue your visit. Just let the attendant at the gate know that you’ll be coming back and he or she will stamp your hand as proof you have already paid for admission when you return. If you need to leave the Garden and use a parking lot, use the Insectarium’s lot (the second traffic light east of Pie-IX, near Maisonneuve Park).

Can I use my tripod or other photography equipment at the Jardin botanique?

Tripods and monopods cannot be used in the exhibition greenhouses or the pavilions. However, a tripod can be used in the outdoor gardens*.

You must not block visitor traffic or interfere with employees’ work. You also may not set up your tripod in certain areas (these areas are marked as areas where walking is prohibited), in areas that are off limits to visitors or flower beds. For certain exhibitions, flash may be prohibited.

* Exception: For safety reasons, tripods are not permitted in the Chinese Garden during the “Gardens of Light” event when there are a lot of visitors. Tripods will only be tolerated when there are not many visitors on site.

Are there courses or workshops on horticulture and/or botany?

The Friends of the Botanical Garden organize courses and workshops for amateurs. Visit this page for more information about courses and workshops at the Garden (french only).

Professional-level courses towards a general DEP in horticulture followed by an ASP are given by the École des Métiers de l'Horticulture (french only).

Does the Jardin botanique accept plant donations?

Donations from individuals are rarely accepted. The Jardin botanique only accepts donations of rare, uncommon plants that are not in its collections and are well identified. In addition, with the exception of plants of horticultural origin, the natural origin of the plant must be certified in several cases.

If your plants are too big for your apartment or you are moving and have to leave your plants behind, we suggest that you offer them to community centers, schools, daycares, churches or hospitals.

On the other hand, some horticultural and ecological clubs organize plant exchange days for their members.

Finally, there are networks on the Web that allow you to offer your surplus to other gardeners in your neighborhood.

Can I volunteer at the Jardin botanique?

The Jardin botanique does not have its own volunteer committee. The 200 volunteers who are active at the Jardin botanique are part of one of its affiliated societies. The Garden does not offer volunteer opportunities in horticulture for plant maintenance, but many other volunteer opportunities do exist through which you can get to know and appreciate the Jardin botanique and contribute to its richness.

Is it permitted to pick up seeds that have fallen to the ground, leaves or plants from the Garden?

Unfortunately, we cannot honour your request. Our policy forbids removing any specimen from the Garden, including fruit or flowers that have fallen to the ground. The Jardin botanique de Montréal also exchanges seeds and plants with botanical gardens and other similar institutions, not with individuals.

Can I obtain seeds or cuttings from the Garden?

Strict policies are in place concerning the conditions under which plant material may leave the Jardin botanique de Montréal. It is forbidden for both employees and the public to take plants or parts of plants outside the Garden without permission. Even material that will become waste or compost remains the property of the Garden as long as the material is on site.

All requests for material must be submitted to the Jardin botanique de Montréal. Requests must be made in writing and must demonstrate that material will only be used for research, education or conservation purposes. Special consideration will be given to requests from public institutions or organizations. Requests from individuals are rarely accepted.

Please note that our security officers’ mission is to enforce these policies. They can seize any material that is taken without authorization.

Can I jog at the Garden?

Jogging is allowed only on the access road.

Is snowshoeing allowed at the Jardin botanique in the wintertime?

Snowshoeing and other sports are not allowed, except for cross-country skiing in the wintertime, which is allowed on the marked trail only.

Is cross-country skiing allowed at the Garden?

The Jardin botanique de Montréal and Maisonneuve Park offer 18 km of groomed cross-country ski trails.

You can go cross-country skiing at the Jardin botanique de Montréal from sunup to sundown. There is no rental service. Conditions and maintenance are done by Mother Nature and the team at Maisonneuve Park. A map of cross-country ski trails is available here and at the Garden's Reception Centre.

Can wheelchairs be rented?

(Non-electric) wheelchairs are available free of charge at the information desk at the Reception Centre and the Insectarium. However, because the number of chairs is limited, we cannot guarantee availability. The greenhouses can be visited in a wheelchair. For more information on access in a wheelchair, visit this page.

For more information

Can books be bought or consulted at the Garden?

You can buy books about horticulture and landscaping at the Jardin botanique boutique.

The Jardin botanique’s library offers a collection of more than 35,000 documents about horticulture, botany and landscaping. It is open to the public without an appointment for consultation inside the library. Only members of the Friends of the Botanical Garden and the Société de Bonsaï et de Penjing de Montréal can borrow books from the library.

Can cremation ashes be scattered at the Garden?

In Québec, there are no laws governing the scattering of cremation ashes. People are free to do with them what they choose. However, the Jardin botanique’s management policies do not allow ashes to be scattered on the premises.

We hope you will understand the Garden’s position.

Can I hire a speaker from the Jardin botanique?

Unfortunately, as Jardin botanique staff members are frequently solicited for talks about botany and horticulture, our policy is to ask interested groups to send us an information sheet (date, offer of fees, place, language, etc.) that we will post in strategic areas. If one of our staff members is interested, he or she will directly contact the group in question.

You can also contact the Fédération des Sociétés d'Horticulture et d'Écologie du Québec (FSEQ) for a speaker at 514 252-3010.

Is it possible to participate in community projects in partnership with the Jardin botanique?

Unfortunately, although the idea is commendable, the Jardin botanique cannot participate in this type of activity. We are frequently solicited, but our resources are not sufficient to allow us to participate. Since the Garden was dissociated administratively from urban horticulture, we only produce plants in small quantities for our own needs and they are usually collection plans. We no longer provide specimens to organizations for urban planting because this no longer corresponds to our mission, and our facilities are not equipped to produce plants for these purposes.

However, you may be able to contact the horticultural division of your borough through your Accès Montréal office or your ecoquartier. One of these groups may be able to participate in your project. Your borough’s city councillor may be able to point you in the right direction as well. While the city still has a nursery for its own needs, it has reduced its activities considerably in recent years.

There is also an organization called Evergreen that helps schools landscape their schoolyards. You’ll find more details on their Web site.

A list of plants (trees, shrubs and climbing plants) is also available for Québec.