Press release

The Jardin des origines

Inauguration on Monday, June 5, 2017

The Jardin des origines
Click on the image to enlarge.

This bequest is an addition to the gardens inspired by New France that are found on the site of Maison Saint-Gabriel, a living aspect of the history proposed by the museum.

The Jardin des origines recalls the contribution made by First Nations women and makes visitors aware of the importance of their heritage. Filled with indigenous plants, this garden testifies to the meeting of the French and Aboriginal cultures and the horticultural and medicinal knowledge of the First Nations women.

Visitors are invited to explore this harbour of peace through a mobile application through which they can take in the richness of the history evoked by this unique site. Filled with fascinating symbols, this garden transports us into a world of beliefs, traditions and astonishing knowledge.

The Great turtle, considered by many Aboriginal nations as a spiritual guide, loans its shape to the garden and the pergola. The four feet stretch out into the paths that lead to the zones dedicated to the three sisters, berry picking, the undergrowth and medicinal plants

The four zones of the garden

  • The Three sisters: corn, beans and squash need one another to grow without fertilizers, labour or pesticides. Used by First Nations women, this method of planting is both clever and efficient.
  • Picking berries, a seasonal activity handled by women, is also essential to the traditional way of life of the First Nations people and that of the first settlers. The strawberry was the most present; it was considered magical and filled with the power of creation.
  • The undergrowth, a dark, cool and humid landscape, was a place where the First Nations women who were able to walk for several days went frequently, accompanied by their children, to find the plants that were most sought after.
  • The Medicinal plants zone honours the knowledge of the First Nations women, experienced herbalists who understood the healing properties of plants, a knowledge that was vital for survival.

The palisade, which surrounds the garden, stands as a witness to a period when impressive wooden fences were erected around Iroquoian villages to protect the long houses from strong winds.

The Jardin des origines was developed with financial support from the Government of Canada, the Government of Québec and the Ville de Montréal to mark the 375th anniversary of the founding of Montréal, with the cooperation of the Jardin botanique de Montréal and the Abénakis of Odanak.

Le Jardin des origines
Photo: Pierre Guzzo
Le Jardin des origines
Photo: Pierre Guzzo
La grange
Photo: Pierre Guzzo