Friday, August 23, 2013

Back in time

Im in Alberta Canada visiting my two daughters who live here as well as friends and past colleagues.
I decided to stop and check on the progress of the new Wet Lands area at the college as well as check out their flower beds. I was not disappointed. The beds are used to help Horticulture students learn their identification and Latin. There is a  sample of pretty much everything that will grow in Alberta even if needing some coaxing. I will obviously not be able to show you it all. I absolutely love the Salpiglosis above though...

 I love the contrast in textures and colour of foliage which of course is seen for the entire season versus the three or four weeks that the average perennial blooms. A lot of annuals are used in these gardens too because designs drawn from the years before students are generally used. Which keeps these particular beds looking new and fresh yearly. The rest of the beds out side all the buildings are all trees and shrubs and or perennials so that they are there every year and easily found for identification purposes.
I loved the grasses tucked in among the ornamental Kales and Salpiglosis. You will see some weeds in these beds due to the fact that they retain very few staff over the summer. I did chat to two of the instructors assistants that were there when I attended. So many changes to the grounds and programs but that is how the college stays alive. Change...
 This was the first change you will notice driving in to the Land Science buildings. Where once stood an apple orchard and planting test beds there now stands a Hotel. Yep! a Hotel.... hmmm .. The reasoning behind it is that the college holds a wide variety of conferences and now they are able to provide more up to date accommodation to the participates.
 I love the tall Nicotiana. Such big leaves and the movement of the blooms. I believe these ones actually are fragrant.
 The AHS test gardens that the college has always had. These were looking well attended and full of bloom.

 Walking around I was remembering all the wonderful fun times spent at this college for the full two years. They were great times. I of course was older then most of the other students parents!
 This photo although to dark to do it justice shows a walk where its full of shrubs and different trees that could be used for identification. Every where on these grounds is an opportunity for learning
 Then I reached the first glimpse of the long awaited "Wet Lands garden". A dream child of one of Dave Hieberts. A real favorite of a lot of the students who were privileged to have him. Trees and shrubs ID. He spun wonderful personal stories which for me at least helped me to remember the Latin and information of the trees. I still repeat some of those stories to others that I meet.

 The Wet Lands is used as a way to filter and reclaim the grey water used at the College.
 I think its only on its second full year of being planted so it will grow into a far more spectacular place to walk and Im sure used as well in ID. For now its a probably used as a way to ID the younger more immature plants versus the fuller more mature plants.

 The pavilion where we learned to build retaining walls, walk ways, fences as well as put in a complete working Irrigation system.
 The greenhouses used by the greenhouse production majors. They produced crops and actually sold them. Also a favorite place to go and hang out with plant materials we were IDing through the winter months.. Or in the case of Alberta darn near nine months of the year!
 My favorite place to study was on the second floor and then the view looking straight out through that glass arch. It was also a great place to people watch. The main meeting place and cafeteria and indoor gardens were just below.
 Frantic work is being done to spruce the beds and prepare them for the students that started to arrive this week for a week long preparation class. 30 years of being out of school. Yes! I certainly did take advantage of that course and its where I made my first friend at college. A young man who remains a good friend.

I hope you enjoyed your walk. Sorry I'm rushing out the door to go and visit with my friend Jamie and see his new house and gardens he is working on.
Have an awesome week. I will try to put together something about meeting my first fellow blogger for my next post. It was a great day spent in Red Deer touring her favorite haunts from when she lived in Red Deer.... Bet you have guessed just who that blogger is....


Im linking up over at Fertilizer Friday on Tootsie time ...