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Upcoming Events

Monthly meetings are usually the second Thursday of the month, except July, August, and December. Meeting Social (beverages & snacks available, a chance to meet and talk with fellow gardeners) at 6:30 p.m., meetings begin at 7:30 p.m.

Meetings are held at the Lakeview Community Association Hall (see map), 6110 – 34th Street SW, parking is free.

Thursday, February 8, 2018: Members’ Photo Night

We would love to see our fellow members’ photos from the last year or two, or your mini-talk about a garden topic! If you’ve had some great hiking or travelling, please show us the wildflowers and scenery. If you have a favourite garden plant or technique, please bring photos. Pictures of gardens – yours or others’ – are always welcome, whether established or under construction. Please let Linda know what you are bringing (vp@crags.ca) and either bring your photos on a memory stick or email them to her.  For non-members, this talk is $5.

Thursday, March 8, 2018: Rob Staniland “So you want to build a rock garden in Calgary …”

Based on Rob’s experiences with his own gardens, his incessant questioning of many other local gardeners, and also experiences at the recent crevice garden project in Silver Springs, Rob will talk about materials and techniques specific to Calgary.  He will cover planning, styles, costs, materials, and construction, all aimed at dealing with the particular requirements of rock garden plants.  For non-members, this talk is $5.

Thursday, April 12, 2018: Julia Corden (Scotland) “Plants of Wengen and the Bernese Oberland”

Feast your eyes on the wonderful carpets of wildflowers and the magnificent scenery of Switzerland.  Many of our prized rock garden plants such as Trumpet Gentian come from the European Alps, and Julia Corden has led botanizing trips in this area.

Julia Corden is Manager of the Explorers Garden in Pitlochry, Scotland, which specializes in the plants brought from around the world and introduced into horticulture by such explorers as Menzies, Douglas, Lyall, and Forrest. Julia trained at the Edinburgh Botanical Gardens, achieving her diploma in horticulture. Following work in New Zealand, plant hunting travels through Hawaii, Delhi and Bangkok and restoration work on an East Sussex estate, she returned to Scotland to take over management of Explorers. She also leads botanical tours and explores for plants in many areas, most recently Bhutan.  For non-members, this talk is $10.

Thursday May 10: Jay Akerley (Vancouver) “Western Cordillera Plants for the Western Canadian Garden”

Jay will discuss montane and great basin plants from the Southern Rockies to Western Canada. He’ll focus on genera native and familiar to us in Western Canada, such as Penstemon, Eriogonum, Castilleja and the hardy cacti, etc – but with the added twist of the many additional hardy species and forms in the Southern Rockies and Great Basin.

Jay Akerley is a rock and alpine gardening enthusiast with gardens in both Greater Vancouver and high on the Thompson Plateau in BC’s Interior. His background is in geography and horticulture. He collects seed in rugged environments across Western North America, for seed exchanges , his own gardens, and those of specialized growers around the world. He has published ten articles in various journals, and participated as a volunteer with the North American Rock Garden Society, Alpine Garden Club of BC and other gardening clubs.

Past Events

Thursday, Jan 11, 2018: Annual Potluck Supper, and Irena Burns “Czech International Rock Garden Conference”

CRAGS member Irena travelled to Prague in May 2017 for this outstanding conference, which included talks and many garden tours of the incomparable Czech gardens.  Czech gardeners have led the rock gardening world with their approach to crevice-style gardens.  Irena will share her photos and impressions of her wonderful trip with her envious friends!  For non-members, this talk is $5.

Thursday, November 9: Annual General Meeting, followed by Shawn Hillis “Cypripedium Culture”

Shawn Hillis will show us some of the wonderful species and hybrid Lady-Slipper Orchids that will grow in our area, and discuss how to plant and care for these gems in Calgary gardens. For over a decade, Shawn has operated his nursery Garden Slippers in Calgary, specializing in hardy orchids, particularly Cypripedium. Among other awards, the Canadian Orchid Congress has honoured Shawn with a career achievement award for his efforts in bringing these plants into cultivation.  For non-members, this talk is $5.

Thursday, October 12: Tony Reznicek (Michigan) “Kissing Cousins and Family Skeletons: Rock Garden Plants and Modern Evolutionary Studies”

Are you curious (even frustrated) about changes to the scientific names of plants? Tony Reznicek will discuss how the name changes illuminate how plants evolved and how they are related. He’ll talk about interesting breakthroughs allowing us to use the genes of plants for classifying them, and the basic principles of classifying and naming plants. This will be illustrated by varied examples of classic and unusual rock garden plants, and their re-classification.

Tony is a past president of NARGS and a Research Scientist at the University of Michigan. His research interests include the classification and evolution of sedges, and the geographic distribution of plants of the Great Lakes region. He contributes many plant photos to the NARGS website, and travels extensively to study plants from Alaska to Chile. He gardens in Ann Arbor Michigan.  For non-members, this talk is $10.

Thursday, September 14: Marilyn Mayall “Wildflowers of Western Australia”

LAST CHANCE PLANT SALE!  6:30 pm – 7:15 pm. Outside, weather permitting.

Marilyn is a CRAGS member with a longstanding interest in wildflowers and is a native of the east coast of Australia. This trip was the result of a long standing wish to see some of the unique flora of Western Australia. This not very intrepid road trip was along the coast of Western Australia from the Pilbara in the north to Perth in the south. In August 2016 the early spring flowers were open and a relatively good rainfall in the previous (winter) months ensured that there was a good sample of the amazingly diverse and unusual genera of this botanically rich part of the world.  For non-members, this talk is $5.

Thursday, June 15: Jiri Papousek, Czech Alpine Gardening Methods

Please note this is the third Thursday of the month. Jiri will talk about the design and cultivation of alpines in various types of rock gardens, and also about his experiences with Daphnea and Saxifrages, which are good plants for our local gardens. Jiri is a key organizer of the 2016 Czech Rock Garden Conference in May 2017 and an active member of several rocks gardening clubs. He has explored various mountain areas in Europe and Iran, and worked with many of the famed Czech rock gardeners. For non-members, this talk is $10.

Saturday, June 3: Plant Sale, 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Invite a friend! We are pleased to again offer alpine and rock garden plants and materials for sale. Plants suitable for various environments will be available; whether rock garden, alpine bed, or container.  Many of these plants are not available at local garden centers.  Our special home grown tomato plants will again make an appearance.

Thursday, May 11: Members’ Photo Night

Invite a friend! This month’s meeting will be a kaleidoscope and eclectic mixture of different topics. We are looking forward to seeing our fellow members’ photos from the last year or two, or your mini-talk about a garden topic! If you’ve had some great hiking or traveling, please show us the wildflowers and scenery. If you have a favorite garden plant or technique, please bring photos. Pictures of gardens – yours or others’ – are always welcome, whether established or under construction. Please let Linda know what you are bringing (lvaxvick@telus.net or 403-239-9434). Either bring your photos on a memory stick or email them to her. Doesn’t have to be a Powerpoint presentation. Can be as simple as your ten favorite pictures.

April 13th: Growing Pains: lessons from the botanic gardens at Olds College

April 13th 7:15
Growing Pains: lessons from the botanic gardens at Olds College
By Jane Reksten

This talk will introduce you to the wonderful gardens at Olds College, and illustrate some of the lessons learned. The 15-year-old part of the garden still exhibits great character and a solid plant collection but needs some tweaking with a disciplined hand to keep it focused and vibrant.

A Talk for Botanists

March 19, 2017
A Talk for Botanists
By Lori Skulski

Our speaker, Lori Skulski will talk about Wildflowers and Hikes in the Rockies. Lori will show us some photos from some of her favorite wildflower hikes in Kananaskis and Banff. Since retiring in fall of 2014, she has had the opportunity to get out hiking twice a week and to enjoy the season from start to finish, and through a range of elevations. Aside from hiking, Lori is a CRAGS member with an interest in identifying our native plants and in growing alpines from all over. She is a respected plant expert on the NARGS website

Open Gardens

Starting April 30, 2017

A schedule of members’ gardens open for visits will be sent to members this spring.