Come immerse yourself in the aromas and colours unique to this peaceful oasis in the heart of Old Montréal. “Its layout offers a return to the 18th century and an opportunity to recall the beauty and usefulness of plants”, says the designer of the Governor’s Garden, Robert Desjardins.
The Governor’s Garden is a marvellous place for a stroll. You can visit it simply for the relaxation it offers, or to learn more about the gardens of New France. Access is free of charge at all times. In addition, a host of activities is offered during summer.
We await your visit with anticipation. Meanwhile, we offer you a virtual visit of the Governor’s Garden via the pages of this website.
Claude de Ramezay arrived in Montréal in 1705 as the city’s new governor. There he hired Pierre Couturier, an architect and mason, to build a home on Notre-Dame street. The Ramezay property covered 4,200m2 and included an orchard, a kitchen garden, and a pleasure garden where, no doubt, the governor hosted fine receptions, for his home was at the heart of the city’s social life. At that time, gardens were numerous in the city: there were 186 of them in 1731.
Over time, the Ramezay property was whittled away by new streets and new building construction. The Governor’s Garden, as you see it today, was re-created in 2000 and covers only 750m2. Consequently, it is not a re-creation of the original garden but rather a witness to the style and contents of gardens cultivated by Montréal’s nobility in the 18th century.
Most of the plants used today are hybrids of the species cultivated in New France. However, the species grown in the garden today are genetically very close to those grown in Ramezay’s day. The garden is in the formal French style and is divided into three equal-sized sections: a kitchen garden, an orchard and a pleasure garden. Surrounding these sections, at the foot of the long walls, is a fourth section consisting of herbs and medicinal plants informally distributed. A ram's-head fountain is part of the garden and serves as a reminder of the importance of wells in the gardens of yore, for they were the only handy source of water for the gardener.
We would like to thank the Investing in Nature:
A Partnership for Plants and their sponsors for their support in the development of this web site.