Five Calgary gardens to enjoy (before you can actually get out into your own)

Spring has officially arrived, but if your green thumbs are still languishing beneath fuzzy woollen mittens and you’re looking for a peaceful garden setting to relax in until you can do some planting, why not check out these special green spaces in the city of Calgary?


The Winter Garden at Jamieson Place
308 4 Ave. S.W. (off the Plus 15)
Located in a 38-storey office building, the Winter Garden is a quiet oasis from downtown activity. Sit with a cup of coffee near the infinity pool or the biowalls rich with greenery. A special bonus: the gorgeous glass Dale Chihuly sculptures suspended from the ceiling.
Admission: Free

The ENMAX Conservatory at the Calgary Zoo
1300 Zoo Road N.E.
This is a plant-lovers paradise, particularly when the wind is blowing and cold rain (or snow) is falling outside. The Conservatory is stuffed to the rafters with hundreds of different species of exotic plants and is guaranteed to take away the chill. You won’t ever want to leave.
Admission: regular Zoo admission prices

On days when the temperatures are mild and you don’t mind a little slush, why not walk through an outdoor garden? Sure, you won’t see the blooms you would during the summer, but you can still wander through quiet pathways, admire the trees, or watch for birds.

The Botanical Gardens of Silver Springs
Northeast part of the community of Silver Springs
This impressive 20-acre garden is completely maintained by volunteers and is spectacular to tour during the growing season. Although slightly less colourful during this time of year, it is an especially great place to take your children or walk the dog (off-leash). The flat terrain makes for an easy trek, and the gardens are also the site of one of the City of Calgary’s Birthplace Forests.
Admission: Free

Senator Patrick Burns Memorial Rock Gardens
800, 12 Street N.W. (N.E. quadrant of Riley Park)
Built in the 1950s, this multi-level garden is named for one of the founders of the Calgary Stampede. The rocky slopes may not be suitable for strollers, and walkers should watch their footing if there is ice, but this is a beautiful space to take in a view of downtown or spend a few minutes enjoying nature.
Admission: Free (some paid parking)

The Dorothy Harvie Gardens at the Calgary Zoo
1300 Zoo Road N.E.
This six-acre garden shouldn’t be overlooked while on a trip to the Zoo. Designed, in part, to trial new species of plants for our cold climate, the garden is a great spot for a stroll, even with a bit of snow cover. Imagine all that life in the soil, just getting ready to wake up!
Admission: Regular Zoo admission prices

(Photo of the biowall at Jamieson Place by Sheryl Normandeau.)

Sheryl Normandeau is a Calgary writer. She blogs at and may also be found @Flowery_Prose on Twitter.