High River Garden Tour The Maccoy Garden - Sheppard Family Park

"The Maccoy Garden is an example of a cottage garden, with a variety of perennials interspersed with annuals. The peonies survived the flood of 2013 and have been growing in place for many years. All other perennials have been replaced over the last three years.

For years, Ruth Maccoy supplied the Anglican Church with flowers all through the gardening season.

Gardening here is done by volunteers. We still have work to do at the back of the house. The soil is very heavy and in need of compost.

The Maccoy cabin was designated as a Provincial Historic Resource in October of 2015.

The Park is operated by volunteers and we welcome others to join.

Enjoy the garden."

One of the best things about the Maccoy Garden is - you can visit anytime! Open to the public 7 days a week.

High River Garden Tour 2021

According to the information out front of the cottage, this log cabin is the oldest home in High River having been built in 1883 by one Andy Bell.

The first thing that struck me when I visited, in addition to how the gardens had been recovered/rebuilt was the beautiful cornflowers.

Possibly because these wonderful blossoms constituted the majority of my wedding bouquet. I had known them as bachelor buttons but you may also know them as: garden cornflower, blue cap or blue bottles.

Follow the path around the grounds and you will not miss any of the wonderful plantings in this lovely garden.


What says cottage garden better than delphinium?



There are Martagon lilies, Day lilies and Siberian lilies for you to enjoy.

Clustered Bellflower

Had my campanula looked as good in my garden it would still be welcome. Perhaps I will have another go at it.

Cranesbill Geranium

I loved how parts of this plant poked through the pickets to show themselves off away the crowd inside.

False Sunflower

Around the Cottage

Out back you will find the garden shed where a volunteer hung their hat after some hours spent rebuilding and maintaining our local heritage.

Thank you all who come to work in these gardens.

The Rest of the Cast

As with a stage production, not everyone gets top billing so I've chosen to add the remaining members of the garden cast together.

Scarlet beebalm, Bergamot, Oswego tea, Crimson beebalm or Scarlet monarda

Opium poppy, Oilseed poppy, Wild opium poppy or Breadseed poppy


Pincushion plant, Dove pincushions, Lesser scabious or Pigeon's scabious

The orange collection - Blindeyes poppy, Gaillardia (blanket flower), Maltese cross and Siberian lily
Western Yarrow
Also Salvia
Allium, Maltese cross, Meadow buttercup, Pale giant hyssop, Peony, Pink alumroot, Pincushion plant, Rose campion, Stonecrop (Dragon's blood) and Zinnia

The Gardeners

Marj Starke began joining Mary Ann Dearing at the cottage three seasons ago in an effort to rebuild the garden originally created by Evelyn Maccoy and so loved by her daughter Ruth.

The effects of the flood have been far-reaching in the park and since it is totally reliant on volunteer manpower the recovery has been a labour of love. What an amazing job they have done. Anyone who would take on such a daunting task is worthy of our gratitude.

A few minutes after this photo was taken this is how I caught them.

Sheppard Family Park is constantly in need of volunteers - if you have a couple of hours a week you could share they would love to hear from you.

Until our next garden - stay safe, stay healthy.

Created By
Cathy Bennington


C. J. Bennington Fine Art Photography