The Gardens of Light at the Montréal Botanical Chinese Garden

Yesterday I headed over to the Montréal Botanical Garden to check out the Gardens of Light event.

This is an annual event where the Chinese and Japanese Gardens are transformed at dusk with illuminated decorations. Although it has been running for a number of years, but this was my first visit to the event, and having now been, I intend not to miss another year !

I arrived before sunset and since I took quite a few pictures during my visit, I’m going to share over the course of 2 parts.

In today’s post I have a collection of shots taken before and after sunset in the Chinese garden. In Part 2 tomorrow I’ll have some shots of the Japanese garden.

 

The Chinese Garden – A little history

The Chinese garden was constructed in 190/91 and was designed by Le Weizhong – a renowned master landscaper and architect, who at the time of the garden construction was the Director of the Shanghai Institute of Landscape Design and Architecture.

The thousands of pieces of material needed to build the garden were shipped from Shanghai to Montréal in some 120 containers and took 50 Chinese craftsmen to assemble.

In addition to the seven classical structures inspired by the Ming Dynasty, the Chinese Garden is home to more than 200 species and varieties of perennial plants, 50 aquatic plants, 13 climbing plants, 15 bamboo plants, four annual plants, 160 shrubs and some 100 species and varieties of trees.

For more information, check out the Espace Pour La Vie website

Okay, time for some pictures…

 

The Tower of Condensing Clouds

The Tower of Condensing Clouds
ISO 200 – 12mm – f10 – 1/30 sec

The Tower of Condensing Clouds

The Tower of Condensing Clouds
ISO 200 – 18mm – f10 – 1/8 sec (-2ev/0/+2ev)

Although the lantern displays looked good during daylight, I found that they added too much detail in a shot and so I took some out of focus shots, the following being my favorite.

Dream Lake Garden

Dream Lake Garden

It wasn’t long before the light dimmed and the lanterns began to glow…

The Magic of Lanterns

This year, The Magic of Lanterns event in the Chinese Garden highlights the living treasures found in the tropical rainforest of Xishuangbanna and is directed by Montréal artist Danielle Roy.

The lanterns were designed in Montréal by the Botanical Garden’s artistic designer, My Quynh Duong, and then made in Shanghai.

One of my favorite pieces was the family of tigers, although the frog was pretty cute…

Chinese Garden of Light

Chinese Garden of Light
ISO 200 – 195mm – f5.3 – 1/20 sec

Chinese Garden of Light Tiger Lanterns

Chinese Garden of Light Tiger Lanterns
ISO 200 – 70mm – f4.5 – 1/5 sec

Chinese Garden of Light Tiger Lanterns

Chinese Garden of Light Tiger Lanterns
ISO 200 – 70mm – f7.1 – 1/4 sec

Chinese Garden of Light Tiger Lanterns

Chinese Garden of Light Tiger Lanterns
ISO 200 – 70mm – f7.1 – 1 sec

The large display in the center of Dream Lake features a banyan tree surrounded by elephants, monkeys, frogs, butterflies, Mekong giant catfish, water buffalo, hornbills and more.

Chinese Magic of Lanterns event

Chinese Magic of Lanterns event
ISO 200 – 70mm – f10 – 0.8 sec

Chinese Magic of Lanterns event

Chinese Magic of Lanterns event
ISO 200 – 85mm – f7.1 – 0.5 sec

 

Chinese Magic of Lanterns event

Chinese Magic of Lanterns event
ISO 200 – 12mm – f10 – 1.3 sec

Chinese Magic of Lanterns event

Chinese Magic of Lanterns event
ISO 200 – 20mm – f8 – 1.6 sec (-2ev/0/+2ev)

The paths around the lake are illuminated with Chinese lanterns.

Chinese Magic of Lanterns event

Chinese Magic of Lanterns event
ISO 200 – 70mm – f6.3 – 0.8 sec

Chinese Magic of Lanterns event

Chinese Magic of Lanterns event
ISO 200 – 13mm – f7.1 – 0.8 sec

Chinese Magic of Lanterns event

Chinese Magic of Lanterns event
ISO 200 – 85mm – f7.1 – 0.8 sec

There were a lot of people enjoying the Gardens of Light event last night, helped by the fact it was a lovely evening to be out, but also perhaps many – like myself – realizing that the Gardens of Light event ends in a few weeks on November 3rd and didn’t want to miss out.

Chinese Magic of Lanterns event

Chinese Magic of Lanterns event
ISO 200 – 19mm – f8 – 1 sec

The Green Shade Pavilion perched on the hill overlooking Dream Lake was one of my favorite spots to shoot due to the crowd being a little lighter – when I was passing anyway.

Green Shade Pavilion at Montreal Botanical Garden

Green Shade Pavilion at Montreal Botanical Garden
ISO 200 – 10mm – f7.1 – 3 secs (-2ev/0/+2ev)

Green Shade Pavilion at Montreal Botanical Garden

Green Shade Pavilion at Montreal Botanical Garden
ISO 200 – 10mm – f7.1 – 3 secs (-2ev/0/+2ev)

 

Tomorrow I will post some images of the Japanese Garden, which was more conventional lighting rather than lanterns and very peaceful.

If you are in Montréal, I highly recommend you pay the Botanical Garden a visit before the Magic of Lanterns ends on November 3.

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.

– Martin

Montréal in Pictures

Your virtual guide in and around Montréal

 

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