The new Aga Khan Garden, near Edmonton, in the Canadian province of Alberta, is the largest garden in North America to interpret the landscape traditions of Islam.
For centuries, gardens have symbolized a spiritual ideal in Muslim culture. They are places “where the human meets further proof of the divine,” the Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, has said in speeches on the subject, “and where the ingenuity of humanity and the beauty of nature are productively connected.”
Sponsored by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, the 12-acre project within the University of Alberta Botanic Garden (UABG) is intended to foster intercultural dialogue and understanding.
From the garden’s entry court, a woodland walkway makes a quiet beginning, passing a lozenge-shaped black granite pool that reflects the sky, and stands of wild roses, Alberta’s emblematic flower, that bloom among the trees. Emerging from the forest, the path climbs to a shaded terrace, or talar, that overlooks a four-part court, or chahar bagh, together forming the most structured and identifiably Islamic part of the garden. A limestone colonnade the length of the talar supports a series of orange tensile canopies, whose vibrant glow contrasts with the forest backdrop.
Read more about this beautiful garden (with pictures) at the source: Aga Khan Garden