A visit to the Cascades of Time Garden, Banff, Canada


We had a family vacation to the Canadian Rockies last week and, while I went there anticipating awe-inspiring mountains and cerulean lakes, I did not expect to see dazzling flowers. From our first stroll through downtown Calgary, however, there were impressive displays indeed. The show reached its peak at the Cascades of Time Garden in Banff, which was designed by Harold Beckett, an Ontario architect, in the mid-1930s. This is one occasion when we should perhaps be thankful for a lack of funding, for what Beckett envisioned was a journey in time, in which pools—crafted from epoch-appropriate rocks— were to represent the main geological periods during which the Rocky Mountains were formed and would be connected by cascades of water, his “Cascades of Time.” There are no pools in the gardens today, and they may not be what Beckett hoped for, but, at their summer peak, there are thousands of flowers, and they are something to see.
The backdrop for the garden.
Ligularia and Adenophora.
There were Delphinium everywhere. Apparently what they like is an endless winter and 18-hour summer days.
Poppy power.
Cornflowers.
A beautiful stand of bicolor monkshood.
Part of the long border at the side of the garden.
A dazzling display of Salvias and Nepetas.

Top Hometalk Projects

15 Gorgeous Bohemian Inspired Decor Items To Make For Yourself
30 Essential Hacks For Cleaning Around Your Home
30 Ways To Use Old Jeans For Brilliant Craft Ideas
16 Ways to Showcase Your Herb Garden
30 Reasons We Can’t Stop Buying Michaels Storage Crates
These Herb Garden Ideas Will Make You Want To Start One Of Your Own
31 Super Cute & Easy DIY Ideas For Your Kitchen
The Easiest Ways to Grow a Bumper Crop of Tomatoes
22 Ideas To Make Your Terra Cotta Pots Look Oh-So-Pretty
Fake It Until You Make It! 27 Creative Hacks for High-End Looks
15 Kitchen Updates Under $20
13 Spectacular Ways To Display Your House Number
15 Pieces Of Furniture That DIYers Built From Scratch
31 Creative Garden Features Perfect For Summer
16 Ways to Maximize Storage And Organization In Your Home

Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Ann
    on Aug 22, 2017

    That's gorgeous!!! What month were you there?

Join the conversation

2 of 17 comments
  • Mahboobeh
    on Nov 8, 2012

    It's extremely nice and picturesqe, I want to be there, but I cann't :(

  • Time With Thea
    on May 20, 2015

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience and photographs of this stunning location. It is so nice to read your perspective as a visitor. I am proud to say that I live very close to Banff and it is amazing what stunning flowers grow in this area. I also really enjoyed your narrative describing the history and flowers.

Your comment...