WHERE TO GO: Sturgeon Road, near the intersection with Sir Winston Churchill Avenue in St. Albert. From Edmonton, take St. Albert Trail/Mark Messier Trail north, take a right on Sturgeon Road. The park will be on the left, just after the St. Albert Cardinals’ baseball complex.
WHAT YOU’LL FIND: This is an easy stroll through a series of show gardens. You’re going to stop a lot to admire the different varieties of flowers, shrubs and trees, but at maximum it should take 15 minutes to get from one end of the park to the other. The gift shop is temporarily closed due to COVID-19.
From the parking lot, you’re greeted by the rose garden. Red, orange, dusty, blush and white roses are arranged in circles surrounding a central fountain. You’ll feel like you’ve plunged into a wedding photoshoot; when the roses are in bloom, the pops of colour are extraordinary.
From there, you follow a straight line through a series of groves and gardens. Who knew that there were so many varieties of crabapple trees? And, the lily gardens are divided into two camps, the Asiatics and day-lilies.. But both are spectacular, with signs bearing the names of the varieties and when they were bred. From Firestorm to Embarrassment to Starburst, the names that lily breeders have assigned to their creations are, well, pretty entertaining. You’re not sure if these are flowers, or the names of new members of the Avengers. Or the latest punk band. The walk ends at gardens specifically designed to attract bees and butterflies; in fact, the gardens are simply buzzing with helpful insects. Don’t worry, the bees are way too interested in the flowers to even know that you’re there.
If you can get vaccinated before the end of summer, will you consider going on vacation?