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…
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.
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…
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.
The paths around the lake are illuminated with Chinese lanterns.
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.
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.
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.
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