Fair thoughts and happy hours attend you!
Today I explored the Silver Springs Botanical Gardens, a narrow stretch of land bordered by two busy roads on one side and a ball diamond on the other (watch for fly balls!). This land was originally the site of the 2002 BP Birthplace Forest, one of nine groves planted by the City of Calgary to honour every baby born from 2001 to 2009. Then in 2006, neighbourhood volunteers planted the very first garden within this forest, and the project has grown ever since.
Packed within its 1350 square meters are twelve distinct planted areas, from a rose garden to an edible fruit grove, to a spectacular wall garden that runs for 1300 uninterrupted feet. Each space is unique and beautiful but one of the highlights for me was the Labyrinth, a brick pathway separated by a thick ground cover of tiny purple flowers. Based on the design in Chartes Cathedral, this winding pathway invites you to step away from your usual busyness and take the time to follow the twists and turns that eventually take you to the center, and then back again. As I entered into this walking meditation, I enjoyed a quietness and wakefulness that often eludes me in my daily life.
|One of the more famous members|
of the "Shakespeare Garden."
Further along the main pathway I found the Shakespeare Garden, filled with the flowers and herbs referenced in the bard's work. Each plant has its own special place, and is accompanied by an identification tag and a quote. They've planted everything from the famous rose to violets and onions and even "weeds".
|A sculpture standing guard |
over the "Shade Garden".
Scattered throughout the gardens are benches, sculptures and messages of welcome which enhance the peacefulness of this space. Many thanks to the folks who have offered their time and money to plant and nurture this space - it is truly a gift to the citizens of Calgary and a lovely place to spend an afternoon!
More more information, including a schedule of Garden Lectures, visit: http://www.botanicalgardensofsilversprings.ca/history.htm