BIBLE HILL – The Dalhousie Agricultural Campus has a couple of new additions this autumn – an Alpine Garden and outdoor classroom.
Darwin Carr said the newly named and launched Dalhousie University Bicentennial Botanical Garden designation was a special project as part of the university’s bicentennial year.
“It was a special project in conjunction with the Alpine Garden, or limestone garden,” said Carr, the manager of the Botanical Garden. “Limestone is not typical in our rock strata, but because LaFarge is close by, we had a chat with them about a project with limestone.”
The project for the Alpine Garden, said Carr, started last September but was slow moving. The project received support from faculty and an outdoor classroom is being added as well.
The project is part of the landscaping project management course, which is a third year course for the landscaping architecture course at the campus.
“Part of the project was worked on by the students,” he said, adding students would be using the outdoor classroom before the end of October.
The project is also seeing support from the Friends of the Garden, a group that has also supported the campus’s Rock Garden and others. Carr said the group will help generate extra funds, which could go to additional plants for the Alpine Garden.
“Because we’re a teaching institution, and horticulture is a benefit to students, anybody can teach in the garden,” said Carr. “The Alpine Garden is a very unique collection with some plants specific to a limestone habitat, like dwarf willows.”
With the Botanical Garden designation, Carr said it will differentiate the campus from others, making it a destination garden. He said the Botanical Garden – which encompasses all the gardens on campus including the Pollinator Meadow, Berlin Wall section, Alumni Gardens, and Herb Garden – will be featured in the Doers and Dreamers Guide in the future, as well as other publications.
“This will draw people here. We have specific trees and shrubs, and we’ll be labelling and identifying them all,” he said. “This is another feature to our campus, to enhance our park-like settings where people can tour around, sit, and have a picnic if they want.”
The garden manager said the campus has been used more and more often by the public over the last 10 to 15 years, with many photos being taken during graduation and wedding ceremonies. Of the 26-acre campus, Carr said about a quarter is extensively landscaped, including the green space areas.
For more information on the gardens, visit dal.ca/gardens.