By Larry Hodgson
Yes, the Mosaiculture Québec 2022 exhibition opens in only a few days. This will be the flagship event in horticulture across Canada in its Year of the Garden 2022! This spectacular outdoor exhibit will take place throughout the summer of 2022, from June 24 to until Canada’s Thanksgiving Day, October 10. And tickets are already on sale.
It’s definitely time to plan your visit . . . because this is one show worth traveling from afar to see!
Mosaiculture Québec 2022 is:
- A vast outdoor exhibition with a universal theme: Once Upon a Time. . . The Earth;
- More than 200 mosaicultures (living sculptures) of which 80% have never been seen before.
- 6 million flowers and plants;
- An exhibition-tribute to life that vibrates on our planet;
- Works that will be a pleasure for the eyes, but also a reminder of the fragility of life;
- A hymn to the Earth presented at Parc du Bois-de-Coulonge;
- A magnificent garden in Québec City, filled with history, on the banks of the St. Lawrence River.
What is Mosaiculture?
Mosaiculture is the horticultural art of creating a giant three-dimensional work of art filled with soil mix on which grow thousands of small annuals. There are many plants in a wide of colors, making an artistic display possible. Mosaiculture sculptures are temporary, typically lasting from spring through fall. Gardeners can replant the forms annually, though.
Mosaiculture is not a topiary, which is normally a single shrub or conifer trimmed to represent a geometric or animal shape. Topiaries usually take decades to produce, but can last a century or more. They are entirely green.
A Unique Exhibition in 5 Parts
Inspired by the long and fascinating history of Parc du Bois-de-Coulonge, a jewel of greenery in the heart of Québec City with a history dating back to 1637, Mosaiculture Québec 2022 presents a unique 1-mile (1.5 km) route that crosses approximately 30 acres (12 hectares) of exhibits.
Here’s what you can expect to see:
At the Entrance
Before you even step inside, the first display greets you. A giant flag in blue and yellow flowers, as well as a garden of yellow sunflowers, welcomes you in. They represent the solidarity of the people of Québec towards Ukraine, currently invaded by a dictator who uses genocide as a weapon and a threat. Its national flower is the sunflower!
The main exhibition is divided into 5 parts. You only have to follow the clearly laid-out path to reach them all.
Part 1—The Lieutenant Governor’s Residence
You enter the show through a huge pergola: it represents the viceregal residence that once stood on this spot, but went up in flames on February 21, 1966, taking the life of the lieutenant-governor of the time, Paul Comtois. The residence was never rebuilt.
From the pergola, you can look down on a dozen gigantic butterflies placing rainbow-colored bands of flowers around the Great Turtle.
As for the Great Turtle, it’s a two-dimensional mosaiculture and represents the creation of our world as told in the legends of Huron-Wendat peoples.
Here, the Tree of Life, the mythical tree of the Huron-Wendats, has become a giant 52-foot (16-m) mosaiculture tree bursting into multicolored bloom. It’s the largest of all the mosaiculture sculptures on the site.
Part 2—The Polar and Marine World
From here that we cross the Arctic and the Antarctic, where on one side live polar bears and walruses surrounded by icebergs and snowbanks, and on the other side southern whales, albatrosses and penguins basking in waves . . . of blue flowers!
Then stroll the River of Great Waters, home to whales, killer whales, dolphins, belugas and puffins. And yes, living plants give all of these sculptures their colors!
Part 3—Endangered Species
This part symbolizes the fragility of life and the environmental crisis plaguing our planet. A 35-foot (11-meter) tall giant Mother Earth, smiling sadly, extends her hand towards visitors as if asking for help. This giant mosaiculture sculpture is the heart of the show and has starred in all the Mosaïcultures internationales exhibitions since 2000. It’s always the favorite of the general public. This year, though, architects and designers have given her a complete overhaul. You’ll now see water flowing from Mother Earth’s hair while a family of real beavers lives in her hand!
Around Mother Earth are grouped 156 animals threatened with extinction from all over the world: the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia. Among the mosaiculture animals are the African elephant, the white rhinoceros, the addax antelope and the snow leopard. The is most varied and far-reaching display ever in a mosaiculture show anywhere in the world.
Make sure to fully charge your phone’s battery and leave plenty of image storage space, because you’ll find yourself taking more photos than you could possibly have imagined!
Part 4—The Huron-Wendat Nation
In this sector, you cross 8 arches inspired by a traditional Huron-Wendat longhouse. Inside these arches, two frescoes created by artists from Wendake illustrate the 8 contemporary and ancient clans of this Nation.
Outside these arches, you discover Three Sisters Culture, where corn, climbing beans and squash made up a very special vegetable garden!
Part 5—The Farm
The visit ends with Elzéard Bouffier, the character of the popular children’s book The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono, and his scruffy, loveable sheepdog. Here horses, rabbits, sheep, goats and cows brighten up the work of a plowman of olden days. Plus, a mosaiculture beekeeper awaits you with some larger-than-life bees. There are even some mischievous mosaiculture raccoons out looking for trouble!
A Fully Eco-Responsible Project
Kudos to Mosaïcultures internationales organizers for their effort to put on as eco-responsible a show as possible, in particular thanks to the following methods:
- Respect for the principles of sustainable development;
- Sensor-controlled drip irrigation for watering designed to directly humidify only the roots and minimize evaporation and runoff;
- A unique growing mix that retains a maximum of amount of moisture while allowing perfect aeration;
- Utilization of local sources for most of the supplies, including plants, which were produced in the region’s greenhouses;
- Use of naturally derived products for all aspects of plant culture;
- All plants are composted for reuse at the end of the exhibition;
- The organization plans to reuse, recycle or repurpose most mosaiculture structural elements;
- Mosaïcultures Internationales will restore Parc du Bois-de-Coulonge to its original state at the end of the exhibition.
Your Dream Visit!
You’ll thoroughly enjoy your visit; there’s no doubt about that. But here’s further information to facilitate your trip!
At an average pace, expect your tour of the exhibition to take about 2 ½ hours on wide and accessible paths. On site, there is a restaurant and service area.
The exhibition is open 7 days a week from 10 a.m. to dusk;
Address: Parc du Bois-de-Coulonge
1215 Grande-Allée W, Québec City
Parking: yes, but somewhat limited. It might be wise to take advantage of public transit. There is more information on parking possibilities here: Useful Information.
Cost: $25 plus tax for residents of the Province of Québec, $35 for out-of-province visitors.
There are also special rates for 65+, students, and children (under 5 free), as well as family and passport packages.
Plus, there is a discount for tickets purchased online.
The entire site is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
To reach Mosaïcultures Québec 2022:
Telephone: +1 833 802-2022
Ticket Office: https://mosaicultures.billetteriealacarte.com/en/redirect/p1
I know you’ll want to attend! So . . . what dates have you chosen?