Garden Photos

2012        2011




Our Official photographer is Brenda Forsey.

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Chartres Labyrinth created in Silver Springs

Click here for video with commentary.

Labyrinths are ancient, powerful, transformative tools used for meditation and contemplation.

They are found in many cultures throughout the world and date back 4000 years.

Duncan Badger had a deep desire to build a labyrinth in the Silver Springs Birthplace Forest for about 5 years before he began.


After choosing a suitable site within the forest he began in the summer of 2011 by covering the area with plastic and tarp to kill the grass. Because this didnít have the desired effect he wanted, 4 inches of wood chip was added on top of this to stop any light from penetrating below.

Eleven months later the wood chip and plastic was removed only to find the quack grass was alive and thriving. Duncan then began roto-tilling down approximately 4 inches to chop up the roots.

This shredded about 98% of the roots and they were raked out. He was fortunate enough to have a heavy duty roto-tiller donated to him by Tim Barrett.

He then began laying the bricks to create an eleven circuit labyrinth known as a Chartres Labyrinth originating from France.

These interlocking bricks were primarily donated by the University of Calgary and required 6 trips by volunteers to bring them to the site. Some of the bricks and the concrete bench for the centre were rescued from a home demolition in Parkdale.

The bricks were laid directly on the existing dirt with the garden spacing filled in with compost broken down from our garden material. Here, garden volunteers planted thyme. Most of these cuttings came from the Badgerís backyard and the rest from existing thyme within the Silver Springs gardens.

The rest of the thyme will be planted in the spring of 2013. When this is all planted and the thyme eventually matures and blooms a lovely display of purple should encircle the labyrinth.

Just in front of the labyrinth are two large planters purchased from the U of C and put together by Tom Mayhew. Also, by the labyrinth is a new arbour constructed by Rick Metzger.

The labyrinth is 60 feet in diameter and approximately 5000 interlocking bricks were used.

The total path length is about 1200 feet.

The total cost to date is less than $500.

Future enhancement plans include:

-  Some decorative work to give the labyrinth a true    Chartres look

-  Additional planting both within and surrounding the Labyrinth

-  Two more arbours

-  A connecting pathway to the central forest path


To our knowledge our labyrinth is Calgaryís largest permanent outdoor labyrinth.

In the past months many walkers in the forest have let us know how they are embracing the idea of having this special place to walk and meditate within our community.
         - B.B.


Check back next spring for new photos showing the finishing touches on the labyrinth.





"The greatest gift
of the garden
is the restoration
of the five senses."

- Hanna Rion

"This garden has a world of pleasures in it."
- Shakespeare