Visionary of the Montreal Botanical Garden
On this day, on May 7, 1936, Henry Teuscher broke ground for the Montreal Botanical Garden.
Teuscher had been appointed a superintendent and chief horticulturist of the future Montreal Botanical Garden. A visionary, Teuscher began dreaming of an ideal botanical garden. By fall, Teuscher had hired 2,000 unemployed men through the Quebec government's unemployment assistance program to get the building underway. By 1939, the administration building, production greenhouses, roads, and two lakes had been installed.
WWII brought challenges for Teuscher outside of the garden. A German, Teuscher was accused of being a spy for the Nazis. Although he was declared innocent, the accusations took a toll. In 1956, Teuscher was there to see the opening of his greenhouses, the realization of his dream for the garden. He died in 1984.
Since 1999, the Henry Teuscher Award has been given to a person whose work has contributed in a meaningful way to the advancement of horticulture in Québec. The 2018 winner was a horticulturist and trained biologist André Poliquin, an enthusiastic communicator about clematises, roses, and orchids for close to 40 years.