Free, local gardens and events in Central Alberta that are well worth the visit

  • Jul. 26, 2017 2:08 p.m.

Summer always passes quickly. Before it is over take time to smell the roses; figuratively and non-figuratively. Visiting beautiful gardens is an enjoyable experience even for those who aren’t passionate gardeners. A walk through the garden relieves stress.

There are free, local gardens and events in Central Alberta that are well worth the visit.

Lacombe holds an annual Rose and Lily Show every July. People with good quality Roses and Lilies bring them to the Memorial Center on Friday July 28th between 6 and 8 pm. The public are encouraged to view the amazing displays on Saturday, July 29 from 11:30 to 3.30. Entering and viewing are both free.

The Red Deer Gladiola and Dahlia Society’s Summer Party, on July 29,2017 from 3 to 7 pm., at the Trial Garden. The Dalia trial garden is the only one of its kind in Canada. Dalia breeders throughout North America send their plants to be planted, grown and then rated for quality. This is a chance to see new plants in development. The Trail Garden is located on the west side of 37514 Range Road 273 (40th Avenue South ) Red Deer County. Everyone is welcome to attend and it is suggested that you bring a chair.

Carolyn & Jeff Bondy of Gablehouse Farms and Gardens are hosting a potluck Picnic with the Red Deer and District Garden Club starting around 4:30 Saturday, July 29th. The Bondy’s grow and sell Daylilies which will be coming into full bloom at this time and welcome interested people. Gablehouse Farm and Gardens are located 6.1k south of Highway 11 on Range Road 22. Sign number 38061.

Red Deer and District Garden Show is scheduled Thursday August 17th at Festival Hall. It will be open to the public from 2 to 7:30. People who would like to enter can view the show book at Entrees will be accepted between 5 – 8:30 on Wednesday August 16th. It costs nothing to enter or view the show but if you wish to join the Garden Tea Party, for sandwiches, desert and tea the cost is $5.00.

Viewing any garden show allows the visitors to see the best of the gardens without visiting. Tags should contain names and varieties which allows the pubic to view and take notes of any plant they wish to add to their garden.

Olds College has wonderful gardens and is well worth the trip. The gardens are open from dawn to dusk. The main campus contains many different gardens ranging from xeriscape to water gardens and most items in between. Plants are labeled but a few of the labels can be hard to find, depending on how the plants grow. Close to the greenhouse there are raised beds containing the All America Selection Annual Display which is a trial garden for numerous annual plants. People are encouraged to taste the fruit and vegetables.

The Botanic Gardens and Constructed Wetlands on the east side of the campus has a path that winds through out a serious of manmade canals that are used for research. For a tour of these gardens phone 403-556-8323

Elis Bird farm is a fabulous Garden about 20 minutes east of Red Deer that is well worth a stop. Their motto is “Linking Wildlife, Agriculture and Industry” a must in today’s society.

They have fabulous gardens, a great tea and ice cream shop. They lead and host many different workshops throughout the season. For more information and directions

Take the time when in Downtown Red Deer to walk through the gardens at City Hall. There are beds of annuals, perennials and different trees and shrubs. On a sunny day, the area is packed with people around lunch time.

These are just a few of the garden type activities that are available locally. Take time and enjoy before summer disappears.

Linda Tomlinson is a horticulturalist that lives near Rocky Mountain House. She can be reached at

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