mosaiculture sheep

MOSAICANADA 150/2017 is something to look forward to

Turn your thoughts with me to an exciting event coming to the National Capital Region this summer, as part of Canada’s sesquicentennial celebrations. It’s the MOSAICANADA 150/2017 exhibition of Mosaiculture which will be held in Gatineau, Quebec (just across the river from Ottawa, Ontario) for 107 days, from July 1 to October 15, 2017.

So what the heck is Mosaiculture and why am I so excited about it? Well, take a look at it:

Those horses are all made out of plants! Isn’t that amazing?

According to the Mosaïcultures Internationales de Montréal website, “Mosaiculture is a refined horticultural art that involves creating and mounting living artworks made primarily from plants with colourful foliage (generally annuals, and occasionally perennials)… This multifaceted and complex discipline, an ornamental art, draws on numerous practices: on sculpture for its structure and volume, on painting for its palette, and on horticulture in its use of plants in a living, constantly changing environment. Mosaiculture should be distinguished from topiary, which features mostly shrubs pruned to create different shapes.” (emphasis in the original)

The last Mosaiculture exhibit in Canada was held at the Montreal Botanical Garden in 2013 and I was there. It was a truly awesome experience to see these living monuments in person.

This piece is The Woman Who Loved Cranes. I am sharing some of my photos from that exhibit so you can see the technical artistry, but I’m sorry that you can’t feel the spray of the mist and hear the haunting music playing as you walk around the artwork, taking in the story it tells. It’s magical.


Nor can you fully appreciate the scale of some of the more massive pieces like The Bird Tree:

At 18 metres across and six stories tall, this towering tribute to birds in flight caused the admiring crowds to speak in hushed tones as they tried to take in all the details. Ethereal music, mixed with birdsong, further completed the experience.

Garden maintenance crews using lifts provide some sense of the scale of this sculpture.


Detail from one small portion of The Bird Tree

I had thought that some of these same sculptures from 2013 might be present at the 2017 exhibit, but the Government of Canada’s announcement  says otherwise: “The MOSAICANADA 150/2017 project seeks to illustrate and communicate some key elements in the history of our country. It will highlight the different cultures that have contributed to Canada’s identity.” That sounds like a whole new batch of Mosaiculture works–very exciting!

If you enjoy plants and gardens I’d encourage you to plan for a visit to Jacques-Cartier Park in Gatineau, Quebec some time between July 1 and October 15, 2017.

Putting on a Mosaiculture exhibit is a huge undertaking so if you miss this opportunity you may wait many years for another chance to see such a large collection of these sculptures together in one place. However, the Government announcement says that in 2018 at least one work from the exhibit will be on display in the capital city of every province and territory across the country. But I can’t wait until 2018 and I want to see them all, so I’m definitely making plans for a visit to Gatineau this summer.

Will I see you there?











  1. Garth Wunsch on January 11, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    See you there! Fabulous art!

  2. Linda Hugli on January 12, 2017 at 8:32 am

    We’ve already added the Ottawa/Gatineau area to our plans for our annual gardening road trip. Great blog, Jennifer!

    • Jennifer on January 12, 2017 at 9:20 pm

      Awesome! Thanks Linda!

  3. Robin Kushla on January 18, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    My neighbor, Katrina just sent me an email thanking me for introducing her to your gardening blog. She loves it, as do many other gardener’s I’m sure☺

    • Jennifer on January 19, 2017 at 7:56 pm

      Thanks Robin–that’s great to hear!

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