Sunday, 24 August 2014

A Walk in the Park

A clear Saturday morning - perfect for a field trip to the St. Albert Botanic Park

Lori had suggested the location and raved about the botanical garden's year-round beauty.

Even before leaving the car park, we saw a taste of its summer bounty: the dahlias were in bloom! A long bed with over 40 varieties edged the parking lot.  Marie commented on the work that's needed to take care of them -- their tubers need to be dug up to overwinter. 

We followed the path past a waterfall into a blooming rose garden (right) with a water fountain at its centre.

Next door, meringues of hydrangeas in the hydrangeas beds. 

And next door to that, past the gate, was the most enviable cottage garden.

We snapped photos of happy bees and butterflies amongst the flowers, noting interesting shapes and colours.  The time for peonies and delphiniums had passed, but the monarda (bee balm), sea holly, monkshoodJoe-Pye weed and many others were in full form. 

We revelled (left) before moving on. 

Deeper into the Park were the Xeriscape Garden, Lily Bed, and Daylily Bed (below).

A volunteer was combing the Lily Bed for scarlet lily beetles.  Unfortunately they've caused quite a bit of damage.  Her tip was to check under lily leaves with fresh holes.  She used a little container of soapy water to catch and drown them.  But the beetles have a trick to evade capture: Dropping to the ground onto their backs, where their dark bellies blend into the dirt. 

The Park continued with shrubs and trees, with a whole area dedicated to lilacs. 

The volunteers for the Park do an amazing job deadheading, removing pests, and taking care of all the plants. We can see why someone would want to have their wedding there (the Rose Garden was booked for the afternoon).

Lori was right.  We'll definitely have to return at different times.  Imagine all the varieties of lilies (a large collection of mortagons), peonies, and lilacs in bloom! 

See more photos of the Park here.

After this nice long walk, it was back to The Tea Place in Edmonton for lunch.  Who knew so many of us liked bubble tea?