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By Cathy Krar, Master Gardener-In-Training, SCMG

 

The pictures of the botanical garden in Saint-Jacques, New Brunswick, are jaw-dropping.  Sculpted plant arrangements of historical figures and animals, a sheer delight.  This garden is set on 8 hectares close to the Madawaska River, with more than 80,000 plants and purported to be the largest arboretum east of Montreal.  It is part of a provincial park with the Trans Canada Trail passing right by it.

 

Jardin botanique opened June 1993, and with a lack of operating funds nearly closed a few years later. However, this garden was rescued by leaders of the University of Moncton and managed from 1997 to 2007. The City of Edmunston then signed an agreement with Tourism and Parks of New Brunswick for a one-year management. A new arrangement with the New Brunswick Botanical Garden Society as a five-year agreement was signed; with all three organizations agreeing to ensure the long-term development of the Garden.  There are now splendid collections with a dozen thematic gardens that has annuals, alpines, roses, perennials, aquatic plants, shade gardens, rhododendrons, vegetable gardens, “The Flowery Brook” and more.

 

 

Tickets are priced at $18/adult and enables you to tour the gardens and discover a unique collection of medicinal and aromatic plants.  Guided tours are available to groups, and trails have been redesigned to make them accessible to people with reduced mobility.

 

 

Educational workshops are offered to visitors in an herbalist pavilion, where colours, scents and flavours abound. This herbal garden is spread over an acre, with more than 100 species of perennial, annual, and biennial plants that have therapeutic, culinary, cosmetic and decorative uses. There is a kitchen for processing and drying edible flowers, found in the herbarium of plants de l’Acadie.  The exhibition space is for presenting plants and learning about all their uses through the ages.

 

Workshops on the environment, biodiversity, flora, and fauna, are meant to perpetuate ancestral knowledge and provide visitors with an opportunity to enjoy interactive, enriching, and unforgettable exchanges with the plant world. The exhibition features a specific order of Phasmes, also known as twig insects, leaf insects or stick insects. They are masters of camouflage and fascinating information accompanies all the species on display in a unique celestial garden called Khronos..

 

 

There are impressive mosaiculture with complex three-dimensionally shaped embroidery beds.  The term “mosaiculture” was first used at the end of 1860s at the parc de la Tete d’Or in Lyon, France. Other artistic displays feature stained-glass art, along with wood carvings by two resident artists. Small sculptures are available for purchase in support of multiple sclerosis.

 

Located in the reception pavilion is the “The Café Flora” that offers fresh, light, and colourful cuisine. If the carrot soup and garden salad doesn’t tempt you … the bacon, apple and brie panini will! The cafe has a 55-seat capacity and is open to the public 5 days a week during May and June; seven days a week during July and August; and serves brunches on weekends. It is delightful sensory experience to sit on the terrace with a glass of wine and listen to the sound of waterfalls.

 

In 2021, Café Flora featured a collection of hand-crafted cream cakes, using only the highest quality ingredients. These deluxe cakes are the perfect dessert to any occasion and serves 12 to 14 people, and for sale at $60.

 

August 1st is New Brunswick Day, and in celebration of New Brunswick’s birthday, Jardin botanique serves its visitors free hot dogs, cake and orangeade.  While it is delightful to be served amongst the many beautiful flowers, the streams, ponds, and waterfalls are equally remarkable.

 

 

 

Online ticket sales for concerts and evening performances are ongoing throughout the summer months. Artists in the Garden are featured every week on ‘Outdoor Thursdays’.  Summer camps for children are held, along with special entertainment on Acadian Day.  Visitors can participate in a treasure hunt with an opportunity to win a season pass.  In early October, there is celebrated the tradition of “Grande Grouille” (the Great Crawler), with this year’s theme being: “Journey around the world”.  Local beer is served to mark this occasion.

 

There are about 10 reasonably price hotels within driving distance to New Brunswick Botanical Garden that start around $65/night. If you are looking for more information, be prepared to translate the website from French to English. The pictures are great!

Jardin botanique du Noveau-Brunswick Address:

C.P. 1629

15 Isidore-Boucher

BD Edmundston, New Brunswick

E7B 1A3

Phone: 1 (506) 737-4444 ; Email: info@jardinNBgarden.com