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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., most 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.

Thurs Oct 10, 2019: 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.

Thursday March 12 2020: Mike Bone of Denver Botanic Gardens

Mike Bone, curator of the Steppe Collection at Denver Botanic Gardens, will give a presentation.  Title TBA, but he is a co-author of the book “Steppes: the plants and ecology of the owrl’s semi-arid regions”.  And yes, Calgary is located at the north end of the North American Steppe region.

Past Events

Thursday Sep 12 2019: Lawrence Harder on “Functional Beauty: How Flowers Work”

Lawrence Harder on Parker Ridge

Also – come early for the Last Chance Plant Sale! Lawrence Harder’s research has been in the area of plant pollination and reproductive ecology. He has travelled extensively and CRAGS has enjoyed his photos and accounts of plant hunting. This talk will give us some botanical background for the plants we enjoy. Lawrence is a CRAGS member whose extensive rock garden may see him more now that he has retired from the U of C.

Thursday June 13 2019: Marcela Ferreyra (Argentina), The Andean Range and its Flowers in Patagonia

We are delighted to welcome to CRAGS, Marcela Ferreya, who is a Biology Sciences Professor who lives and does botanical research in Patagonia, Argentina.  Marcela will speak to us on “The Andean range and its flowers in Patagonia”.

Her ground-breaking research has led to the publication of “High Mountain Flowers of the Patagonian Andes” – English and Spanish-(2006) and “High Mountain Flowers in Patagonia” -Spanish- (2018).  Marcela collaborated on “The Laws of the High Mountains” -Spanish- (2010); published several papers and articles about this flora; worked for National Park Administration surveying Flora and Vegetation in National Parks in Patagonia. In addition, Marcela published “Flowers of the Patagonian Steppe” -English and  Spanish- (2012). Recently she published a book about the Valdivian Forest: “Flowers of Puerto

Prof. Marcela Ferreyra, Argentina

Blest -Valdivian Forest” -Spanish- (2018).  Currently Marcela is working on: “Flowers of the Forest in Patagonia” and “Flowers of the Austral Monte”, both in Spanish. All of these publications feature her excellent photography.

Between 2005 and 2009 Marcela worked in a nursery trying to understand the cultivation of High Andean and Steppe Flowers and produce some protocol of cultivation. She helped in the establishment of a little nursery in the steppe, in the rural community of Pilcaniyeu. She also headed a project to recover the vegetation in a high mountain trail in Los Glaciares National Park in Santa Cruz. Between 2010 and 2017 she lead a group of students that constructed a small Botanic Garden at the Educational Institute.

Marcela has worked as an educator at all levels between 1982 until her retirement in 2018. She continues to teach wherever she travels.

Sunday April 7 and Sunday June 2, 2018: Workshop on Photography

Want to add visual impact to your photos? 

Carduncellus pinnatus in a Calgary garden

CRAGS is offering a two part workshop to help you capture stunning shots of your plants. From gardenscapes to closeup macro photography, information will be presented and practiced. Learn the tips and tricks to improve exposure, composition and focus. Learn what lenses and equipment to chose and how to work with the lighting conditions to get the results you want. Learn to achieve sharp focus and background blur. A garden setting will provide opportunities to photograph flowering plants with suggestions and assistance from a local camera club instructor. Content will be geared to a wide range of expertise and equipment. All that’s needed from participants is a good working knowledge of the device (cell phone or camera) that they will be using for the workshop.

This will include an indoor two hour presentation on Sunday, April 7 from 2-4 pm, covering exposure, depth of field, angle of view and composition, as well as a three hour session on Sunday, June 2 from 2-5 pm, to review techniques and take photographs at the Botanical Gardens of Silver Springs. Cost including both sessions is $50 for members and $70 for non-members.

Sign up by contacting secretary@crags.ca. Payment information and resource materials provided on registration.

Saturday June 1, 2019: CRAGS Plant Sale, 12 noon to 3:00pm

Open to the public.  We are pleased to again offer alpine and rock garden plants 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 and Martagon lilies will again make an appearance.  We have an assortment of styrofoam troughs for sale that have been crafted to look like rock material.  Bid on silent auction items.  More info on Plant Sale tab.

Thursday, May 9, 2019: David Sellars (Vancouver BC) on Photographing Alpine Plants, a Landscape Point of View

© David Sellars

David Sellars, from Vancouver BC, is well-known to CRAGS as a speaker and a key member of the Alpine Garden Club of BC.  David and his wife Wendy, are keen hikers, and their gardens received the NARGS Millstream Prize in 2012. In this talk, he will share insights into his approach to plant photography including camera selection, camera setup, and composition.  An example of his award-winning work can be found in the Summer 2012 NARGS Quarterly.

Thursday Apr 11, 2019: Ian Wilson/Jacinthe Lavoie, Wildflowers of the Canadian Rockies

© Ian Wilson

Authors and photographers Ian and Jacinthe have a new presentation on wildflowers, complete with music and narration. The show begins with the first flowers of spring, and moves on to bold blossoms, delicate gems, wild creatures enjoying flowers, and majestic mountain scenery of Jasper, Banff, and Waterton Parks. The presentation closes with autumn colours and the first snow as flowers complete their annual cycle.

Thursday Mar 14 2019: John Mitchell from Edinburgh Botanical Gardens

John Mitchell

John’s topic will be “Central Asian Plants:  Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan”. 

John Mitchell last visited CRAGS in 2010.  He is well-known as the Supervisor of the Alpine Department at the famed Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. He has been on botanical expeditions in China, Tibet, Iran, Central Asia, Siberia, and Alaska. We will hear about his recent travels in Central Asia where there are both steppe and alpine plants that should be hardy for our area.

Thursday Feb 14 2019: Diane Dalkin on “Reader Rock Garden”

A scene from Reader Rock Garden, 2016

Diane will discuss Reader Rock Garden’s history from its start in 1913, to the glory days, its slow demise, re-development and the designation last year as a National Historic Site.  Such a rich history deserves to be revisited, and she’ll also discuss the noteworthy plant inventory in this three-acre garden.  CRAGS and some of our members contributed to the re-development of the Gardens. Diane is president of the Friends of Reader Rock Garden Society.