Hi everyone, Nigel Saunders here it is 4 a.m. In the morning on Friday, I’m heading off to Montreal to visit the Montreal botanical gardens to see their Bonsai and pending collection. So here I go. I made sure all my plants were well watered, so they should be.
Okay, I’m going to leave the lights off in the plant room in the basement that way, they’ll use, less water all the trees. The reason I’m leaving so early in the morning is that I want to beat the traffic in Toronto.
If I hit that commuter traffic in Toronto, it could cost me a couple of hours – probably well, maybe not a couple hours but at least an hour of stop and go traffic. So I’m hoping by the time I hit Toronto, the city’s still sleeping and I can slip through Toronto without much of a delay.
That’S my goal anyway! I’Ll! Let you know how it goes. My first stop is Tim Hortons. I got a coffee, I don’t normally drink coffee, so I save it for when I’m on a road trip. So I have a coffee and it keeps me really alert for the almost uh 24 hours.
So there I am, I’m hitting the road once again mentoring. The first teacher City on the way, starting to turn a little lighter, we’ll see what kind of Sunrise we get today. I am on the 401 now the trans-canada highway.
This will take me quite close to Montreal. Another advantage of getting up so early in the morning is that coffee was really really fresh. It tasted really really good. So it’s still dark out driving and driving and driving.
I’M passing by Rattlesnake Point home of the old Ancient Cedars to get closer to Toronto, and you can see I’m getting a little bit of traffic, but not much yet. It is 5 30 a.m in the morning and I’m starting to hit the Toronto traffic.
So far. It’S smooth sailing, so that’s really good. It is quarter to six now, I’m in the heart of the Toronto traffic and it’s still pretty good. It’S uh moving along smoothly. It is six o’clock now in the morning I have cleared Toronto, so that was awesome.
I just flew through Toronto. That rarely happens so that was great. It was worth getting up early for I beat on the road for two hours now. The road conditions are really really good, there’s no snow anywhere.
So so far it’s been good sailing. I am getting the first colors in the sky up ahead kind of a reddish color the day is beginning [, Music ]. It is slowly getting lighter out. My first stop will be in Kingston Ontario, I’m going to stop and get a bite to eat.
To stretch my legs and move on I’m about three hours into my journey, I’ve stopped at a truck. Stop. I’M gonna stretch my legs and see if there’s anything open, so I can get a bite to eat. I have got my breakfast and I’ll be on the road again, so I don’t have a cell phone.
You might wonder how I stay in communication with my wife. So whenever I debit something at a place like this, she can look at the online banking and she’ll know exactly where I am so right now, I’m in Trenton.
Apparently I didn’t know that but yeah Trenton Ontario heading towards Kingston and I think that’ll be well. Maybe my first fuel stop. I’M not sure I might be able to make it uh even further to Cornwall.
The scenery so far has been trees. Lots of trees, lots of Pines very interesting shapes. My first gas stop 42-27 in Kingston off I go again. I saw the sign for Cornwall. It is 170 kilometers away, so it was originally going to stay the night in Cornwall.
It’S kind of a a good place to stop, and then you know, I think it’s an hour and a half to Montreal from Cornwall. So I may do that I’ll see how I feel the scenery just keeps getting better and better I’m at another rest stop.
I got out stretched. My legs took a little walk around the parking lot and I’m ready to go once again. The sun has come out now. It looks like a beautiful day ahead, hi everyone I did stop in Cornwall.
I did a bunch of uh Hotel shopping. I went from hotel to hotel to hotel. They were all like minimum 180 dollars, and I just I didn’t want to pay that much so I kept going down in quality. So finally, I went to a motel and they still wanted uh.
I got this room for seventy dollars, which is quite a bit, but it is pretty big I’ll show you uh what it looks like. So there’s a big bed: it’s a little uh too big for me, but you know: it’ll do there’s a desk fireplace uh, a painting, a little kitchenette here and a pretty big bathroom yeah.
So that’s kind of it [ Music ]. I guess that’s the going rate. I’M not used to these uh hotel prices, but I guess that was a bargain. The guy tell told me he has never rented out this room for so cheap because he originally wanted uh.
Eighty dollars – and I said oh, he said well I’ll – give you it to you for 70.. I said all right, so there’s my 70 room in Cornwall Ontario. So he said Montreal is about an hour away from here. So I’ll just get up early tomorrow morning and drive into Montreal to the Botanical Gardens good morning, everyone, it is five.
In the morning I’m heading off to Montreal. Now I had a good night’s sleep, so here we go. This will be interesting. I hope I can find the place okay, it looks like it rained overnight. The temperature is quite warm today.
That’S good 401 East Montreal. That’S where we’re headed. I should be hitting the Quebec border sometime up here, I’m not sure when, and then everyone tells me it’s about an hour and a half to Montreal.
So yeah shouldn’t be any traffic at this time of the day, so I should be pretty good sailing. I just hope I don’t get lost. I made kind of a map for myself and I’ll see if I can get there yeah. This looks like it here.
Here’S a big sign! Yes, I am now in Quebec. Oh exciting. Awesome. Quebec Montreal is about 50 kilometers or 30 miles away, I’m getting very, very, very excited. This is going to be awesome. I could just see a hint of the sunrise in the distance.
The Horizon is kind of glowing a bit. Here’S my turn off to 20 East. So this will take me to the upper part of Montreal near the Botanical Gardens. It doesn’t feel very Christmassy out today. It’S like mild and no snow or anything through a few small towns, Montreal [ Music ].
It’S on. I have a ble to go so I’ll. Keep going so I was hopelessly lost and then out of nowhere comes the uh, the Olympic Stadium, which is right near the Botanical Gardens. I had no idea where I was going.
I was lost for like over half an hour, I’m here I’m at the parking lot at the Montreal Botanical Gardens. I can’t believe, found the place I was hopelessly lost. I thought it was like [ Applause ]. I thought I was in the wrong City.
Even I was like I thought I was way far away from where I wanted to go and then suddenly that Stadium popped into view – and I thought oh thank goodness so it started to rain now. So I was gonna walk around and have a look at the stadium, because it’s quite something if the rain lights up I’ll go.
Do that. I also can’t believe I’m here. I’Ve wanted to come to the Montreal Botanical Gardens and see this Bonsai collection ever since I got into Bonsai, so it’s kind of like a H. It’S like the icing on the cake of my bonsai journey.
I guess it’s going to be fantastic. What an amazing building [ Music ], here’s the base of the building, talk about a futuristic, looking building, here’s, what the gardens look like before anything’s open sure is a lot of greenhouses.
There’S the ticket counter, so I’ll have to buy a ticket today. Now I don’t know it’s open down here. Maybe I can walk around the grounds I’ll do that, while it’s while I’m waiting it’s interesting here, the Larch still have their needles on which it’s hard to believe.
I guess mine still has some needles, but these are kind of yellow green [ Applause. ] interesting. I was walking around the grounds and it started raining quite hard, so I’m back in the car I have an hour to wait before it opens.
I am here at the Botanical Gardens, I’m in the succulent Cactus section. There’S some really impressive plants in here. Hey over here is an elephant foot tree or a ponytail palm check out the size of it there’s my hand all the way up to the roof.
Now the interesting thing about it is check out this one trunk. Here, it’s thin almost like a ribbon [ Music ] do that it’s never seen that shape on a ponytail palm, it’s kind of interesting. You know buttress Roots, except this is a buttress branch really really cool there.
It is in the side, view [, Music, ] and then the front view, and then here’s the side view. So you can see how thick it is. Yeah, that’s interesting that they kind of form those branches I’m wandering around trying to find the Bonsai area – and I think I see it over here – see a boat’s eye through there.
Let’S go in and have a look. This is definitely the right section here I go. Oh, it’s quite cool in here yeah, it’s very cool, [, Music, ] Forest beautiful here is a Chinese Elm. Now this one is in the book it’s uh, donated by UE song from Hong Kong aged 65 years, and it is totally larger than I thought it was.
I can’t believe the size of it. It’S just huge. It’S amazing, yeah, beautiful and look how small the leaves are here is a smooth, Japanese maple, it’s donated by the government of China age 50 years. So it’s a land, water pending.
You can see the marble pot stones at the edge of the land transitioning into the maples. Their roots, uh, beautiful, just beautiful here – is another smooth, Japanese maple from the from the Chinese government age 50 years.
Nice to see it without any leaves. It’S just amazing. All the branches beautiful, I love the pot to check out the feet on the pot and these uh Granite stands or something that they have in mind. Amazing.
I think this is another one from the book. This is a Chinese Elm on a Ying, Tak storm age. 20 years the accent plant is bamboo, cautious, bamboo caucus caucus, bamboo and that’s also donated by the Chinese government, but that needs a lot of water.
Here is a trident maple, says: age, 15 years, that’s a root over Rock, very interesting Rock full of color texture. Very fine branching on it here is the maiden hair tree or ginkgo biloba, 20 years old, quite a large pot.
So you can see they’re arranged in sort of three clumps very natural and a beautiful Forest there’s a close-up of some of the bark texture. Getting really really nice amazing, it’s interesting in the greenhouse, so it’s got the regular Greenhouse, which is amazing, and then it has these walls and then the windows, so you can see through these windows into the glass behind it.
So it’s really nice in here really gives you a authentic Chinese or Japanese feel here is a Chinese pea shrub there. It is aged 50 years, very beautiful nice movement on the trunk. Don’T think it’s a root over Rock! I think those are just the interesting roots.
Very fine branching, it’s awesome here is another Wu. Yi sung tree Chinese Elm age 65 years. Two is larger than I imagined it. It’S strange only seeing pictures and books, you have no idea what size they are beautiful, texture on the trunk that flaking bark.
That’S really nice great branching on it. Here is a smaller Chinese Elm aged 40 years, really nice, nice trunk, nice, taper, nice brand structure. Very cool here is another wuyi Sun tree age, 55 years from Hong Kong.
So it has one living trunk and one Deadwood trunk on it: sort of the upright Style beautiful branching of the roots on it. They’Re amazing yeah. That’S incredible! Nice to see these trees. Finally, in real life, here’s a root over Rock Trident maple.
This is donated by Stanley M chin from Maryland age 40 years, so you can see the little miniature ferns at the base and then the tree is sort of uh developing The Rock, which is a nice textured Rock nice color, and it comes up to these beautiful Branches here is a Silverberry tree ebbing Silverberry aged 60 years, and it was created by Louis regime from Montreal wow.
So you can see there’s a lot of Deadwood on the trunk in the live veins Co-op and it’s got berries on it. Exciting really cool here is a trident maple on a yingtok stone, very, very nice. You can see how long it’s been on the stone, because the roots have really formed to their Rock yeah.
Just amazing, beautiful pot too. Here’S a Chinese Elm donated by the government of China. Now that is amazing, the branches on this Chinese Elm they’re, just so fine and delicate and refined yeah, that’s probably one of the most refined bolts.
I have seen it’s just amazing, hello, everyone. This is Christian from the comments section, hello, everyone, I’m a real person, he’s a real person – that’s very nice, very nice to meet Nigel here in Montreal.
That’S amazing! So when you see Christian in the comments you can put a face to the name, everyone here is a Chinese Elm, a block on the wall, planting really interesting. So you can see the moss on the rock there’s two Chinese Elms here, so cool looks like Avatar.
The floating rocks and very very old trees. You can see by the bark in there really nice foreign yeah they’re, beautiful yeah. I was just saying they’re. Some of them are a lot larger than I expected them to be yeah.
They’Re impressive. I mean when you come in here and you see the trees in themselves, yeah very impressive. It is it’s kind of cool to see them in real life yeah. It’S actually here’s another smooth, Japanese maple aged 50 years, donated by the government of China, this one’s interesting, because you can see how the trunks they go backwards away from the viewer and then come forward towards the viewer.
It looks really good. I I don’t see that often in bonsai subtle, but it’s there and it’s very interesting, very, very delicate Branch structure and a beautiful old pot with it. Yeah pot is something here’s another Chinese Elm from the government of China, age 80 years and again, very very refined.
Canopy on it, you can see the structure there old old tree amazing. I hear the zombie apocalypse in the background, so you can see the hollow trunk on it too. That is cool. It’S cool here is a trident maple aged 45 years, donated by Stanley and M chin from Maryland.
So again, a beautiful tapered trunk, beautiful Branch structure. Wonderful tree here is a climbing anonymous age. 50 years from the government of China, you see the remains of flowers on it. Nice fall colors, old pot, twisty roots.
Very cool here is a Chinese boxwood aged 40 years from the government of China, a very slim trunk on it, but very smooth. Nice bark nicely placed branches and overall you know overall design is very very nice.
Amazing here is a trident maple aged 40 years, donated by Stanley M chin from Maryland. So this is a root of a rock, a reddish-colored rock you can see. The tree has been growing on this rock for a long long time.
Roots are draping down subdividing The Roots. Have nice old bark, just like the top of the tree kind of a twin trunk. Very refined here is a winter Jasmine aged 35 years from the government of China, nice to see in flower very, very twisty plenty of clip and grow over the years on this one.
I I can see that it’s just beautiful, just amazing here is a Taiwanese Trident maple age, 100 years, donated by the Botanical Garden of Shanghai. So here is what a really really old tree looks like, so you can see, some of the trunks have died off and the Deadwood or the LIE veins have grown around calcium around them looks really really good.
Ancient you can see. The leaf shape is different from the Trident Maples we’re used to they’re, rounded. Some are even oval there. Nice colors nice Chinese stone in there wow very delicate canopy. Here is a golden March 50 years old from the government of China, and you can see it looks a little different than our North American larches slightly different starting to get a really rough bark on the trunk.
Here’S a Chinese Elm aged 55 years. So here’s another super super refined Chinese elm, look at the canopy up here. It’S just amazing how much ramification there is – and it’s not just ramification it’s going from thick to thin, so it has primary branches, secondary branches, tertiary branches and even branches off of that.
To find New Growth, so very, very refined, beautiful to see all the branches are placed beautifully. That would take a long time to prune Every Spring wow. That’S a very old tree, very nicely refined.
Here’S a Chinese Elm donated by Hill, the Shanghai 70 years old, beautiful bark on it, see the bark nice to see that old bark on a Chinese Elm and again. The branch structure is just amazing how how it goes from thick to thin thick at the base of the of the branch tapering to very fine at the outer edges takes a lot of years to get that kind of refinement to the tree.
Amazing, that’s so fine too, with my hand, so fine, just amazing. Here’S, a thorny elangus aged 65 years from the government of China, son of a exposed root, planting coming up to a trunk, very old bark on it and very old twisty branches wow.
Some of these branches have had a lot of clip and grow in them amazing, and they also go from thick to thin. Very nice refinement on the tree here is a stone on display of Ewing Stone. Here’S what kind it is a Thai Houston amazing.
I don’t know where, in the world you find Stones like these all these cavities and I guess it must get a softer Rock in those cavities and then it must erode away or something, but just fantastic here is another Chinese, album by Lu, XU Ying from Hong Kong aged 95 years really really amazing.
Look at the trunk on it. It’S gone. You can see the ridges from The Roots going flowing up the trunk line that bark that old old bark on these Chinese elves. Just amazing nice branch refinement, and this pot is just something out of this world bats on it.
That is a cool plot. I love the color of the pond yeah. That is an amazing tree. Not a small one either here in the lobby is a fuja occidentalis. I’Ve seen this one in the book we help you. It’S got all that interplay between live and dead wood, steel pot with mesh, not sure what that is, but it’s very interesting.
Thank you here is a coastal redwood in our age, 100 and 30 years amazing, and what a tree lots of dead wood pretty thick live veins on it too wow. What a wonderful tree here is a model of the layout of all the greenhouses here.
So at present we are here and the bonsai depending are way down here right in here, so there’s all different greenhouses that all have different temperatures and humidities and it’s just fascinating. We’Ve been through most of them now Kristen and I and yeah it’s a fantastic place to visit just absolutely fantastic [ Music, ]