Gardens of Light continues to illuminate the Jardin botanique until October 31. As part of its signature fall event, Espace pour la vie invites you to walk the paths of the Botanical Garden’s three illuminated cultural gardens. Don’t miss the Chinese Garden’s latest feature showcasing one of China’s greatest legends, the butterfly lovers.

At the Japanese Garden

The cycle of the seasons

Gardens of Light

Jardin botanique de Montréal
Photo: Claude Lafond

Japanese culture is marked by great sensitivity to the present moment and to the many signs of the changing seasons, with the impermanence of things making the transformations all the more precious. The illuminated Japanese Garden is a living work of art where the landscaping and the plants themselves, with their myriad forms and colours, take pride of place. The pine forest, dressed in the sounds of acoustic instruments representing the wind, offers visitors a moment of serenity.

At the First Nations Garden

The rhythm of life

At the heart of the circle of the seasons of life, flowing one after another in an endless stream, the Moon marks time and sets the rhythm. Embodying the fundamental principles shared by Indigenous peoples and given voice by the words of Innu poet Joséphine Bacon and the songs of Moe Clark, the First Nations Garden’s illuminated path beckons visitors on an immersive and poetic journey into the circle of life.

At the Chinese Garden

The legend of the butterfly love

Perched amidst lush vegetation are the two most famous butterflies in Chinese culture: Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai, also known as “The Butterfly Lovers.” The inseparable duo have withstood the test of time and will be lighting up the Chinese Garden this fall!

Set to the rhythm of The Butterfly Lovers violin concerto (one of the most influential works of Chinese music), the lanterns will retrace this timeless, centuries-old legend that has been inspiring and encouraging people to forge ahead towards a more profound concept of love and life.

Gardens of LightThe romance of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai is a Chinese legend dating back more than a thousand years which tells a tragic love story, much like Romeo and Juliet. A young girl named Zhu Yingtai wants to study in the city like her brothers, so she persuades her father to let her go disguised as a boy. This was counter to Chinese tradition in that era of forbidding girls from going to school and getting an education.

While at school, she secretly falls in love with her best friend, Liang Shanbo. After inviting Liang to her home on the pretext of matchmaking him with her younger sister who looks like her, Liang discovers Zhu’s true identity and confesses his feelings for her. But she has been promised to the son of a wealthy nobleman. Liang is heartbroken and soon dies of grief. On her wedding day, Zhu stops to mourn at Liang’s grave. Lightning suddenly cracks the grave open, Zhu jumps in and disappears. Reunited forever, the lovers metamorphose into butterflies, then flutter away into infinity.

It’s a story inspired by butterflies: From caterpillar to butterfly, this is the magical life cycle of these creatures, a difficult but extraordinary journey that inspires and encourages deeper reflection on human life. Death is not an end in itself, but rather a stage of life. When death occurs, the soul separates from the body, just as the butterfly, dazzling with beauty, emerges from its chrysalis.

This great romance has inspired countless adaptations, the most famous of which is The Butterfly Lovers violin concerto. Composed in 1959, this melody is one of the most influential works of Chinese music which introduced the world to Chinese Romanticism.

Timed tickets
To make the most of your experience, you will have to choose a set time for your visit when purchasing your tickets. Your timed ticket will allow you to wander freely through the Jardin botanique’s three cultural gardens. It will also give you access to the entire Jardin botanique, which can be visited at any time on the same day.

To purchase your tickets visit:

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