New Outdoor Gardens to Open in early July at Assiniboine Park


WINNIPEG, MB. - The Assiniboine Park Conservancy is thrilled to announce that the outdoor Gardens at The Leaf will open at Assiniboine Park on July 9, 2021. The opening of the expansive new gardens this summer will mark completion of the outdoor phase of The Leaf – Canada’s Diversity Gardens.


The outdoor Gardens at The Leaf occupy close to 30 acres in the southeast corner of Assiniboine Park and include six unique gardens:

  • Indigenous Peoples Garden

  • Kitchen Garden

  • Sensory Garden

  • Performance Garden

  • Seasonal Garden

  • The Grove

“The opening of these new gardens will return a significant and beautifully revitalized area of Assiniboine Park to our community for year-round enjoyment,” said Margaret Redmond, President & CEO, Assiniboine Park Conservancy. “Over the past year, we have been reminded of the value of public parks and greenspace and how important these places are to our health and well-being. I am grateful to our hard-working staff, project partners, and donors who have helped bring this vision to life and look forward to welcoming visitors to the Gardens at The Leaf this summer!”


Last year, while construction crews completed hard-scaping and built features in the outdoor gardens, a team of Assiniboine Park Conservancy horticulturalists began the process of planting the gardens and also laid close to 1,000 square meters (over 10,000 square feet) of sod. In total, over 36,000 perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees have already been planted in the new gardens with another 2,000 to be planted this year. Over the coming weeks, crews will be busy cleaning up the gardens, preparing flower beds, watering, weeding, planting and seeding to get ready for the opening on July 9.


Plans for next year include planting an additional 200 trees, 2,000 shrubs, and 2,700 perennials. Once all plantings are complete, well over 600 new trees will have been planted as part of this project.


“It will be all hands on deck over the coming weeks to get the outdoor Gardens at The Leaf ready for the opening in July,” said Gerald Dieleman, Sr. Director of Horticulture, Assiniboine Park Conservancy. “This is just the beginning and the gardens will be a work in progress. Over the weeks, months and years to come, the gardens will evolve as they mature and change with the seasons, encouraging people to return and relish their beauty over and over again.”


Further details regarding the opening of the outdoor Gardens at The Leaf will be announced at a later date.

BACKGROUNDER - Gardens at The Leaf


The Indigenous Peoples Garden will be a gathering place that celebrates Indigenous cultures and their deep philosophical understanding and respect for nature. The garden’s design was created through a collaborative process involving Indigenous elders, designers, and community leaders. Out of this process, a vision emerged for a naturalized garden inspired by the beauty of the Manitoba landscape. Two elements, fire and water, feature prominently in the garden due to their importance in Indigenous cultures.


The Kitchen Garden will be home to a variety of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and other edible plants as well as plantings that thematically connect with the adjacent Indigenous Peoples Garden. The area will include garden beds with rotating crops, an arbour, an outdoor oven, and dedicated spaces for garden demonstrations and educational programs that focus on horticulture, conservation and sustainability.


The Sensory Garden will invite visitors to engage through sight, smell, touch, taste, and sound. Points of interest include a garden bed dedicated to a rotating variety of colourful, aromatic, and tactile plant species, and hill-like topographical features that invite exploration. This garden offers visitors a unique experience that promotes interaction with nature in an extraordinary way.


The Performance Garden will offer opportunities for visitors to enjoy a variety of different art forms while surrounded by nature. The focal point of the Performance Garden is an outdoor stage surrounding by a gently tiered and landscaped seating area.


The Seasonal Garden will be a dynamic space featuring perennial plants that peak at different times throughout the spring, summer, and fall. Featuring wandering pathways, a water feature, arbour, and seating areas, the Seasonal Garden has been designed to showcase a wide diversity of plant life and accommodate a variety of year-round activities.


The Grove is dedicated to the undeniable majesty of trees. Along meandering pathways, visitors will encounter an abundance of plant life in the spring, a cool retreat in the summer, breath-taking views of fall foliage, and refuge from winter winds. The Grove will wrap visitors in a tranquil arboretum setting that reminds us of the simple beauty and calming nature of trees and shrubs.