The excitement is building for the series of completions and events at the University of Alberta Botanic Garden. Now a dense blanket of snow hides much of the hard work that staff and contractors have poured into the Main Entry, the Aga Khan Garden, the Parking facilities and all the while, the undiminished garden plots of UABG continue to shine. Sure, you may have got a glimpse and an idea of the scope during Luminaria but there was a window between garden closure and the first permanent snows that I can give you a few photographic teasers.
There are two major parking improvements, first the main lot that increases to 275 parking places, a circular entryway with generous bus drop off zones and a magnificent We moved some and removed some other trees but maintained 10 mature trees in our parking area for shade, diversity, sound attenuation and in a couple of cases, for the pure conservation of valuable specimens.
I felt a surge of pride when I saw the first sunken bed installments in the Aga Khan Garden completed by the horticultural crew. These bulbiferous perennials will give us big quick color in the early summer. The first 115 fruit and flowering trees have now been installed by the Wilco Contractors throughout the Garden’s Boustan. The stonework of the Matabe and Rose Chabutra is magnificent. The surrounding high stress stonework panels feature the geometric designs that are one of the signature features of mogul gardens around the world. We hosted several important workshops, one for landscape architects to examine construction of landforms and plant installations. In the picture above, the Rose Chabutra. A second workshop was on geometric design in Islamic Gardens lead by author Eric Brugge. There is so much geometric design in the AKG that we will do some interpretation over its intent. We continue to race against the weather but we have gotten further than the worst case scenario already. It is still unclear the exact opening date in 2018 but we hope to get the public in as soon as is safely possibly. We expect to have the brass FOG plaque up for the Ikoi no ba and enough progress on the main entryway that some boardwalk discussions may begin. There will be a FOG only event in the beginning of the summer that you won’t want to miss. Lee Foote, Director UABG