A Garden Good Enough to Eat - 20th Great Gardening Weekend at the Botanical Garden

MONTRÉAL, May 11, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - Does the thought of picking a perfectly ripe tomato, still warm from the sun, make your mouth water? Are you inspired by the harmony of carefully landscaped shapes and colours? So why not combine the two and create your own "foodscape"? That's what Montréal Space for Life is suggesting as part of its 20th Great Gardening Weekend, from May 26 to 28. And to celebrate this 20th anniversary in proper style, admission to the site will be free for all visitors on Friday, May 26!

It's a great opportunity to chat with over 80 exhibitors, who will be presenting a huge variety of food and ornamental plants, edible flowers, and all sorts of original garden accessories. And so that you can "cultivate" your taste for gardening, seven speakers will be sharing their foodscaping expertise. Here's an overview of what's in store.

Delicious ideas!
To kick things off, Michel Aubé of Gloco will be talking about how to grow organic vegetables using "green" manure. Then, edible flowers in your garden? Why not? That's what Guillaume Pelland of Paysage gourmand will be explaining in his talk on edible perennials for foodscaping. And does the word aquaponics mean anything to you? Olivier Demers-Dubé of ÉAU aquaponic farms will be talking about an innovative food production technique called aquaponics, combining aquaculture and hydroponics. And in this age of extreme sports, why not try your hand at extreme vegetable gardening? Horticulturist, writer and speaker Albert Mondor will tell you how. Stefan Sobkowiak of Miracle Farms will discuss food forests, or how to create a permaculture garden.  And for followers of Bacchus who dream of picking their own grapes, Caroline Fontaine of Vignes chez soi will be talking about growing grapes in your garden. Yves Gagnon will top off the weekend with a subject sure to interest all gardeners: green manure for your vegetable plot, an age-old technique that is well known for revitalizing and improving agricultural land, but less often used for preparing soil, crop rotation and catch crops.  Note that all these talks will be in French. 

My Space for Life Garden program – an edible garden
Do you know about edible gardens? It's quite simple: just a matter of including food plants, edible flowers and berries in your landscaping, for yourself as well as pollinating insects, butterflies and birds. Not only will you be growing your own food, but you'll also be giving insects and birds sustenance and shelter. Even better, you can have your garden certified and join the hundreds of other "gardenauts" in the My Space for Life Garden movement to protect biodiversity. It's a great idea that can be adapted to gardens of all sizes, from the smallest balcony to the largest expanse! 

Happy birthday, Montréal!
On Friday, May 26, let's celebrate together! To mark the 20th anniversary of the Great Gardening Weekend and Montréal's 375th anniversary, admission to the event will be free for everyone on that day. It will also be a chance to admire our city's new official flower: the Montréal coneflower! Created entirely in Quebec, this lovely flower in colours ranging from orange-yellow to bright pink helps foster biodiversity, too, by attracting bees. You can pick one up at the Botanical Garden Gift Shop and enjoy its abundant blooms from July to September.

Henry Teuscher Award – Let's have a hand for the winner!
On Friday, May 26, you can also attend the Henry Teuscher Award ceremony and applaud an individual who has distinguished him- or herself over the years with an exceptional contribution to promoting horticulture and advancing horticultural knowledge in Quebec.

Speakers*

Friday, May 26
11:00 a.m.: Le plaisir d'un potager BIO avec des fertilisants biologiques  (Michel Aubé)
1:30 p.m.: Vivaces comestibles pour un paysage gourmand (Guillaume Pelland)
3:00 p.m.: L'aquaponie, une technique de production alimentaire innovante (Olivier Demers-Dubé)

Saturday, May 27
11:00 a.m.: Potager extrême : une révolution dans les jardins! (Albert Mondor)
1:30 p.m.: La forêt nourricière (Stefan Sobkowiak)
3:00 p.m.: La culture de la raisin (Caroline Fontaine)

Sunday, May 28
1:30 p.m.: Les engrais verts au potager (Yves Gagnon)

*Note that all these talks will be in French.

 The Great Gardening Weekend is presented in co-operation with the Friends of the Montréal Botanical Garden.

Here's to life!
As we mark our city's 375th anniversary this year, Montréal Space for Life is saluting life and everything it gives us. Our institutions are hosting a captivating and festive program of activities that brings us all together to celebrate nature that heals, feeds and inspires us.   (#Herestolife)

Hours : 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., May 26 to 28, 2017
Tickets : espacepourlavie.ca  (http://espacepourlavie.ca/en/rates/botanical-garden-insectarium)
List of exhibitors: espacepourlavie.ca/programmation/rendez-vous-horticole

IMPORTANT - As in previous years, the Botanical Garden and the Insectarium will not be participating in Montréal Museums Day on Sunday, May 28.

Montréal Space for Life is made up of four attractions on the same site: the Biodôme, Botanical Garden, Insectarium and Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium. These four prestigious municipal institutions form Canada's largest natural science museum complex. Together, they are launching a daring, creative urban movement, urging everyone to rethink the connection between humankind and nature and cultivate a new way of living.

Digital media kit, visual: bit.ly/GreatGardeningWeekend-2017

Media invitation – Interviews on request – Exceptional opportunities for visuals!
Friday, May 26:
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Great Gardening Weekend
10 a.m.Henry Teuscher Award
6 p.m. – Horticultural Merit Awards (private event)

 

SOURCE Ville de Montréal - Jardin botanique de Montréal

For further information: Marie-Joëlle Filion, Communications Co-ordinator, Telephone: 514 868-4840 / 514 443-6801, E-mail: mjoellefilion@ville.montreal.qc.ca; Nadine Fortin, Communications Co-ordinator, Telephone: 514 868-3053 / 514 250-7753, E-mail: nadine.fortin@ville.montreal.qc.ca


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