By Terry Gardner, Special to Tribune Newspapers
1:41 AM EDT, July 31, 2013
Whether you dig sculpture or horticulture, don't miss the botanical eye candy presented by Qatar Airways at the Montreal Botanical Garden until Sept. 29.
Twenty countries, including the U.S., Canada, England, France and Uganda, have created 50 botanical sculptures, or mosaicultures, around this year's "Land of Hope" theme for Mosaicultures Internationales Montreal 2013. Each mosaiculture must be 80 percent vegetation.
Since its launch in Montreal in 2000, Mosaicultures Internationales has been held about every three years so some of the world's best horticulturists can create mosaicultures that celebrate a theme, their country's culture and subthemes such as threatened species and man's relationship with nature.
My favorite sculpture was Montreal's Mother Earth, a two-sided tableau where bison graze on one side and a 49-foot bust of a meditative Mother Earth towers on the other side as visitors walk by. Wild horses are on her right and a waterfall flows from her right palm.
Several endangered-animal mosaicultures are captivating, including the human-looking chimpanzees in Republic of Guinea's Practically Family, the endangered mountain gorillas in Uganda's Gorillas at Risk and the two pandas in Canada's World Wildlife Fund's Ambassadors of Hope.
If you go, try to arrive when the garden (espacepourlavie.ca) opens at 9 a.m. By noon there were already long lines. A two-day adult admission to the 185-acre garden costs $27.86 ($29.50 Canadian). For information on the mosaicultures, visit mosaiculturesinternationales.ca.
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