The Japanese Garden of the Montreal Botanical Garden is composed of some gardens. These gardens are conducive to calm and contemplation.
The Stroll Garden
Created in 1988, the Stroll Garden (kaiyushiki teien) is an ambience garden. Visitors discover it in the form of a succession of visible landscapes at the bend in a path, crossing over one of the bridges, or in entering one of the pavilions.
Among the landscape’s features are a pond along with a series of cascades and streams that embody life and renewal.
In this garden, the shrubs and trees are meticulously pruned. Over the seasons, the visitor’s experience is brightened by a succession of flowerings and color changes.
The Dry Garden
The starkness of a dry garden (karesansui) fosters introspection. It’s not a place for meditation, but rather contemplation for the stationary visitor. Its origins go back to the late 12th century, when it was developed by Zen Buddhist monks.
The dry garden here, designed by Ken Nakajima and created in 1988, is made up of 11 stones and granitic sand from the Shirakawa River, located in Kyoto Prefecture.
Modeled on Japan and its numerous islands in the middle of the ocean, the sand in the Dry Garden symbolizes water, while the stones represent mountainous islands.
The patterns traced in the sand may symbolize waves, or ocean currents. Sometimes they quite simply come from the imagination of the person who does the tracing for the garden.
The Tea Garden
A place to visit, the Tea Garden (roji or chaniwa) allows guests to free their minds of daily cares for a better appreciation of the tea ceremony.
It features, among other things, the chozubachi, the bowl used for the ablutions that precede the tea ceremony. The water in it serves to purify the hands and mouth.
Rustic in character, the Tea Garden invites visitors to an appreciation of simple and natural beauty. The tobi ishi (stepping stones) as well as the nobedan (small pathways of positioned stones) orchestrate the way in which the public moves about the garden to discover it.
The Tea Garden of the Japanese Garden was created in 2002 in memory of Hector Dupuis, the first Canadian executive vice-president of Toyota Canada, and was made possible thanks to the generosity of Toyota Canada.
This fragile garden is accessible only from May to October, in the company of a guide.
The Bonsai Courtyard
Thanks to the generosity and friendship of the Japanese, the Bonsai Garden harbours a collection of rare beauty.
In 1989, the Jardin botanique was offered a superb collection of thirty bonsai by the Nippon Bonsai Association Inc.
Carefully cultivated and maintained for many generations, these miniature trees, varying in age from 25 to 350 years, bear the heart of the Japanese people and evoke the friendship that unites Canada and Japan.
From spring to fall, visitors may admire specimens of Japanese maples (momiji), of the ginkgo or maidenhair tree (ichô), and many junipers (shimpaku) and azaleas (satsuki).