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80 years of history & archives at the Botanical Garden >> Historical Path >> Stop 11 - Leslie Hancock Garden [2 of 2]: Mr. Rhododendron Français

Leslie Hancock Garden

Mr. Rhododendron

Up to the mid-20th century, no one thought that rhododendrons could thrive in our harsh climate. It was thanks to horticulturist and rhododendron enthusiast Leslie Hancock (1892-1977) that people began growing them here. He kindly prepared the plans for this garden and donated many specimens. The Heath Garden, opened in 1976, was renamed the Leslie Hancock Garden in 1986. It is our only theme garden named after an individual.


Jardin botanique de Montréal (Archives) - call number:hancock

Jardin botanique de Montréal (Archives)
Leslie Hancock is shown here, shovel in hand, planting a rhododendron to mark the opening of the Heath Garden, in June 1976.

Also on this picture, André Champagne, then Garden's director, and Jack Van Gemeren, first horticulturist of the Heath Garden.

Jardin botanique de Montréal (Archives) - call number:0400-RHO-00640

Jardin botanique de Montréal (Robert Mineau)

One passion, four generations.

Leslie Hancock's keen interest in rhododendrons runs in the family. Today, Leslie's great granddaughter Lara runs the nursery founded by him in Mississauga, Ontario, where rhododendrons are still the stars of the show.

Jardin botanique de Montréal (Archives) - call number:0400-RHO-00641

Jardin botanique de Montréal (Robert Mineau)

Rhododendron 'Leslie's Legacy', a cross between R. punctatum and R. dauricum var. album, rightfully holds a place of honour next to the plaque commemorating the man who inspired this garden. The cultivar was created by Marjorie, Leslie Hancock's daughter.
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Shrub Garden
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Flowery Brook

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Last Update: 2014-06-18
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