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Railway Garden

This garden was inspired by the Canadian Pacific Railway gardens that once graced Calgary and other cities. During the 1890s, many station agents voluntarily began beautifying their surroundings by planting flower gardens in an effort to cover the unsightly landscape left after construction. Railway officials encouraged the gardens and supplied agents with seed packets and instruction booklets. Friendly competition soon developed between agents vying for the best gardens.

Seeing that the stations were greatly improved by gardens, the C.P.R. Forestry Department was set up in 1908 to supply trees, shrubs, perennials and bulbs. As station gardens became company policy, the C.P.R. hired a horticulturalist and set up nurseries and green houses. With few exceptions, railway garden design was formal with paths, flowerbeds and other elements arranged in geometric patterns amid manicured lawns. During wartime, many railway gardens were turned over for food production. While some gardens lasted into the 1950s, most disappeared as the railway was eclipsed by other modes of travel and the lands used for parking lots or building sites.
 

 
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