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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.

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, 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 June 13 2019: Marcela Ferreyra from Patagonia, topic TBA

We are delighted to welcome to CRAGS, Marcela Ferreya is a Biology Sciences Professor who live and does botanical research in Patagonia, Argentina.

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 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.

Prof. Marcela Ferreyra, Argentina

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

Past Events

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.

Thursday Jan 10 2019: Annual Potluck supper and Newfoundland report

Cypripedium reginae in Newfoundland, © Patti O’Keefe

Join us at 6:30pm for our annual potluck supper.  After supper, various CRAGS members and friends will show us photos from their 2017 trip to Newfoundland for the annual meeting of the North American Rock Garden Society.  Some members participated in a guided post-conference tour of the western penninsula, which has unique geology and interesting endemic flora.  All will show us highlights from gardens and outings of the conference and from other places in Newfoundland they visited.

Thursday Nov 8, 2018: AGM and Joan Ganley on “Sunnylands, a Desert Oasis for Everyone”

Short AGM will start at 7:00 pm before speaker presentation.  Members please attend so we have quorum.

Are you already bracing for winter?! Join us as we explore Sunnylands Center & Gardens in Rancho Mirage (Palm Springs), California. Not only a garden oasis in the desert (thanks to a variety of irrigation technologies), Sunnylands is rich with historical significance, and a stunning example of mid-century modern architecture, making it a popular destination for locals and visitors from around the globe. If you’re in Palm Springs, you won’t want to miss this desert jewel.

Joan is a CRAGS member with eclectic interests in gardening and a real knack for garden design.


Sun Sep 23: Planning and Planting at BGSS

On Sunday Sep 23, 10am to 2pm, please come to the Crevice Garden and Native Plants Gardens at the Botanical Gardens of Silver Springs (BGSS) for an informative planting session.  (Due to anticipated snow on Saturday, email was sent out moving date to Sunday)

We will be assessing and strategizing about future planting needs, possibly moving some plants, planting new contributions in the gardens, and dividing some contributions to place in the nursery beds for next year. Many rock garden planting skills to be learned and practised — come and share techniques with your fellow club members!

Remember to bring your gloves, knee-pads, hat/sunscreen, favourite shovel and trowel, lawnchair and lunch. We will break for lunch at noon. Alternate date in case of bad weather will be Sat Sep 22.

Please email vp@crags.ca if you’re coming. We will provide coffee, tea and juice.

DIrections: Off Crowchild Trail in the NW, take the Silver Springs Gate / Sarcee Trail exit and continue on to Silver Springs Gate. Turn right at the first set of traffic lights onto Silver Springs Boulevard and then take the first right at the lights at the end of the shopping mall, onto Silver Springs Drive.
Follow Silver Springs Drive around the bend to the left. Take the second right turn, not including alleys, onto 62 Avenue.  It ends in about 130 meters at a T with an alley.  Turn left/north onto the alley, and you will have houses on the left and the Silver Springs garden on the right.  Continue up the alley about 200 meters to an open sloping lawn.  The Crevice Garden is east across the sloping lawn and is adjacent to the bike path.  Please do not park directly across from someone’s garage.  If there is no space to park on the grass, continue a few more meters till you see a paved road on your left taking you to Silver Springs Way, and park on that short paved road.

(From the parking lot east of Silver Springs Drive near the ball diamonds, It’s about a six minute walk north up the trail to our site).

Thurs Sep 13: Last Chance Plant Sale at 6:30pm

Do you have plants to sell, trade or give away? Are you looking for something to fill one more spot in the garden? The Last Chance Plant Sale will be held prior to the September meeting. Weather permitting, we will set up outdoors. If you’ll be selling plants, remember to bring your own float, and please consider donating a plant to the raffle.  Sale will start at 6:30pm and clean up needs to be done by 7pm as our main meeting starts at 7:15pm.

Thursday Sep 13, 2018: Chris Gardner(UK) “Alpine Plants of the Silk Road”

Chris Gardner is a British botanist, photographer, and tour guide who co-authored “Flora of the Silk Road” in 2014 with his wife Basak. He guides and arranges botanical tours throughout Turkey, near and Central Asia, China, Chile, Morocco, Borneo and many other countries, having led over a hundred tours. Chris will show us some of the best flowers and how the plants change along the regions of the ancient Silk Road from Turkey to China. (See www.viranatura.com and www.chrisgardnerphotography.com ).
Following this presentation, if time permits, Chris will also present a 20-minute talk on photographing flowers in the wild.

Meeting begins at 7:15pm for announcement with speaker at 7:30pm.  Come early for refreshments and plant sale, and to renew your membership!

Gentiana arethusae in NW Yunnan, China  ©Chris Gardner


Sun June 10, 2018: Workshop on Planting Troughs

Now that you have a trough, how can you plant it so that the plants are happy and the design is dramatic?  This will mostly be a demonstration unless you can transport your own trough to the workshop.
Instructor: Rob Staniland and others
Cost:  $25 members, $35 non-members
Location: Bearspaw
Time:  1:00pm to 4:00pm
Contact: president@crags.ca