Is there anything that better awakens our senses to the summer months than the fresh smell of flowers in bloom? Whether you are an avid gardener or just wear the occasional floral crown at one of summer’s festivals, it’s time to appreciate the lush beauty of Manitoba. Take a tour to see the sunflowers, daylilies and gorgeous gardens that brighten our province.
Named the Sunflower Capital of Canada, Altona should be your first stop on a floral tour of the province. On your way into town, stop beside the the largest replica of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers for a quick photo op before proceeding directly to the Manitoba Sunflower Festival, taking place July 22 to 24. This fun-packed community celebration features the crowning of a Sunflower Queen as well as a Farmers’ Market, live music and more. Visitors can even take a backyard tour of some of the most creative landscapes in town.
Don’t leave Altona before taking a stroll through the Gallery in the Park, where a 1902 home houses artwork while the surrounding grounds hosts a variety of sculptures and gorgeous landscaping. Wander through the garden to the water fountain or relax on the outdoor patio in this little piece of paradise.
International Peace Garden
Situated on the border, the International Peace Garden is a tribute to the peaceful relations and friendship between Canada and the United States. Given its unique location, a passport is required to visit this important landmark. The site features over 150,000 flowers in stunning displays, hiking trails and monuments. Most notable are the twisted girders which were rescued from the devastation of the World Trade Centre in New York, and are now housed in the garden as a symbol of peace and democracy.
Beausejour Daylily Gardens
The Beausejour Daylily Gardens are, you guessed it, a magnificent display of 600 daylily cultivars. But the daylilies can’t take all the credit. The garden is also filled with thousands of iris, peonies, lilies and ornamental shrubs and trees. The Gardens are the only American Hemerocallis Society (AHS) gardens in the prairies, and also hold the title of being the coldest AHS display garden in the world.
The village of Arden is home to the World’s Largest Crocus Monument and in turn, holds the title as the Crocus Capital of Manitoba. Here, you can see thousands of natural crocuses bloom in the prairie grasslands. The best time to see the mauve-coloured blooms are during the weeks around April 15. April also happens to be the time where photographers can enter the Crocus Photo Contest. Entries are judged and displayed at the Arden Crocus Festival (May 7, 2016) where attendees can vote for their favourites.
In need of a floral fix while in Winnipeg? No problem. The Assiniboine Park is bursting with fresh blooms! The Conservatory is a green paradise open year-round, featuring more than 8000 flowers, plants and trees. TulipMania is on until June 5 and displays tulips with 28 interpretive panels from the Chicago Botanic Garden, which give information on the flower’s history and their incredible colours.
The Leo Mol Sculpture Garden is a quiet retreat where wanderers can admire the works of master sculptor, Dr. Leo Mol, complimented by surrounding flower beds. The English Garden is a must-see, with winding paths and free-form beds. In English Landscape style, the garden is flowing without strict symmetry and houses iconic statues such as the Boy With the Boot. The English Garden starkly contrasts the perfect symmetry of the Formal Garden, located on the southeast corner of the park and designed by Frederick Todd in 1907.
Oh, beautiful Wasagaming – town of clear water, quaint shops and charming gardens. One need only wander through town to witness its beauty, starting with the Visitor Centre Gardens. Take a photo with the towering floral moose before heading to the Wishing Well Garden (which reopened in the summer of 2015), located at the east end of Clear Lake.
Know of a garden we missed? Tell us about it in the comments!