Photos: Lighting Up the Garden

Walk through the Montreal Botanical Garden for a tour of culture flowers.

Issue 6: Winter/Spring 2016

    Lighting Up the Garden 

                          Photos by Samantha Godino
                          Story by Eva Parham

          Each year just as the crisp fall air moves out and the winter flurries begin, the Montreal Botanical Garden brings
      nature to life with their annual Gardens of Light event. Using elements from Japanese and Chinese cultures the
      garden transforms into a luminous masterpiece. By day temples, waterfalls and colorful dragons stand out amongst
      the vast array of plants and trees. But by night, the garden becomes a vibrant display lighting as far as the eye can see.

           Japanese gardens use small representations of nature to create natural sceneries. Ponds can represent mythical
        or real lakes or seas. Islands in a garden can vary in size and are meant to represent real islands or religious symbolism.
        Man-made hills in larger gardens represent mountains.   Chinese gardens incorporate decorative rocks, plants, trees
        and flowers, a building or pavilion, and water elements. All of these elements come together so that visitors know the
        order that they should walk through the path.  

           Waterfalls, stones and trees are essential to the Japanese garden and convey the importance of nature. The
       waterfalls represent Japan’s landscape that has over 500 known waterfalls. Stones, large or small, have been
       essential to Japanese gardens whether being used to designate sacred grounds or portray mountains and hills. 
       Trees are also connected to Japan’s landscape with over two-thirds of it being forests. Different trees, such as
        the Japanese cherry blossom tree or the pine tree, have different meanings such as hope and the beauty and
        fragility of life. 

              As you walk past the fisherman, dragons and lanterns you are no longer in Montreal Botanical Garden but rather
        transported to the Zhuang Village in Guangxi, China to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Unique to the celebration
        and garden are the lanterns and dragons. The dragon, often thought to be an ascendant of Chinese people, performs
        twice during the New Year. It also represents prosperity, good luck and good fortune.  Ending the Chinese New Year
        is the Festival of Lanterns, where lanterns light up the sky much like how they light up the garden. 
            Gardens of Light celebrates 2015 by being declared the International Year of Light, a global effort to spread
      awareness of the importance of light based technology. As you walk through the illuminated walkways you are
      a part of a movement to light up certain parts of world. You can experience the Gardens of Light each year from
      early September to early November.

            In the middle of a forest of green stands the Japanese structure. 

            Water trickles down the falls as the day progress at the Montreal Botanical Gardens.
            The pond display is inspired by water elements.
         The dragon peaks out of the building looking out into the field at the Montreal Botanical Gardens.
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