Garden Photo of the Day

Evelyn’s Urban Prairie Garden

Urban gardening in a harsh climate comes with its advantages and pitfalls

Ostrich ferns growing next to large piece of drift wood

Hi GPODers!

Today we’re in the garden of Evelyn Sterenberg, who deals with some pretty unique conditions. Located in the city Lethbridge, Alberta, she is squarely in the Canadian prairie but still close enough to the Rockies to have some crazy weather blow in from the mountains. Despite often dealing with extreme conditions, Evelyn takes advantage of her urban location to create a thriving garden:

Fifteen years ago we began working on the garden at this house. We are blessed with plenty of sunshine, fertile soil and years of homemade compost, but on the other hand we contend with extreme heat and cold, hailstorms, high winds and drought. Our location within the city is sheltered by trees and buildings and we have adequate water.

garden bed with yellow, blue and pink flowersYarrow, ‘Johnson’s Blue’ geranium (Geranium ‘Johnson’s Blue’, Zones 4–8), thrift (Armeria maritima, Zones 4–8) and yellow sedum (Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’, Zones 6–9).

multicolored lupins on edge of garden bedA package of seed rewarded us with these lupins after the second year.

Edith Wolford irisesIrises (I believe this variety is ‘Edith Wolford’ [Iris ‘Edith Wolford’, Zones 3–9]) and lupins do well here because the prairie soil is somewhat alkaline.

Ostrich ferns growing next to large piece of driftwoodOstrich ferns (Matteuccia struthiopteris, Zones 2–8) love their spot by an old chunk of driftwood.

peach colored peony next to foliage plantsItoh peony, rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum, Zones 3–8), lady’s mantle (Alchemilla mollis, Zones 4–7) and wild lupin (Lupinus perennis, Zones 3–8).

shade container with various colored flowers

Shady doorway planter contains pansies, impatiens and parsley.



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View Comments


  1. wildthyme 07/04/2024

    What a great idea to use rhubarb for foliage/texture in your flower border! I've done the same in the past with parsley, but I never thought of using rhubarb.

  2. btucker9675 07/04/2024

    So very pretty - love the driftwood among the ferns and that peony is gorgeous!! A lovely cottage-y garden.

  3. User avater
    simplesue 07/05/2024

    Such amazing Lupines- and from SEED! Wow, I tried to grow some and couldn't.
    Also love your stumpery with the ostrich ferns is so cool and natural looking!

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