Silver Springs Spirit Article Archives





Garden Photos

2012        2011






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- 9631, duncanbadger@shaw.ca, 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)
Calgary Parks
Bow Valley Tree Services
Fidelity Investments
Greenview Nurseries

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 Provincial Government.

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.


BP Forest
Thank You's

Christine Caddel
Anneisa Lauchlan
Doug & Lorna Stevens
"Ace" the dog
Ardith Birchall
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 community.

The most 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 bed


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 www.greenviewnurseries.ca.

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


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
Thank You's

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
(Shakepeare Garden)

Bob & Laurel Caddel

Elena Tzanco


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.

As 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 Calgary.

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 purpose.

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  duncanbadger@shaw.ca

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."
- Shakespeare