Avenue Mont-Royal has become a beautiful garden 😍

A photo of me in front of the urban garden that runs along the side of a section of Mont-Royal Avenue. I'm holding a tiny bouquet of chamomille and green sage in my hand.

→ Pour lire le billet en français

The Société de développement de l'avenue du Mont-Royal has implemented a superb initiative to gardenify the pedestrian/cycling zone that is the avenue during the summer. The comestible garden has been set up on the street, with all kinds of aromatic herbs, fruits, and vegetables present. The "Jardins nourriciers" (as the project is called) is under the management of Humanicité, a group of students from the Cégep de Victoriaville Institut national d'agriculture biologique and the UQAM School of Design, with the support of Fertiles and the multi-sectorial network of urban farmers, Cultiver Montréal.

A photo at the start of the Jardins Nourriciers, showing how the garden runs along the street and the neighbourhood terrasses.

The other day, early in the morning, I ran into a member of Cultiver Montreal working in the garden who told me a bit about the project, about how the garden is inspired by the principles of permaculture and organic farming, as well as how all the herbs, flowers, and vegetables are arranged according to the principles of compagnonnage. (We also talked a bit about how some of the best herbal teas are made from chamomile, sage, and holy basil!)

đŸŒ±
Compagnonnage, which Wikipédia tells me is called intercropping in English, is an agricultural technique consisting of planting companion plants right next to each other. These plants can exchange various services, such as fertilization, or repel specific insects or weeds harmful to the other. Other plants, such as stinging nettle, attract beneficial insects and may even increase the concentration of aromatic molecules in the edible herbs and flowers around them. (Reference: https://espacepourlavie.ca)

She also gave me permission to take some cuttings of holy basil (it's a plant I've been adoring in tea for the past year or two) for my own balcony garden, and a small bouquet of chamomile, which are really in blooming in the bright sun on the street.

A photo of me in the garden near the cilantro and holy basil — the scent is really captivating! — in the photo, you can also see Mont Royal (the hill) at the far end of the avenue.

I find this community garden very well done, and I really hope that the avenue will repeat this experience next year. In this very densely populated corner of town, many apartment dwellers (like me!) don't have access to land to grow their own little garden. For children especially, being able to observe the herbs and vegetables while they are still in the ground, and to see all the work and effort that it takes to cultivate beautiful plants, even while just walking by every day, is a very precious opportunity.

Photo where I am in the vegetable garden, looking at all the beautiful chamomile in bloom.

In August, the Jardins nourriciers will be running some very interesting workshops. Register and find out more here:

Gersande La FlĂšche

Gersande La FlĂšche

By day I am a writing coach & freelance English-French translator. By night (or rather by dawn because I'm an early bird) I scribble away at poetry, prose, and essays in one of my many notebooks.
MTL // TiohtiĂ :ke