We have again made a lot of
progress in improving the garden and forest area. Our established
gardens all looked great this year. We benefited from a large supply
of annuals from Calgary Parks Adopt a Park program and a supply of
new perennials from Greenview Nursery. In our developing areas we
have done a lot of clean-up of weeds and some tree and edge trimming
to complement the city maintenance work that has been done. We have
also been busy the last few years actively planting flowering
shrubs, bulbs and fruit trees throughout the area. The impact from
this planting will be a few years down the road.
The City of Calgary is participating in the prestigious national
Gardens in Bloom program this year. They used our gardens as one of
the city sites for submission to the program. When the judges came
by, they were very impressed and hopefully we will be recognized in
this national judging program.
We now have a quite a bit of mechanical equipment that makes the
volunteersí jobs a little easier and we don't have to rely on our
own vehicles. In addition to the riding lawnmower and gator we
bought in the fall, we have acquired a used quad thanks to a
donation from Harley Anderson, an individual who grew up in Silver
Springs and was an employee working on the original planting of the
forest in 2002. We also had donated a heavy duty roto-tiller by Tim
Barrett another resident of Silver Springs.
This summer has been extremely hot and dry. It has become obvious to
us that our most pressing need is improved irrigation to our
plantings. Our first major irrigation system was a drip system along
the wall (our largest flower bed.) The drip system hasn't worked too
well for us as we are actively in these beds too much and we are
constantly causing damage to the system. We have set aside some
funds and will be doing a lot of work on irrigation next year.
We can always use more volunteer help. As those of you who garden
know, there is always something more that can be done. We held a
cleanup day on Sept. 15 with many volunteers who met at the gardens
to lend a hand for whatever time they could spare. For next year we
will schedule a couple work days where casual volunteers will be
welcome to drop in and lend a helping hand without the obligation to
become a regular volunteer. Please contact Duncan Badger 403-286-
to discuss volunteering or sponsorship opportunities.
Our core funding needs are supported by our many individual donors
and our Corporate sponsors who include:
Blue Grass Garden Centre (partner)
Silver Springs Community Association (Platinum)
Bow Valley Tree Services
MacKenzie Financial Corp. and
Duncan Badger (Gold)
Crowfoot Plates (Silver)
J.T. Hay & Leona Hamilton
Silver Springs Liquor Store
While the funding is coming in we
are also doing a good job of adding infrastructure so we are still
in need of more funding. Remember your donation is tax deductible,
100% is spent on operations and we get matching funding from the
For next year we will run a "Friends of the Gardens" program. We are
looking for friends to join us for a minimum tax deductible
financial contribution of $25. Your contribution will help our
ongoing funding and you will become eligible for contractor pricing
at Blue Grass Nurseries (our corporate partner). This gets you
shrubs and trees for 30% off.
Doug & Lorna Stevens
"Ace" the dog
Tim Barrett - Rototiller
Harley Anderson - Quad
By the time you
read this, our gardens will be on their last legs as the
cooler nights warn the plants that fall is here. We hope that you
have seen our work and appreciate what a great addition it is to the
important factor to our gardens is the number of volunteer hours
that have been contributed. We can use as little or as much of your
time as you are willing to contribute. Those of us who spend a lot
of time volunteering view this as a hobby and not work. You are out
in the fresh air, meeting people all the time, getting some exercise
and creating a great public space. We have scheduled work times
three mornings a week and we have many miscellaneous jobs that could
be done at your convenience.
Our other key success factor is funding. Thanks to our
many sponsors, we have been able to
complete many projects this year. However, we plan on adding more
infrastructure so there is an on-going need for more funding.
Laurel and Tom preparing a new garden
Our newest sponsor is Greenview
Nurseries who donated three truckloads of plants in July. They have
a nice retail garden center on their property west of Chestermere
Lake. Most of their perennials are grown locally and are of
excellent quality for a great price. You are encouraged to check
them out at
The big news is that Blue Grass Nursery and Garden Centre has agreed
to become our partner. Besides a substantial yearly contribution to
the Gardens, Blue Grass has agreed to offer all Community
Association members a 10% discount on garden materials and other
specific specials. Furthermore, all garden volunteers can make
purchases through our garden contractor account which is much more
than the 10% to Community members. And that is another good reason
to become a volunteer.
August 2012: The picture on the front page of the Silver
Springs Spirit (to the
left) is our Rose and Old Post Garden which you can see is very
close to the intersection of Crowchild Trail and Silver Springs
Gate (formerly Sarcee Trail).
To get to the top end of our
garden you turn north off Silver Springs Boulevard on Silver
Springs Drive and then right on Silver Springs Crescent to the top
where you will see our shed beside the LDS Property.
The big news on our funding side is that Blue Grass Nursery and
Garden Centre has agreed to become our partner on this project.
This involves an in kind commitment from them of $5000 a year.
Blue Grass has agreed to offer all Community Association members
a 10% discount on garden materials and they will selectively
offer other specials. For all garden volunteers they will allow
the individuals to make purchases
through our garden contractor account which is much more than
the 10% to Community members. So, if you were thinking of coming
out to help us, this gives you another good reason to do so.
Our garden volunteers have been very busy this year and you will see
a lot of additions since last year. In the tree bed beside the tennis
Courts, we have pretty well cleaned out the quack grass, planted several
fruit trees and installed a picnic bench that was funded by Silver
Springs Block Watch. Beside the Oval Garden, which is behind the
Baseball Diamond home run fence, we added a little shade garden with
mainly Hostas. We haven't had good luck with them because of a late
frost and then a severe hail storm. Well, for sure it will look better
next year. Then all along our wood chip path we have been actively
spreading new mulch. We have likely received 100 loads already this
year. Also, throughout the forest area we have planted another 200
flowering shrubs which will look great in a few years when they mature.
BP Forest Donation
A big THANK YOU goes out
to the following for their donations
to the upkeep and improvement
of the BirthPlace Forest Gardens:
Kathlyn & Dom Saliani
Bob & Laurel Caddel
Next to the Baseball Diamond, our new Shed/Work Shop is rapidly going
up thanks to our construction crew headed by Ron Treleven. It may look
quite large, but we are worried that we will be too crowded inside as we
need to store our new garden equipment and have an area to work in.
you move up the forest, you
will see our next project in progress - a large Labyrinth that will be
constructed with 4000 paving stones donated by the University of
A little further up the forest you will see our Drinking Fountain that
is now in place near the top of the forest. The funds for this were
raised by several dog owners who wanted a water source for their pets.
We didn't raise the full amount so we could still use donations for this
At the top end of the
paved pathway we have added 20 more Spruce which were moved by hand. We
are also doing ground preparation to expand the Rose garden and create
an additional shrub bed. Along the wall we widened the whole 1300 foot
bed by 15 inches to allow more space for our plantings.
And finally our last new project that is well underway is the
Shakespeare garden. You will see Shakespearian quotes in many places
along the wall and in the shrub beds behind our sandstone garden. This
project is funded by Dom & Kathy Saliani.
We think this is going to be a great theme garden area.
I would say we have been quite busy improving things so you can see why
we are always asking for more volunteers.
If you are interested in helping out, call
Duncan Badger (286-9631) or email email@example.com
On the donation side we can always use more funds as we want to add nice
hardscaping that does not come cheap. Please remember your donation is
tax deductible and with the provincial matching we get almost two
dollars for each dollar donated. As our project is 100% volunteer run
there is no overhead cost to be absorbed.
"This garden has a world of pleasures in it."