Thursday, May 24, 2012

IMG_3711Since my husband has a contract outside of town, we have decided to bring the whole family with the RV and homeschool on the road. Though we do a bit of school work during the weekdays, I also wanted to discover new places in the Toronto area. Since I review books and products, I figure that I could try to get free admission to different attractions in or near Toronto in exchange of a blog post.

One of the first attractions I contacted was the Royal Botanical Gardens which is located about 1 hour and 30 minutes from our campsite. This activity would definitively be a day outing and it would require us to be rested. Imagine my delight when I got a positive response from them. We were set to visit the RBG over the long week-end in May.

So on May 19th, we drove to Burlington to explore and discover a garden that I have been wanting to see for many years now. I grew up in Montreal and I went many times to the botanical gardens there. I also had the privilege of visiting the Butchart Gardens on Victoria Island in BC when I was in high school. So I was looking forward to see another famous garden located in Ontario.

The weather was sunny and we had prepared a lunch. Already many visitors were coming through the door of the RBG Centre. We got the stamps on our hands and we started t explore. We first went to the Hendrie Park and explored the area there. The paths in the woods were nice and we ate in a section where a wooden bridge was build. In this section of the RBG, there is also where you can discover the vegetable gardens. The only negative point was the numerous Canadian geese fecal matter on the paths near the pond. But being spring and having these visitors on the ground might be difficult to clean regularly.

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After this exploration, we went inside the indoor gardens located at the back of the RBG Centre. We had a great time discovering the plants living in a Mediterranean environment. We saw various plants from a warmer climate. There was even a small pond with marvelous fish and we stopped for a few moments to look at them. Apparently, you can also encounter lizards inside the indoor gardens but we haven’t seen any during our visit.

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Our last stop, was the Rock Garden. We had to take our car to drive to this area. Fortunately, we had also received a parking pass for the other sections of the Royal Botanical Garden. The Rock Garden ended up being one of our favourite parts of our day. The place is well designed and very interesting to explore. We walked quite a bit in there and even found a fall in the middle of it.

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I discovered a marvelous tree called the Golden Chain Tree. It was definitively out of the ordinary and a delight to see.

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We visited the RBG Centre, the Hendrie Park and the Rock Garden. But the RBG doesn’t stop there! You can also visit the Arboretum where you can find a Nature Interpretive Centre, the Laking Garden, the Fishway as well as nature sanctuaries called Cootes Paradise, Hendrie Valley, and Escarpment Properties.  Many trails can be found as well and you can explore them with the help of geotrail.   This sound very fun for a family or an outing between friends.

IMG_3639Now keep in mind that we visited the RBG during the spring season and many plants were not out yet. However, we enjoyed discovering the Hendrie Park and the Rock Garden. If we would live in the area, we would surely purchase a yearly membership and take advantage of the numerous activities organized during the year.   After experiencing the beauty of the spring season at RBG, we would love to experience the summer season eventually.   If our stay in Toronto is extended, we would love to visit the Royal Botanical Gardens another time to see the difference.    I personally would really love to discover the rose gardens when they are in blooms.  

RBG is a marvelous garden to explore and discover with your kids.   It could be a great way to incorporate nature studies in your homeschool as well.   Going regularly through all the seasons can help the kids to get a better perspective of life in the woods or in the garden.   We had a blast as a family and we won’t forget our day there.

The Royal Botanical Gardens are located at 680 Plains Road West, Burlington, ON, Canada.   The gardens are opens daily from 10am until 8pm.

Disclaimer: Thanks to the Royal Botanical Gardens for allowing my family to explore their gardens in exchange of a review. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

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