What could be more pleasant than a stroll around floral oases in peace and quiet! Green spaces enhanced with masses of colourful flowers are the ideal places where you can relax and contemplate. Did you know that there are many exceptional gardens in Quebec that are well worth a detour? The Quebec Religious and Spiritual Tourism Association suggests these six sites where you can soak up all of this natural splendour.
With its colourful flower beds, mature trees and superb Garden of the Way of the Cross, Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal is an incomparable place of meditation in the heart of the city. There’s also the Père-Louis-Trempe Natural Reserve on site, home to several animal and plant species. And in tribute to Brother André, an iris with white, lavender and violet petals grows in the garden among the flowers: the Frère André Iris!
The Musée des Hospitalières de l’Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal is another religious site known for its beautiful garden. Initially used by the Hospitalières to grow food to feed the community as well as the hospital's patients, it was gradually transformed into the pleasure garden it is today. A lush spot in the heart of the city, it includes remarkable flower beds and a large orchard, the only one of its kind in Montreal, in addition to offering a breathtaking view of Mount Royal.
Reconnect with history in an aromatic and colourful setting at Maison Saint-Gabriel. The Sharecroppers’ Garden there takes you on a trip back in time, while the Farmhouse Garden is a vegetable garden restored according to what we know of gardens during the New France era. As for the Poetry Path, it is lined with plants and shrubs typical of the St. Lawrence Lowlands. To make sure you don't miss anything, hop on the guided tour offered in the summer, from Thursday to Sunday. You can also see the farmhouse bees and the Chantecler hens!
Wonderful green spaces in Trois-Rivières
Visiting the Musée des Ursulines is a great opportunity to explore the Monastery Garden, a well-kept secret in the heart of Old Trois-Rivières. A witness to more than 300 years of the community's history, this secluded place will allow you to discover a hidden side of the monastery, especially since guided tours are now offered during the summer. The museum also invites you to discover the chapel decorated with frescoes and sculptures, which offers a striking view of the architecture.
A visit to Trois-Rivières is also a chance to see the gardens of the Our Lady of the Cape Shrine, which are among the most renowned in the Mauricie region. Popular with pilgrims, artists and citizens looking for a peaceful place to meditate, read or picnic, these gardens are located on the shores of the St. Lawrence River, just a few steps from the basilica and the walking trails. They offer a unique environment and are a true oasis of tranquility, welcoming you to a site bathed in spirituality.
Le Jardin de François: a garden to discover in Charlevoix
La Maison Mère Baie-Saint-Paul, a former convent repurposed in 2017 into a place of creation and innovation, will charm you with, among other things, the Jardin de François, a peaceful haven conducive to meditation and contemplation of nature. Enjoy the sun on the grassy areas or stroll along the Allée des Soeurs, lined with huge pines, that will lead you directly from the fields to the beach. Paying homage to the timeless values of Saint Francis of Assisi, Patron Saint of ecology, this garden will enchant you with its calm and beauty.
Crédits photo: Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal, Maison Saint-Gabriel, Museum and Historic Site