Our First Garden Bed
The Cottage Garden was the first garden bed developed in the Park. Initially considered a ‘Perennial Sharing Community Flowerbed’, it began with 17 perennials donated by friends and members of the community. These donations were planted on October 10, 1992 with Lois Hole removing the soil for the first plant. The layout of the beds and installation of the Park’s first rock was the work of John Beedle who spent many hours preparing soil, watering, weeding and searching for plants. John’s idea to have a paling fence around the garden came about the following year as he and Richard Plain trekked out on a forestry road near Drayton Valley, returning with black spruce palings. With the rustic fence and an assortment of perennials settling in, our first garden needed a new name. In our eyes, it looked like the start of a beautiful English cottage garden so the name ‘Cottage Garden’ was an easy choice.
Thanks to many dedicated volunteers over the years, the Cottage Garden has become a glorious panorama of changing colours, shapes and textures. Consisting primarily of perennials, the progression of blooms begins in early spring and lasts through the autumn. Benches, arbors and a fairy garden add to the charm as well as providing great photo opportunities. The original rock is still in its same position but the garden itself has increased in size over the years. A road trip to gather additional black spruce was made beyond Athabasca and a matching fence was built. A paved walkway allows visitors with mobility issues the opportunity to travel easily from the parking lot to the Cottage Garden.