Produced by Jesse Yardley
Just minutes from downtown – at the foot of Cemetery Hill – is a hidden oasis of nature called Reader Rock Garden. A City of Calgary parks superintendent, William Roland Reader, was the visionary behind the garden. Reader worked for the city from 1913 until 1942. For 30 years Reader experimented with thousands of plants, turning what was once a barren hillside into one of western Canada’s most important gardens. The garden, which was restored in 2006, is now classified as a Provincial Historic Resource. A wonderful array of flowers and plants can be seen throughout the growing season, but the park is most spectacular in spring. As the seasons change visitors come to enjoy a beverage at the Reader’s Garden Café or to take in the sights. It’s not uncommon to see couples getting married, students celebrating graduation or children laughing and playing on the lawn just outside the café. In autumn, the park transforms. Warm light filters down through the leaves and the stone pathways are littered with yellow and orange fallen leaves. Whether you’re a photographer, painter, gardener or just someone that enjoys nature, the Reader Rock Garden is one of Calgary’s most beautiful destinations and well worth a visit.