The Montreal Botanical Garden is one of my favorite places to visit. I have been there many times over the years, taking inspiration from the Chinese and Japanese gardens, the Flowery Brook Garden and the alpine garden, as well as their arboretum and exhibitions. So when we moved my daughter, Kelsey, into her Freshman year dorm at McGill university, of course a visit to the garden was first on my list of things to do. I apologized to My husband and son for bringing them on yet another garden visit, and my son pointed out that there was some kind of special exhibit called “MosaicCultures”.

Honestly, I had no idea what to expect from that name, and found myself expecting some tacky strange plantings. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The MosaicCultures exhibit was extraordinary beyond words, life changing, and (for my grammar friends) “literally awesome.

There were forty or so installations. As you walked into the garden there was a cute sculpture of a row of lemurs, about 5 feet high and 10 feet long, consisting completely OF LIVE GROWING PLANTS! Next was an exhibition featuring the skyline of Montreal, entirely of living plants!

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We were already so glad we had come to the exhibition, even Lee and Colby. Then, the exhibitions got bigger and bigger and we were astounded by their beauty. First of the big exhibits was “The man who planted trees”


The man was about 20 feet tall with larger than life horses and dog. The manes and tails of the horses and the fur of the dog were all created out of grasses. I love the flowery meadow through which the horses were running and upon closer inspection I found that there was a collection of plants designed to be blooming throughout the entire season that the exhibition was open!


Another impressive exhibit was the Viking installation. A salute to Norse gods, it began with a Tree god contracted of different Ivies growing on the trunk of a tree. Behind the tree begins the serpent , who weaves its way over under and around the other elements of the exhibition. At the end of the Viking section, the serpent is captured by a giant hands of one of the Viking Gods reaching out of the ground.


The climax of the exhibition came when you rounded a corner and the largest installation appeared: Mother Earth!


Mother Earth’s peaceful face with closed eyes and cascading hair was close to 40 feet tall. Her hands reached up out of the ground holding deer in her left hand and her right hand held a waterfall with a bald eagle.


Big and small, every part of this event in Montreal was amazing. So good that I really want to follow MosaicCultures around the world. The next MosaicCultures is in Turkey, next summer. Maybe I will go!