The Great Pumpkin Ball & Gardens of Light

If you’ve been around here for the last few years, this post might not be anything new to you. However, there is always a little bit of different to these festivals every year.

Every year in Montreal Botanical Gardens are two simultaneous exhibits: The Great Pumpkin Ball in the greenhouse and Gardens of Light in the Chinese Garden made up of lanterns and the Japanese Garden with a full on lights show. While the Japanese Garden doesn’t change too much, the theme of the lanterns in the Chinese Garden change every year. This year was all about the Imperial Court meaning the emperor and Forbidden City.

Let me take you on a lovely tour!

The Great Pumpkin Ball

Gardens of Light – Chinese Gardens

This year the Chinese Gardens are going through some revamping so there is somewhat of changes of the placements of the lanterns and the route itself. However, it is still pretty impressive.

Gardens of Light – Japanese Gardens

If you want some of the more general flowers and close-ups (aka more artsy shots), please head over to my photography blog, Avenue of Daydreams. They will be coming up shortly once I get all the pics shorted.

That’s it for Gardens of Light and The Great Pumpkin Ball!
I went with my mom and it was tons of fun! 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Nighttime

It’s trickier to take pictures at night, but the rewards are well worth it…What nocturnal photos do you like taking? Whether it’s a starry sky, a street lamp, or the shadows cast by your cat, share them with us. Your shot can be outdoors or indoors, blurry or crisp, overexposed or ominously dark. As every owl (and night owl) knows, nighttime is when the real action starts. – The Daily Post

Montreal is a party city which means there are tons of night owls hanging about. With that, there are a lot of night activities.  A few always are at night, in February there’s the Montreal Festival des Lumieres (aka Festival of Lights).  In October, we have the Lantern Festival (with an eerie Evening Walking in Japanese Pavillion).  For the last few years, I even ventured to Upper Canada Village in Ontario for the Pumpkinfest.  So many events at night and I’m still looking for more 😉

This year, I have a few night festivals in mind along with revisiting the Lantern Festival as October plans.

Are you a night owl? Do you like to take pictures at night? What activites happen after dark in where you live?

A Word A Week Photo Challenge: Garden

I love gardens. I have this huge adoration of taking pictures of flowers.  In most of my travels and even just around Montreal, I love to go to gardens.

Here we are with a bundle of gardens that I’ve been to.  Anything that has flowers or vegetation of some sort in an enclosed space large or small is a garden to me. From to the lavender fields in the Quebec’s Eastern Townships…

Blue Lavender

Blue Lavender

or overseas in Nan Lian Gardens…

Nan Lian Garden

Nan Lian Garden

and Hong Kong Park.

Hong Kong Park

Hong Kong Park

Heading back into the West Coast with the gorgeous Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens

And then, back home to Montreal based Botanical Gardens taken during the Lantern Festival with the Japanese Pavillion Evening Route

Botanical Gardens

Botanical Gardens

Zen Garden

Zen Garden

and finally ending with an  pumpkin carved garden for Pumpkin Inferno at Upper Canada Village.

Pumpkin Inferno Garden

Pumpkin Inferno Garden

I’ve posted about the Lantern Festival and Pumpkin Inferno last year so I linked it in case you’d like to check out those posts.

I just couldn’t decide which photos to focus on but all of these created some pretty beautiful “garden” moments for me and some pretty sweet memories.  Thank you to Sue for landing on this word in her dictionary for this week! Flipping through my pictures to select them for this challenge was so much fun and I’m just saying, she’s absolutely awesome! If you are interested in joining her challenge or checking out her entries and/or other entries, you can click HERE!

Which gardens that you’ve been to do you like the most? Where was it? I’d love to hear about it!

Japanese Pavillion Evening Tour Route (and a bit more…)

Last post I showed you a mosaic of photos from the Lantern Festival in the Chinese Gardens of the Montreal Botanical Gardens.  Thats part of a whole route called the Evening Route in the Gardens so right after Chinese Gardens, we went on the second route in the Japanese Pavillion.  This place was dark and eerie.  At the beginning, we walk into the path is into some woods full of tall trees with no leaves and there were taiko drum music in the background with synchonized lights beaming onto the trees to the drum beats.  Afterwards, we walked along the path and saw the Japanese garden in the dark with certain areas lit up with various coloured lights over the trees and plants along the path.  It was pretty nice.

After that, we walked back and went through the Aquatic Garden.  That was pretty cool.  We had all these water plants and fountains around us.  Its not the season for flowers anywhere so it was all green but it was still  a new way to see this garden.

Here’s how it looked in the Japanese Pavillion, followed by a few photos of the Aquatic Garden.  Near the end, we caught eye of a two more sets of lanterns in front of the Insectarium of butterflies and grasshoppers.  I thought it was a pretty awesome experience!

Over here in Montreal, we’re getting into the Halloween/Autumn mood.

How about you? Any festivals and events going on?


Montreal Lantern Festival 2012

The festivals are still going on in Montreal. I actually didn’t go to the big ones at all this summer, but I have a few festivals I will be trying to head out to in October.  Hopefully I’ll get the chance!

On Friday night, I went out after work with one of my good friends to do photo shooting of the Lantern Festival at Montreal Botanical Gardens.  I went a few years back but it was so crowded I didn’t even finish seeing everything and left.  This year, we went through not only the Lantern Festival in the Chinese Gardens but also went to see the Evening Tour Route in the Japanese Pavillion.  Due to the huge amounts of photos, I will have to split this into two posts as well. So for this one, the main focus of the event: LANTERNS!

Lanterns are a part of the tradition in celebration of the Midautumn/Moon Festival.  I used to have a little lantern and we’d walk around with it. It was a time for blessings for the whole family.

The lanterns were shaped in various historic characters/people, mystical creatures, and animals.  We had soldiers, the Yellow Emperor (the first emperor of China), Pandas (with baby ones), Cranes, tiger, and various types of common peasants such as farmers, etc. There were the mystical creatures like dragons and phoenix.  Lots of normal lanterns lit all the paths around the Chinese garden where it would lead to higher grounds.  It was very beautiful.  Just the reflection of the lanterns in the water were mesmerizing.  Just look at it!


Colourful, right? Its just so beautiful!