Diverse garden landscapes
pipeline from the oil wells, the dunes and peat sloughs were home only to native plants.
In 1974, Mother Nature stepped in. Heavy snowfall following a wet fall created the perfect conditions for massive flooding, choking out plants and trees. The following year fundraising efforts began in earnest to repair the damage. The Devonian Foundation donated over a half million dollars which was matched by the Department of Advanced Education, the only stipulation was a request to formally name the garden The University of Alberta Devonian Botanic Garden. The sizable donations allowed for more than flood repair, leading to the purchase of an additional 40 hectares (110 acres), a headquarters building and greenhouses. In 2015, an additional 80 acre parcel was donated by the family of original land donor Col. Sandy Dyde, bringing the total size of the DBG to 240 acres (97 hectares).
This is more than just a garden for public enjoyment, the University of Alberta carries out extensive research here as part of their programming. Staff are doing research in areas of bryophyte ecology and diversity, plant conservation, , the study of wetlands, mosses and algae. Test gardens for future hybrids and cultivars are also done here. The fully digitized herbarium contains an impressive collection of bryophyte specimens used for research and teaching..
Its northerly location offers visitors a chance to see a diverse range of alpine and cold-hardy plants, but there is much more to this garden paradise than this.
Visitors should plan out their excursions as there are many interesting gardens to view here. Gardens are organized to display different ecosystems (alpine garden), history (Native Peoples garden) and the relationships between people (Kurimoto Japanese Garden). Other display gardens include the herb garden, a peony collection, a primula dell, an iris dell, , a collection of Alberta plants and a wide variety of ornamental plants, fruits, vegetables, trees and shrubs. Each year the horticulturalists create new displays for visitors to enjoy. Here is a taste of some of the gardens worth exploring:
The Devonian was home to the first Native Peoples Garden created at a botanic garden in Canada. Opening in 1980, this garden is populated with plants that were traditionally used by indigenous peoples for medicinal, dietary and ornamentation purposes.
The Devonian contains a diverse selection of native plant species representing all of the local biomes in Alberta: grassland, parkland, foothills, mountains and boreal forest. The grounds are riddled with interwoven paths perfect for afternoon strolls, but why not get a little closer to nature while you’re there?
With acres of land, an extensive hiking trail system and boardwalks you can wander through several diverse ecosystems, including tamarack, birch and sedge fens, wetlands, aspen parkland and boreal forest. View it all in