And I only had my iPod camera! That's what happens when we go on unexpected adventures.
The native Alberta gardens were by far the best of the whole thing. The Japanese garden was nice and all, but it wasn't really Japanese to us. It was more a lot of Alberta plants pretending to be Japanese with a lot of rocks and water and weddings. (Actually, we didn't get to see a lot of the gardens because of weddings which is really annoying since we paid our money, too.)
This is the garden area I really wanted to see, but again, wedding. A staff member came running up to us to tell us there was one going on and we couldn't go any further. Which we totally knew since we have eyes and had no intentions of heading in that direction because of it. We were just standing there looking at what we could of the rock garden, but I guess that equates to a major wedding threat cuz he kept his eyes on us and paced anxiously back and forth (while we still didn't even try to turn towards said wedding area and were so far away, I couldn't even make out the details in the bride's dress).
I want this purple plant so badly. It was my favourite of the whole garden.
(and after SEVERAL google attempts to make out my shitty camera shot, it's called thalictrum splendide or -- are you kidding me?! -- meadow rue. Sigh. That's irritating. Would it have been so hard to label each plant with its common name as well? I know everyone is super familiar with botanical nomenclature, but that would have been really helpful and interesting, too. Like, "Oh THAT'S meadow rue!")
saskatoon pie & maple nut plus wet paint ice cream
(I had to talk Idle Husband into trying the wet paint flavour -- we didn't realize until the second cone that we could get two different scoops on one cone -- it ended up being the best out of all three. Also $2.50 for a can of pop? Please.) My favourite Idle Husband quote of the day: "What's french vanilla?"
We also really loved these stone/hypertufa planters. It's definitely something we'd like to do somewhere in the yard. It'll probably be a nice DIY for me next year. This caterpillar matched one of the weddings! I bet he didn't get kicked out.
The Japanese garden. I captured the best parts for you. (I'll spare you my sad pictures of even sadder spruce tree bonsai plants.)
Unfortunate cactus planting. Shame on you, DG. Air plants! I always want to get the ones I see at Walmart. I just don't cuz I'm irritated that an ugly figurine is part of that deal. I also don't want them to keep thinking that it's okay to do that to an air plant.
I loved the cactus and succulent gardens (duh), and the butterfly garden was neat and all, but I thought it was too small. We'd either be stuck behind lengthy gawkers or we'd be pressing up against a plant to let people by. We went around once and then out, but it would have been nice if there'd have been somewhere to sit for a while.
Overall, I didn't like how most of the gardens were set up like specimen gardens. Not really landscaped, just plants here and there with tags in front of them. There were only a few plots that worked together harmoniously. Granted there were a lot of plants going to seed so it was a little less spectacular than it would have been earlier in the year. Devonian Gardens is probably better in early August or July, but for the amount of money and the drive, I was sadly very underwhelmed. Some of the garden centers we visited this year were far more exciting (and free and we could purchase the plants we loved).