Montreal's Summer-long Flower Show

Montreal's International Flora 2006 is a four-month long flower show with Quebecois attitude. Set in the Old Port, against a backdrop of decaying grain silos and the quays of the St. Lawrence River, it is a work in progress. Unlike most garden exhibits that are created to be in bloom for one perfect week, this one was planted in June and visitors can watch as it grows and develops over the summer and autumn months. Thematically, many of the exhibits were familiar: there was a Garden of Health and a Gourmet Garden which featured vegetables, culinary herbs and edible flowers mingled together aesthetically. The most fun, and most inventive, was Feast. It features a long table with salad greens and herbs growing out of it. With chairs and a gazebo shelter, it’s a metaphor for what green gardeners are trying to do—make the link between production and the consumer.

Green-roof gardening is another big trend and there is a section devoted to showing how it is done. With reinforced roofs, lightweight growing materials, and hardy plants, one can create a meadow or manicured garden for employees on a roof. At the show they have built a gentle ramp which acts as a display for the many species and variations that can be considered. Underneath the structure is a small showroom with examples of building materials and construction details on how to integrate them into existing buildings.

The most visually spectacular garden was the Blue Stick Garden. Instead of flowers there are hundreds of blue sticks, 8 feet high, painted the vivid blue of himalyan poppies. Set as a labyrinth, the sticks are suddenly, and surprisingly, hot pink on the return path. :: International Flora Montreal 2006

2014 Gift Guide

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