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80 years of history & archives at the Botanical Garden >> Historical Path >> Stop 23 - Courtyard of the Senses [1 of 1]: A different way of "seeing" plants Français

Courtyard of the Senses

A different way of "seeing" plants

The Courtyard of the Senses, opened in 1999, was the first garden in Quebec designed for visually-impaired visitors.

It was quite a daring move for a site that has always attracted visitors with its splendid floral displays.

This garden has something for everyone, and is a special treat for those who enjoy it the way it was meant to be experienced, with their eyes closed.


Jardin botanique de Montréal (Archives) - call number:0012-9-00053

Jardin botanique de Montréal (Michel Tremblay)
Jardin botanique de Montréal (Archives) - call number:coursens

Touching is believing

The courtyard is divided into four sections, with plants corresponding to different tactile sensations: soft, rough, prickly and sticky. Braille panels allow non-seeing visitors to identify the plants, while reference points - a central fountain and different path materials in each section - help them find their way around.

Follow the guide

Perhaps our eyesight blinds us to some of plants' special features.

How about donning a blindfold and touring the garden with a non-seeing guide? Here's what Martin, one of these guides, has to say about the experience:
"Smells are incredibly evocative. Pleasant, sweet ones often bring back memories of our mothers - like vanilla, which smells like Mom's baking. For older visitors, it is often childhood memories that resurface."

"When they're first blindfolded, people are always a bit uncomfortable. But as the tour progresses, they start getting into the experience and their other senses awaken: they feel the sun on their skin and the soft caress of the breeze. Children are always drawn to the tinkling of the fountain."
Jardin botanique de Montréal (Archives) - call number:MT0000802

Jardin botanique de Montréal (Michel Tremblay)

Jardin botanique de Montréal (Archives) - call number:0240-STA-00013

Jardin botanique de Montréal (Jean-Pierre Bellemarre)
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Previous stop of the historical path:
Youth Gardens
Next stop of the historical path:
Institut de recherche en biologie végétale (IRBV)

Construction of the Botanical Garden virtual exhibit [Jardin botanique de Montréal]

Last Update: 2014-06-18
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