Jardin Botanique Montreal

5 June 2016

The Garden of First Nations was cultivated by the Cree, Algonquin, Attikamek, Innu and Naskapi. These people were hunters and gatherers who lived in conifer forests that were near water. These types of “gardens” became community sites for reunions, trade and celebrations. These areas were also designed to be gateways to the country where they can hunt, fish and gather. Miichiwaahps (conical tent), innu-mitshuaps, pikokans and wigwams were also built in these “gardens.” The water was a very important part of the garden because they would build canoes to commemorate the dispersal of families over the territory.

Garden bridgeACather

The Japanese garden was split into sub-gardens which includes a tea garden and a rock garden. The whole point of a garden for the Japanese was to capture the shibui (simple beauty) of nature. This explains why rock gardens were popular because the gravel was raked to represent ripples in water. This also explains why wood parts were untreated, so they can remain as natural as possible. Tea gardens simultaneously captured shibui and defined Japanese culture, as tea was a very important aspect to the culture. These gardens involved tea ceremonies and bonsai courtyards in order to signify a high standard of living while sustaining shibui.

Religious people take gardening seriously because it is a way to express divine will. In other words, people feel like they are closer to their deity/deities when they promote the beauty of the stuff those deities created. An increase of spirituality is also seen, as being able to customize non-manmade stuff makes people feel like they are showcasing the power of their God/Gods.

Using the Bible as an example, we had to take care of the Garden of Eden. In other words, we had to maintain the beauty of a place that God created. This applies to the whole world, as it is our duty to study and care for all living beings, including plants. Using Buddhism as an example, bonsai trees were cultivated in order to represent spirits. These two religions share the common belief that we need to take care of plants.

– Haner Lim

I had a wonderful time exploring the beautiful gardens today. I have a love for plants and flowers and everything green, so this trip was very special for me, considering it is considered to be one of the best gardens in the world! While visiting I went to several different gardens but I really enjoyed the First Nations Garden, the Japanese Garden and Alpine Garden. I started by going to the First Nations Garden, it was beautiful and interesting! The garden was made to create a space where cultures of the indigenous populations of Canada are represented. The beautiful trees, shaded paths and plants beautifully represent or display culture, identity and artwork.

Koi pondAnother garden I went to and LOVED was the Japanese Garden. It was full of some of the most beautiful plants ever. This garden also represents an interesting history of Japanese culture. They have a Koi pond, traditional Japanese art and many other details that add to the relaxing and peaceful environment of the garden.

Religious people have taken gardening seriously because it often helps people relieve stress or anxiety. It is also a way to get close to the earth and God’s creation. Getting on your hands and knees, taking care of the earth is an easy way to focus on God, self-care, and prayer. In the Bible God talks about how he asks us to take care of His creation. Gardening, planting, watering and nurturing the earth is doing exactly that.

– Olivia Resto

La Fontaine de Tourny at parliament building, Québec City