EDMONTON – The Devonian Botanic Gardens has been named Botanical Garden of the Year by a group of peers.
The honour is part of the Canadian Garden Council’s 2014 Garden Tourism Awards.
The Edmonton-area garden is the northern-most of its kind in Canada. Despite the colder growing climate, over 7,000 varieties of plants can be found at the 180-acre garden.
The University of Alberta-owned garden prides itself on being a research and education facility.
“But we also recognize the importance of our role as a significant tourist attraction in the Edmonton region,” said Lee Foote, the garden’s director.
The botanic gardens are located southwest of Edmonton, along Highway 60 in Parkland County.
“We are also a garden in a forest,” added Foote.
“Our cultivated areas are surrounded by prairie parklands, wetlands and natural areas, in contrast to most botanic gardens, which are typically situated in more urban settings.”
The gardens are a popular destination not only for tourists, but also for weddings and school field trips. About 70,000 people visit each year between May and mid-October.
Last year, the Canadian Garden Council named the Enjoy Centre in St. Albert the Destination Garden Centre of the Year.
The council is made up of people who work in the horticulture and garden industry.