Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saskatoon Garden Interlude

I'm out of my usual northern habitat for a little while, so decided to check out gardens away from home.  The city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan is south of La Ronge (just over four hours by road).  The trees here are leafed out and the perennials are definitely a few weeks ahead of those in La Ronge.  Tulips are in full bloom here, while my northern-dwelling tulips have yet to show their buds!  
Googling "botanical gardens" in Saskatoon gave me the idea to visit the Saskatoon Forestry Farm.  Unless I was missing something, I found only two small gardens: the Robin Smith Meditation Garden and the Heritage Rose Garden.  
A patch of Fritillaria meleagris in the Meditation Garden:
Both gardens are apparently maintained by the Saskatchewan Perennial Society, though it appears the volunteers have not been in the gardens as of yet.  Of course, many perennials are just starting to grow and only early-blooming perennials are showing their colors.  
A dwarf iris about 6-8 inches tall, perhaps an Iris pumila:
A variegated leaf, pink-flowered Pulmonaria rubra "David Ward".  This is an uncommon perennial and a pleasure to see:

The gardens were followed by a trip to Dutch Growers garden center extra-ordinare (did you know you can buy fancy underwear here too?), where I appreciated this lovely flower, Meconopsis (the Himalayan Blue Poppy).  It is beautiful to behold and lovely in gardens of UK and North American west coast dwellers.  However, has anyone actually made this plant thrive on the prairies?  I think garden centers just offer this flower to tempt us, knowing that the beauty of the plant will exceed our better judgement and ultimately lead to horticultural heartbreak.


Anonymous said... that sign real or digitally created? Come on now, fess up!!

Ha ha.

p.s. I love the challenge of commenting on your blog since I know absolutely not a THING about gardening!! There are only so many comments one can leave saying: Wow! Those flowers are amazing! (which they are of course!!)


jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

I don't know if you can grow Meconopsis out west or not, but I grow it here in my foggy Nova Scotian garden. It seems that Saskatoon and Scotts Bay are about on track; my pulmonarias and fritillaria are in bloom, as are the tulips. The meconopsis won't be for another three weeks, though.

O.I.M said...

"horticultural heartbreak" is precisely why I haven't tried to grow the himalayan blue poppy. it is my dream flower and i think that's where it will be guaranteed to thrive: in my dreams. ha ha.

William said...

Next time you're in Saskatoon (or if you're still in the city) check out Patterson Gardens. I've always found it more exiting than the Forestry Farm. No perennials, but a great collection of woody species - different species of lilacs, oak, larch, sugar maple - lots of plants uncommon to the prairies. It was/is a University trial garden, started many years ago. The entrance is on the corner of College Drive and Preston Avenue.

Cassandra said...

I've heard that the Devonian Botanic Garden near Edmonton has successfully grown the himalayan blue poppy for some years now. It's not really supposed to be hardy here, but I think they made it part of their logo because they were so proud of themselves for growing it.

Muum said...

love that himalayan poppy. don't think it'll grow here (hot and dry Utah)... sure enjoy your blog!