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.
A beautiful stand of bicolor monkshood.
Part of the long border at the side of the garden.
A dazzling display of Salvias and Nepetas.

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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.

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