The Top of Your Summer Bucket List


August 15, 2021

Words by: Jessica Laccetti, PH.D

Sunsets, Seclusion, & Sips from the U of A Botanic Garden.

Think flowing fountains, still pools, sunken flower beds and “breathtaking vistas.”

This is the time to whip out your summer bucket list and add the 240 acres of the University of Alberta’s Botanic Garden to the top. This must-see award-winning plant paradise features tree-covered paths, exotic butterflies, the Kurimoto Japanese Garden, the Aga Khan Garden, the Indigenous Peoples’ Garden, waterfalls, and more.

Dating back to 1959, this living laboratory is the perfect escape from busy work days and city life. For new visitors, consider exploring the award-winning, 4.8 hectar Mughal-inspired garden – the Aga Khan Garden – gifted by His Highness the Aga Khan. Kerry Mulholland, Communications & Marketing Coordinator for the University of Alberta Botanic Garden refers to it as “an 11-acre jewel that is a contemporary interpretation of historic Mughal design, and the northernmost Islamic garden in the world.” Think flowing fountains, still pools, sunken flower beds and “breathtaking vistas.”

Ready for more adventure? How about the Indigenous Peoples’ Garden that was created in 1980 and features plants that have deep traditional ties to the Indigenous. Mulholland notes too, there is an “extensive Collections area” for visitors to delve into. Two little known spots that even #yeggers might not be aware of: in the beloved local botanical gardens are John’s Folly – a “castle” with views of the rose garden and Connie’s Secret Pond which resides in the North Alpine Garden.

Entering the house, the modern design and details will overtake the sense and bring a sense of calm.

Of course, after all that adventuring, appetites are whetted and the U of A Botanic Garden has just the thing to help you “relax and rejuvenate” – picnic boxes! In fact, booking is live on the website to pick a time for a Twilight Picnic or choose a brunch box. Both options come with fantastic local food but the Twilight Picnic provides live music and amazing sunset views. Plus, as Mulholland explains, “new licensing rules mean guests can sip a glass of wine or local craft beer anywhere in the Garden while they stroll.” This sounds like the perfect way to disconnect from your everyday life. Here’s to ticking off that summer bucket list and making memories.

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