Garden visits Gardening

Living Plant Sculptures Back in Gatineau, Quebec

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Yes, these horses are all made of living plants. Source: Michel Julien

Last summer was Canada’s 150th anniversary and was celebrated across the country. One of the most intriguing and spectacular events was MosaiCanada 150, held in Gatineau, Quebec, just across the river from Canada’s capital, Ottawa. This was a show of mosaiculture (3-D gardening), put on by Mosaïcultures Internationales de Montréal, and it was well worth a special trip! However, if you missed it, the good news is that it’s back for 2018, under the name Mosaiculture Gatineau 2018 and with 10 new mosaic sculptures. That means there are now 45 sculptures using more than 5.5 million plants!

Scenes From Mosaiculture Gatineau

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There is an entire mosaiculture train! Source: Michel Julien
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The Tree of Birds features 56 species of endangered birds. It’s undoubtedly the most spectacular display of the show. Source:
A gigantic snowy owl appears to be landing in the park. Source:
The plant-covered ballerina is actually turning to the music. Apparently, this is the first mobile mosaic sculpture in the world. Source:
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Canadian icon Anne of Green Gables awaits at the train station for a new start on life. Source: Michel Julien
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Of course, it’s Canada, so there has to be hockey! Source: Michel Julien

What Is Mosaiculture?

Giving a living sculpture a bit of a hair cut. Source:

Mosaiculture is a horticultural art that involves creating and mounting living artworks made primarily from plants with colorful foliage. You’ll sometimes see two dimensional mosaics (carpet bedding) in front of prestigious buildings with the company’s name written in live plants, but the specialty of Mosaiculture Gatineau 2018 is three-dimensional mosaics in which the displays are living sculptures. Each sculpture, filled with soil and wrapped in landscape fabric, is covered with thousands of small plants that are subsequently watered, pruned and pampered to maintain the desired multicolor effect throughout the summer.

The Important Details

The Mosaiculture Gatineau 2018 exhibition is already underway, having opened on June 22, 2018. It takes place in Jacques-Cartier Park, 164 Laurier Street, Gatineau, Quebec. The exhibition is open daily from 10 am to dusk, rain or shine, from June 30 to October 15, 2018.

General admission is $20, with special rates for seniors, students and families. It’s free for children 5 and under.

There are meals, drinks and snacks on site, but they’re pricey. I suggest bringing a picnic lunch.

Getting There


If you plan to travel to Ottawa/Gatineau, it’s within driving distance of most Eastern Canadian and Northeastern US cities. Train and bus service is available and the Ottawa Airport offers direct flights to and from many Canadian and American cities.

For information: 1-819-360-6336.



Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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