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History of the Gardens - How it all began ...
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The Botanical Gardens of Silver Springs is without doubt one of the Seven Wonders of Calgary, Alberta. It boasts 20 000 square feet of gardens which includes a spectacular Wall Garden that runs an uninterrupted 1300 feet. In the gardens you will find an endless variety of annuals and perennials ranging from artemisias to zinnias. Here indeed is a place to stop and smell the roses and the peonies and the delphiniums and the chrysanthemums and the …

What makes these gardens so very special is that they were created and continue to be maintained by a band of green-thumbed enthusiastic volunteers. These hale and hearty diggers, planters, seeders, weeders, mowers, waterers, pruners and community builders work two to three mornings a week to keep the gardens in primrose shape and their efforts are truly appreciated by the many walkers, joggers, and cyclists.


Photo courtesy of Brenda Forsey

On any given day, hundreds of people walk the wall garden with their families, friends and out-of-town visitors. It has become a treasured destination site for many.

 


For anyone who has spent time in the gardens, it is hard to believe that they have only been here since 2006 when a humble ornamental garden (400 square feet) was developed within the existing BirthPlace Forest tree beds.

The BPF, by the way, saw 7000 trees planted in the area. The project was accomplished through a partnership of BP Energy, Calgary Parks, Regional Health and Golden Acres.

 

In the following year, 2007, the Oval Garden was developed with the participation of Calgary Parks. This ornamental garden is  about 3200 square feet. At the same time, the Wall Garden got its humble start when William Morf, a resident whose property backed onto the noise barrier got the idea to develop about a hundred feet of garden along the wall.

This “little” idea eventually blossomed into the current 1300 foot long spectacular Wall Garden.

 


Photo of Oval Garden courtesy of Brenda Forsey





Photo courtesy of Brenda Forsey

Since then, a registered charitable society has been formed, whose directors not only oversee the development of many new gardens and expanded beds but continue to do much of the work – joined of course by the tireless and dedicated volunteers.

It should be noted that the total number of accumulated volunteer hours that have gone into the Botanical Gardens of Silver Springs is verging on being astronomical.

And the work continues.  

 






If you've never experienced the joy
of accomplishing more
than you can imagine,
plant a garden. 

          - Robert Brault

 

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To find out more about the history of the Gardens, check out this article written by Cathie Lank and published in the Calgary Horticultural Society magazine:

Silver Springs Botanical Gardens
 (used by permission of Cathie Lank)