12 of the Best Gardens & Conservatories to Visit in Alberta

Muttart Conservatory Photo Credit: Edmonton Tourism

Muttart Conservatory Photo Credit: Edmonton Tourism

Discover the magnificent gardens of Alberta!

 

Enjoy the lovely flower beds maintained by volunteers at St Albert Botanic Garden, the garden that extols Japanese-Canadian friendship at Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden, tropical plants inside Edmonton’s pyramids, prairie hardy plants at Olds College gardens, an extensive peony collection at Devonian Botanic Garden, butterflies fluttering amongst fragrant flowers at Calgary Zoo conservatory, blooming flowers set against the backdrop of Cascade mountains at Cascade Gardens, and the gardens that pay tribute to George Pegg, whose work resulted in identifying Alberta’s Flora unique to Lac Ste Anne County.

1. Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden, Lethbridge

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Credit: Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden

You will be greeted by a host/hostess in traditional Japanese attire as you enter this 4-acre Japanese style garden established during Canada’s Centennial in 1967 to celebrate contributions made by citizens of Japanese ancestry to Lethbridge and the friendship between Japan and Canada. Situated near Henderson Lake, the garden symbolises mountain and prairie scenery of southern Alberta. The structural components of the garden, whose name was derived from a clever play of words meaning Japan-Canada friendship, were handcrafted in Kyoto, Japan. Details

When to Visit: Spring to Fall.

Where: corner of 9th Ave and Mayor Magrath Drive South, Leithbridge.

2. Beaulieu Gardens – Lougheed House

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Credit: Lougheed House

Stroll through the Gardens of Lougheed House. This two-acre landscape reflects the gardening style of the Victorian era, while illustrating current trends and the realities of inner-city gardening in Calgary’s unusual climate. Details

When to Visit: Daily from 7:00 a.m. until sundown.

Where: 707 – 13 Ave. S.W. Calgary

How much: Free

3. Conservatory & Gardens in Calgary Zoo

 

Canada’s second largest zoo is home to not only fauna, but also flora from all over the world. Explore six acres of the Dorothy Harvie Gardens that displays Alberta hardy plants and trees and the indoor oasis at ENMAX Conservatory where hundreds of butterflies flutter amongst tropical plants and shrubs. Details

When to Visit: Year Round

Where: 1300 Zoo Rd. N.E. Calgary

How much: General Admission: $29.95 Senior (60+): $27.95 Child (3 – 15): $19.95 Infant (2 & under): Free

4. Reader Rock Garden

This historic site offers beautiful trees, plants, and shrubs that you may not find elsewhere in Calgary. Superintendent of the City of Calgary’s Parks Department from 1913-1943, William Reader, created the “rockery” on the steep north slope of Cemetery Hill, now known as the Reader Rock Garden. The Reader Rock Garden was built from 1922-1929. As time passed by, the garden and the house fell into ruins. The city of Calgary restored it by 2006 and earned an official designation as a Provincial Historic Resource. Rehabilitated according to Reader’s original plans, the garden blooms from mid-March to mid-November.

Visit the garden to find out what would grow in Calgary.

When to Visit: May to October

Where: near the Union cemetery on Macleod at 325 25 Ave. S.E.

How much: Free

5. Cascade Gardens Banff

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Cascade Gardens in Banff National Park is a well-landscaped garden with a varied mix of annuals and perennials surrounding the park administrative building. Enjoy a stroll in the garden feasting your senses with the beauty of blooming flowers set against the back drop of Cascade mountains. Details

When to Visit: Late spring and summer.

Where: 101 Mountain Avenue, Banff, AB

How much: Free/Banff National Park Admission applies

 

6. Olds College Botanic Garden and Treatment Wetlands, Odds

Photo Credit: Olds College

Photo Credit: Olds College

Wander along 1.3 kms of lush pathways of this exquisite gardens that follows flowering trees and shrubs, fabulous displays of annuals, hardy peonies, lilies and roses, herb garden and AAS Selection Display Gardens, and wetland ponds. The Gardens are comprised of three phases spread over 25 acres and are populated with a wide ranging collection of prairie hardy plant material, both native and ornamental. The gardens were built to expand Olds College’s role in horticulture in Alberta and the Canadian Prairies through demonstration and applied research. Details

When to Visit: April to October | Dawn to Dusk; Guided tours are available during Horticultural week held in July.

Where: Olds College, 4500 50 St, Olds

How much: Free

 

7. U of A Botanic Garden

 

This 240-acre garden is maintained by University of Alberta’s Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences display a wide diversity of plants, with an emphasis on plants suitable for a hardiness zone (4 – 3), including ornamentals, fruits, vegetables, trees and shrubs. Explore Kurimoto Japanese Garden, a tropical conservatory with exotic butterflies, gardens that showcase an amazing collections of herbs, a zone 3 hardy Rose Garden, diverse collection of fragrant peonies, Martagon and Asiatic lilies and primulas in the Alpine Garden and the Native Peoples Garden that grow plants used by indigenous people, and the 4.8-hectare Aga Khan Garden designed by renowned landscape architectural firm Nelson Byrd Woltz and inspired by some of the world’s foremost Islamic architecture and landscapes. Details

When to Visit: May to Thanksgiving Weekend.

Where: 51227 AB-60, Parkland County.

How much: Adult $15.85, Senior (age 65+) $11.75, Youth (age 13-17)/ Student (with ID) $8.50, Child (age 3-12) $4.50 Child (age 2 & under) Free

8. Muttart Conservatory, Edmonton

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Photo Credit: Edmonton Tourism

A distinctive part of Edmonton’s skyline, the Muttart Conservatory offers a year round escape into the beauty of the world’s plant life. Since it opened in 1976, the Muttart’s vibrant, colourful, tranquil and inspirational pyramid display gardens have been a welcome oasis for visitors. The Muttart Conservatory was designed by award-winning Canadian architect Peter Hemingway. It has four themed pyramids: Arid, Temperate, Tropical and Feature. The exhibits in the Feature pyramid change between five and seven times per year. Details

When to Visit: Year Round; Closed Dec 25 (Opens in 2021 after renovation)

Where: 9626 – 96A Street, Edmonton

How much: Ticketed Admission

9. St Albert Botanic Garden

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St Albert Botanic Garden

Visit this lovely volunteer-run Botanic Garden in Alberta! This five-acre botanical garden grew from an idea conceived in 1990 by two St. Albert citizens and has grown into a jewel in the heart of St. Albert. Themed gardens provide the setting for displays and trials of roses, lilacs, daylilies, Asiatic lilies, peonies, and lilacs to name a few, as well as vegetables and annuals. Details

When to Visit: Open Year Round, Dawn to Dusk – The best time to visit is May to September.

Where: 265 Sturgeon Road, St. Albert, Alberta T8N 1N2

How much: Free

10. George Pegg Botanic Garden

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Photo Credit: George Pegg Botanic Garden

George Pegg Garden was the homestead of George Pegg, a nature enthusiast whose painstaking and philanthropic research helped to identify more than 100 species of plants and birds in Alberta. The garden was started by George Pegg and contains many plants that are rare and unique to the region. This is also Alberta’s first declared historic resource and is a protected site.

When to Visit: June to August

Where: 56015 Range Road 43, in Lac Ste Anne County

How much: Free

11. Coutts Centre for Western Canadian Heritage

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About a 10-minute drive from Nanton, Coutts Centre for Western Canadian Heritage (century-old homestead) can offer an afternoon of family fun in a scenic foothill location. This beautiful area is a diverse collection of historic buildings, garden paths, and over 18 perennial gardens. Details

When to Visit: May 1 – October 31; Mon – Sun: 8am – 6pm General Admission (Grounds & Buildings); After Hours – Grounds Only

Where: Range Road 280, Willow Creek No. 26

How much: Free

12. Trochu Arboretum and Gardens

Explore hundreds of varieties of trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals found in the garden here. Wander down red shale walkways and enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature as you soak in the birdlife and garden life. At the right time of year, you can even taste apples, cherries, saskatoons and raspberries fresh from the trees and bushes.

When to Visit: Mid May to Thanksgiving Weekend

Where:622 N Road, Trochu

How much: Free

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    1. Danelle Wright

      Don’t forget Ellis Bird Farm which has some beautiful nature areas near Lacombe.

      August 25, 2018 at 4:12 PM

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