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“Very enjoyable!”

University of Alberta Botanic Garden
Ranked #17 of 146 things to do in Edmonton
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: The University of Alberta Botanic Garden (formerly the Devonian Botanic Garden) is a stunning 97-hectare property located 15 minutes SW of Edmonton, with cultivated gardens and plant collections, indoor showhouses, and extensive natural areas. Highlights of the Garden, which was established in 1959, include the spectacular new 4.8 hectare Aga Khan Garden, beautiful Kurimoto Japanese Garden; a Tropical Showhouse with exotic butterflies; Temperate and Arid Showhouses; alpine, herb, rose, peony, lilac and lily collections; Indigenous Garden; trial beds and much more. The Garden is an award-winning visitor attraction, a research site, and home to year-round adult and children's education programming. Open to visitors seasonally, May 1 through Thanksgiving.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children, Food available for purchase, Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed 26 June 2013

My first visit here even though have lived in the area for 5 years now. I went with my Mom who was visiting and we thoroughly enjoyed the day. We arrived at 11:00 and left at 3:00.
There were numerous school groups visiting the area, and while they all seemed to enjoy the gardens, the fish in the ponds etc, it created some noise and detracted from the overall peace which the area possesses (not to mention making it difficult for us to take photos). But we were in no hurry and waited for the groups to pass to the next area.
The Japanese garden is beautiful. Can really see the potential for wedding photos etc done here - which they advertise. Numerous benches around the area if one wanted to rest or reflect. A nice pond with bridge, a waterfall and a stream enhance the area.
The Butterfly Pavillion is great. We timed going in here when the school kids were all eating their lunches! We had the place to ourselves for 10 min before a couple of other people came in. There were about 7 different types of butterflies that we saw over and over. Some were easier to take pictures of than others. Lots of beautiful tropical flowering plants and bushes. A small pond with fish. A display of the stages of a butterflies life. It was very, very nice.
We were going to order lunch from the little cafeteria, but the school groups were still taking over all the nice small umbrella tables and we did not care to share the picnic tables which were off to one side and mostly vacant. If we were going to pay for lunch, we wanted a decent table! So we went to the gift store to browse and shop. We went for lunch at 1:00 and had a wonderful sandwich and soup (the soup was Coconut Carrot Curry - fantastic). It was quite pricey ($20 for the two of us both having half orders of the combo meal) so we did not get any beverages and just had the water we had brought with us.
Then off to the other areas of the gardens. Here there was a lot of maintenance being done, so lots of workers and their little work carts around. It is a huge area and definitely would be hard to get it into good shape after winter, plus maintain it. They were weeding plus still planting bedding plants when we went on June 18th. There is a large pond with ducks on it. And other smaller ponds / bridges in other areas. Again numerous benches to sit on. There were a few early flowering plants and bushes, mainly lilacs out at this time. Roses and peonies would be coming out in a week or two. We found a couple of geocaches in the area for added fun.
I would definitely go back, but would time it for when the roses or peonies would be putting on a show, plus all the other summer flowers in bloom. Or in the Fall with the changing colors. I would take a picnic lunch next time and enjoy relaxing on a bench or even take a book to read.
Not sure if I would bring my 4 teenage kids here- the youngest would like the butterflies, but I think they would think the rest kind of boring.
The gift shop was great and got a few things for a couple of upcoming b-days.
Hope this review helps other!

2  Thank Albertamom-of-4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"japanese garden"
in 66 reviews
"butterfly house"
in 15 reviews
"aga khan"
in 6 reviews
"alpine garden"
in 3 reviews
"gardens are beautiful"
in 3 reviews
"gift shop"
in 12 reviews
"plants and flowers"
in 4 reviews
"water features"
in 3 reviews
"day trip"
in 6 reviews
"nice place to visit"
in 3 reviews
"edmonton area"
in 4 reviews
"spend an afternoon"
in 4 reviews
"a great place to spend"
in 3 reviews
"bloom"
in 15 reviews
"summer"
in 23 reviews
"nature"
in 16 reviews
"islam"
in 5 reviews
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235 - 239 of 250 reviews

Reviewed 16 June 2013

Loved the butterflies and had a great walk around the grounds! There is a nice Japanese garden, lots of paths, big ponds and tons of neat things to see. Great staff!

Thank RodeoFoto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 June 2013

We visited the Devonian Botanic Garden today for the first time. I've visited other gardens in other cities and this one needed some TLC. I know it's the beginning of Summer but the main area had lots of weeds and that put a damper on the visit. I think the grounds people concentrated their efforts on the Japanese Garden because it was gorgeous and clean. The butterfly attraction was also very nice! I'm sure if I had visited later in the Summer it would be very beautiful but today it could have been better.

Thank Locksley44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2013

I love doing a day-trip here in the summer. The grounds are extremely well maintained and just beautifully scenic & serene. Living in Edmonton this place is definitely worth the drive. I love the Butterfly gardens, how cool is it that they can actually land on you? Just awesome!

2  Thank CanadianCritique
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 11 May 2013

We attended my niece's wedding at the Gardens. A little walk to get to the wedding location, but worth every step. Great view and Groundsmanship (is that a word?).

Thank Nifty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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