There is an exciting new addition to the garden this year. In commemoration of dedicated Lougheed House volunteer Brian Exton, a children’s garden has been developed at the west side of the house. The garden features miniature versions of flowers found in the larger beds, including teddy bear sunflowers, miniature snapdragons (nemesia), and knee-high sweet peas. As Sir James and Isabella Lougheed raised six children in the house, who spent many summers exploring and socializing in the garden, a children’s area is a fitting addition to the historic fabric of this outdoor space.
The new butterfly house in the children’s garden
At the north end of the bed a red butterfly house has been erected with the addition of some butterfly-friendly flowers and a nearby mud-bath. Butterflies prefer to cool themselves in slightly dirty water; this method allows them to soak up both moisture and minerals at the same time. The butterflies of the Lougheed House garden have been provided with a stone bath implanted in the ground so that the water naturally gathers dirt. Bright orange and yellow calendulas surround the base of the butterfly house to encourage these beautiful pollinators to take up residence. To the left of the new butterfly area, at the end of the “yellow brick road” in the center of the bed, birdhouse ornaments made by the garden volunteers at Christmas have been strung up. No doubt the vibrant colours and engaging designs of these birdhouses will also help attract friendly pollinators to the garden.
The birdhouses created by the garden volunteers at the end of the yellow brick road
Vegetable and other edible varieties have been seeded by the volunteers next to the raised tomato bed. In keeping with the theme of the other varieties in the children’s garden, the tomatoes in the raised bed are miniature-scale (sweet millions and tiny tims). Other plants seeded in the vegetable patch will be inspired by popular children’s fables. Scarlet runner beans will be planted to indicate Jack and the Bean Stalk and pumpkins for Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater. Be sure to come down and enjoy the new garden as it develops this summer, and keep an eye out for friendly pollinators such as butterflies, bees and beetles who will be busy working in this new space!
A bee works diligently to extract pollen from the wild rose bush on the grounds