(Editor's note: After being inspired at the Garden Days events you'll want to get started on your own yard and OWC can help! We've got the 50 best plants for Southern Alberta, tips on xeriscaping, a photo library of inspiring local gardens and more practical resources on the Prairie Urban Garden Project Page).
What have you got planned for Garden Days? You won't want to miss these events!
A fantastic lineup of activities is set to kick off Garden Days in Alberta and across Canada, this Friday, June 19. In an annual coast-to-coast celebration that always takes place on the Father's Day weekend, Garden Days celebrates Canadian gardens, gardening and environmental stewardship. It's also about bringing awareness to what you do, within and for, your own community.
Across Alberta, public gardens and groups are celebrating Garden Days with three days of fun activities for all ages in beautiful outdoor spaces. Find out more about what's happening in your area, and check dates and times on the "Activities" schedule at <www.gardendays.ca>
Provincial Flagship Event:
Alberta's Devonian Botanic Garden (5 km north of Devon, on Hwy 60) launched our provincial flagship event in 2014. This year, their Garden Days program opens Friday with discounted daily admission and an evening opera, followed by a weekend that offers a photographer's drop-in morning, a family program of insects and butterflies, sunrise yoga, garden tours and Father's Day BBQ.
- Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden is hosting an appreciation day for gardeners with reduced admission, cake and guided garden tours.
- The Galt Museum will serve you complimentary coffee as you browse their native plant garden, south garden and nurses' garden.
- Learn all about trees from an arborist in the guided tour of Fairfield Gardens at the Lethbridge Research Centre.
- Bring your own picnic lunch and find out what's growing at the Interfaith Food Bank's learning garden.
- Join the Lethbridge & District Horticultural Society on their Waterton National Park excursion to admire Alberta wildflowers and to consider their cultivation potential for city gardens.
Waterton Lakes National Park:
- Choose from many botanical-themed activities during the Waterton Wildflower Festival that coincides with Garden Days.
- Take a guided native plant tour of trees, shrubs and flowers in the Canadian Wilds at the Calgary Zoo.
- Parkland Garden Centre celebrates the home garden with family activities that include food vendors, "Ask the Experts", a course on BBQing with herbs and garden tours.
- Olds College Botanic Gardens celebrates its 50th anniversary with garden tours, demos, a plant sale and the launch of a new garden database for staff and visitors.
- Visit St. Albert Botanic Park for gardening demonstrations, tours and seed planting for children
- The Edmonton Native Plant Group is hosting two guided tours - one at John Janzen Nature Centre, where you can learn how to grow native wildflowers and pot one up to take home, and another at their native plant demonstration bed at Muttart Conservatory with a gift of free wildflower seeds for visitors.
- Inhale the fragrance of heritage peonies at Fort Edmonton Park and listen to heritage gardeners tell the story of this historic reproduction of a significant Western Canadian peony collection.
- Visit Muttart Conservatory for guided tours of indoor botanical collections in their pyramid glasshouses, as well as orchid talks and a kid's plant discovery corner.
Enjoy the Garden Days celebrations!
Alberta Spokesperson for Garden Days
June Flanagan is a Lethbridge botanist, environmental horticulturist and author. She has published five regional books, including the local plant guide Common Coulee Plants of Southern Alberta and gardening guides Edible Plants for Prairie Gardens and Native Plants for Prairie Gardens. See June's web site for details, and follow what's in bloom with her on Instagram or "like" her Facebook Author Page: