Garden Photo of the Day

GPOD on the Road: Assiniboine Park Gardens, Part 2

More of the gorgeous gardens on display at an iconic park in Winnipeg

Happy Friday, GPODers!

Last Friday I shared my experience at Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg, Manitoba. As promised, I’m back this week to share more photos from this expansive park with several awe-inspiring gardens. If you missed the first post, you can check it out here: Part 1.

Last week I covered the Kitchen Garden and the Sensory Garden. Today’s tour continues through the Indigenous Peoples Garden, the English Garden and the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden.

large totem pole amongst a large planting of native grassesFirst, the gorgeous grasses found in the Sensory Garden extend on to the Indigenous Peoples Garden, which features naturalistic plantings full of native plants. It also features some fabulous indigenous art, including this stunning totem pole. Though totem poles have become a symbol representative of indigenous people in general, they were actually only created by indigenous groups in the Pacific Northwest.

wooden art installation in the gardenAnother stunning art installation in this garden were these large, carved wooden balls.

a bee and hummingbird carved into large wooden ballCarved on each ball were different elements of nature. One of my favorites was this one that depicted different pollinators.

garden fountain surrounded by plantsAfter a long (very hot) walk, I reached the other section of the park, which featured the last two gardens. I can safely say that the long walk was more than worth it because this was the start of the English Garden I saw when I arrived. It’s hard to tell from this photo, but the statue of a young boy is actually part of the fountain! The poor boy has a hole at the tip of his boot, and water is flowing into the pond below.

brick path leading through English GardenThe English Garden featured all the essential elements of a classic, formal English garden: geometric pathways that lead you through the garden with intention, symmetrical plantings that are repeated to an impressive level, and layered borders that are densely planted. This garden was not very big, but it was so packed with plants that this is still a lot to see.

long formal garden border with bright pink flowers and black foliage plantsIn this incredible border, stunning spires of lambs’ ears (Stachys byzantina and cvs., Zones 4–8) flowers and towering milk thistle (Silybum marianum and cvs., Zones 4–8) mark the start of long rows of ‘Blackie’ sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas ‘Blackie’, Zones 9–11 or as an annual) and bright pink gomphrena.

garden fountain with potted plantings throughout the waterWater features are another classic element of English gardens and are traditionally multi-tiered and ornate fountains. This garden featured several fountains, but incredible containers made this one a particular favorite.

garden border with light colored flowers and bright colored foliageThe gardens also did a great job of repeating elements and particular plants so that different beds and designs were still cohesive. This stacked border featured the same bright green and pink coleus that was featured in the fountain containers above.

sculpture of mother with baby surrounded by colorful foliage plantsLeonid Molodoshanin (Leo Mol for short) was a Ukrainian-born artist who moved to Canada in 1948 after living in Berlin and the Netherlands. A stained glass artist and painter, but mostly known for his classic portrait sculpture, Mol had an incredible way of crafting and capturing figurines of Ukrainian themes, religious imagery, and wildlife. While the sculptures were definitely the stars in the garden, plants played a beautiful role in this space and the mostly shady beds added interest without distracting from Mol’s incredible work.

mass planting of ostrich fern around large sculptureMost of the beds were masses of one plant, like this beautiful blanket of ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris, Zones 4–8).

mass planting of yellow ligulariaBut the gardens weren’t limited to foliage. This mass planting of ligularia (Ligularia spp. and cvs., Zones 4–8) brought a vibrant pop of yellow to the shade.

Hope you all enjoyed this little tour of a massively impressive park and that you all enjoy your weekend. If you stumble upon any gardens or public plantings, big or small, I’d love to see what you discover.


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View Comments


  1. btucker9675 06/14/2024

    What a stunning garden! The totem pole is unbelievably beautiful, and the carved wooden balls and other sculptures are wonderful and perfectly placed throughout the property. The keepers of this lovely place should be very proud!

  2. User avater
    cynthia2020 06/14/2024

    Kaitlyn - what struck me about several of your photos were the curving lines you captured - pleasing to my eye. It also seems like I have seen a lot of decorative balls in private and public gardens and I rather like those, too. I especially like the photo that features white cone flower, pink gaura, and pink and green coleus. I am trying some white cone flower for the first time this year (most stores in my area are out of native pink). I love the airy look of gaura but it is only considered an annual in my area (and I am overbudget now on plants...)

  3. User avater
    simplesue 06/15/2024

    A beautiful garden tour!

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