Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Banff Alberta Cascade gardens- August 2013

 Daughter number one had  Tuesday and Wednesday off to spend with me. We both agreed that a day out in the mountains was very much needed so off we went.  After walking around the town looking in the beautiful decked out shops and deciding on a restaurant that had a great patio we rested our feet while we ate and people watched.  Great towering mountains surround Banff from all sides.
 We sat down at the river and chatted. I zoomed into some of the detail on the bridge and took this shot. We also noticed a sign that said Cascade gardens. We didn't actually go to Banff with the idea of finding a garden. I didn't have any idea that this gem of a place even existed.
This is the view from our picnic bench



This is the sleeping buffalo. I loved the softly sculpted faces into the stone.

 beds cramped with colour greet you as you walk into the grounds
 The flowers have lasted extremely well and obviously are taken very good care of with dead heading and watering by hoses pulled out. No luxury of underground irrigation here. Yet this is a real show garden and a delight to walk through.  We are at a much higher elevation here right under the mountains and spring comes later and fall much earlier. Night temperatures are already sending out signals to the trees that its time to start changing.
 Beds are filled with annuals that were probably available in the period of the building of the gardens

 A wonderful place to wander quietly or stop and make a new acquaintance

I love bi-coloured Aconitum or Monkshood

 I'd love some seeds from these poppies. Pretty sure though that picking a seed pod or flower in a government ran park would be frowned upon. I know that at the garden I use to work at it was highly frowned upon. Its pretty much a garden etiquette isn't it? What are your thoughts on this as gardeners?

Cosmos... always a great addition into any garden where a bit of height and long lasting colour is needed. I love them for the airiness and movement they add in the landscape.


Every where I turned there was another photo opportunity. I did have to stand and wait as there was actually a lot of people in the garden. I even met a lady from Okotoks and managed to recruit some business for a friend of mine who took over my other gardens that I maintained before leaving Calgary
Drifts of colour jumped out at every angle
 Every time we turned around another photo seemed to beckon me
My daughter loved these. I know them as an English daisy.....  Bellis perennis L.

 Even simple pansys grown in a swathe look amazing here.

Portulaca or Ice plant but Im sure that it is an older variety then I use in my rock walls
 How could you resist sitting and gazing out upon this scene
 Im actually stumped as to what these are?.... Anyone willing to guess. Absolutely beautiful especially in this group planting
 Burls in spruce trees are used a lot to build unique structures. A bit of new mixed with the old in this garden. I have a burl table that my dad made me. Its one of those special items that just are priceless to me. While I was growing up there was a wonderful man who during the second world war gave one of his arms for his country... He made a fence along the front of his Francis Lake home from wood materials like this all by himself. Notching and glueing into place. It was very beautiful but sadly not maintained and is now gone.
The beds went on and on... and guess what.... Not a single weed! Plus, all dead or brown was removed totally. I was extremely impressed by the care given through out this garden to make it look top notch for the publics enjoyment. I had to wonder what their budget is for maintenance or how many workers they have working in this garden. Its looks to be over 3 acres in size.

 There is a net work of ponds through out the garden but at this time there wasn't any water in them.

 People sat all around the garden enjoying a quiet moment or reading
 I'd love to have this big piece of old wood in my garden. I had to leave the drift wood collected and even brought from the lake I grew up on.

Opportunitys for family get togethers everywhere in this garden. Perhaps even weddings.

covered over bridges straddling the would be water if there had been any in the ponds.
 lobelia used as a ground cover here



Peruvian poppy's in big bold beds. (I think! correct me if Im mistaken) Each one was individually staked! That takes time and money a lot of gardens and parks do not have time or money for from my experience.
 I loved that they left his hollowed out stump.

 After walking around the entire garden and on our way out. It seemed a real shame to leave. I wasn't quite ready to go back down in to the busy bustle of Banff
One last look behind...
 I kept taking more pictures trying hard to linger longer
The day wasn't over and the journey required us to travel on back to Calgary. If I thought Banff was busy it is nothing compared to the Deerfoot during rush hour!
 Then I spied this perennial bed.... WOW!
 We sat and ran through  the names of all the plants and talked about the ones I like and have and those that I would like to get.
 It was really not that big of a bed compared to the rest of the garden. I thoroughly enjoyed that we found it though.
 It gave us a last few shots of pure natural beauty to enjoy before we did depart.
 Off a cross the grass we went....daughter number ones headache now gone and plans were made to go get a drink and a snack before going to the Whyte Museum. The Whyte Museum is filled with the history of Banff and the one place she requested we make time for as she had never been able to visit it yet. 


 Bears are a big draw for a lot of tourists...  I personally think that Walt Disney has a lot to answer for, for all the people who view them as "cuddly, cute, or approachable"! They are majestic big wild animals with all the god given animal instinct they need to survive... NOT to be approached! 
It was an awesome day daughter number one... Thank you so much. Its wonderful that my daughters as they have grown have all developed a love of gardening and plants in their own way. I enjoy sharing this love with them. Visions of this garden stayed with me as I drifted off to sleep that night. 

I enjoyed my week with the girls. How was your week? 
Have you been able to get out and enjoy someone else's garden or tour a near by garden.

Remember gardening is a way to show you believe in tomorrow...

Kate