Given that there was a seemingly endless amount of work that needed to be done in my own garden this past weekend, I chucked the whole idea of weeding a mowing for a day and decided to go to a garden where I could just stop and smell the roses for a change. So Kevin, Colin and I packed up and headed out to the Devonian Botanical Garden, about 35 km outside of Edmonton.
On about 190 acres of arid Alberta farmland, the University of Alberta has installed traditional Alpine and Japanese gardens, herb, perennial and water gardens, and several display greenhouses. Although the past few years of serious drought have left the grounds a little dry, it's still an oasis of green in the heart of the Alberta plains. Visiting always makes me a little heartsick for the lush royal gardens we toured in Europe, but I'm also heartened by the fact the someone--some foolhardy transplanted gardener, no doubt--cared enough about being surrounded by beauty to go to all the trouble to create this magnificent garden in a region where things only grow three months out of the year.
And when we were there this past week, the gardens where in their full glory. The poppies, irises, and lilacs were all at their peak, and the air was practically humming with bees and butterflies. Colin found the butterflies particularly enchanting. He was also, unfortunately, enchanted by all the open bodies of water and kept trying to hurl himself into the cala and lily ponds. Still, it's a garden to be thankful for--only thank God I didn't have to mow it!
"Gather ye rosebuds while ye may..."
Ironically, the Rosa arkansana has failed to really flourish in the Alberta soil.
Kevin leading Colin on his first Alpine hike.
The Japanese Garden
As far as I can tell, the only things growing in the "Plants of Alberta" bed are weeds.
Colin liked the curves on this one.