The Assiniboine Park Conservancy is delighted to announce that the Johnston Family Seasonal Garden at The Leaf has been awarded the prestigious 2023 Landscape Design Award of Excellence for Public Gardens. The honour was received by Horticulture Supervisor Craig Gillespie during the Perennial Plant Association's (PPA) National Symposium held in Niagara Falls, Ontario last week.

Seasonal Garden, flowers and red chairs

Seasonal Garden, pond, flowers and red chairs

The Johnston Family Seasonal Garden at The Leaf is a captivating space that celebrates the beauty of change through carefully selected perennial plants, each reaching their peak during different periods of spring, summer, and fall. This dynamic garden accommodates activities in all four seasons and boasts various features, including a wandering garden path, a soothing water feature, an arbour, and welcoming seating areas.

IMG_6568.jpg (474 KB)

Designed to highlight the diversity and splendour of northern perennial gardens, the Seasonal Garden offers a remarkable variety of plant life. Some of Craig’s plant highlights in the Seasonal Garden are the Blue Flame Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculate ‘Blue Flame’), a stunning perennial, Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), the orange flowers are a magnet for monarch butterflies, lastly the Millenium Ornamental Onion (Allium ‘Millenium’), not only is it hardy and gorgeous but it is also completely pest (deer, rabbit and vole) proof!

Thoughtful plant pairings emphasize compatibility and reduce maintenance, with plants sharing similar requirements for light, soil, and moisture conditions. The naturalistic plantings also provide an abundant supply of accessible pollen and nectar, drawing local bees, butterflies, and beneficial insects that you can see dance around the garden.

Seasonal Garden, monarch butterfly on white flower

Seasonal Garden, flowers

We are honoured to receive the highest Landscape Design Award, an Award of Excellence for Public Gardens, presented by The Perennial Plant Association.

The Landscape Design Awards program, established in 1992, acknowledges projects that harmoniously incorporate herbaceous perennials to create stunning landscapes. Judges evaluate numerous outstanding designs and select the most exceptional entries based on the effectiveness of herbaceous perennial plant material, including new cultivars, colour combinations, textures, and seasonal variations. Each design undergoes a thorough evaluation using a 100-point scale, considering categories such as First Impression, Design, Plant List, Presentation, and Maintenance considerations.

Award recipients either receive an Award of Merit or the highly coveted Award of Excellence, reserved for only one project per class category.

The success of the Johnston Family Seasonal Garden owes much to the creativity and expertise of HTFC Planning and Design, the landscape architect and design professional behind this amazing space. The Assiniboine Park Conservancy takes great pride in receiving the award for the implementation of this remarkable garden.

Seasonal Garden, wide shot with flowers and red chairs

The Johnston Family Seasonal Garden's Landscape Design Award of Excellence for Public Gardens is a testament to nature's beauty and human creativity. We hope this garden is a source of inspiration for all, showing you what is possible with the enduring splendour of perennial plants and embracing the cycles of nature.