Reader Rock Garden – Calgary, Alberta - Atlas Obscura

Reader Rock Garden

A Victorian garden in a harsh climate at the border of the prairies and foothills of the Canadian Rockies. 


As you leave the busy street or the Stampede grounds you will be surprised to find a quiet oasis hidden from sight.  A large stand of conifers, planted as a windbreak, hides the beauty within. Follow the winding pathway upwards stepping on rocks gathered from across Canada. The once-barren hillside is crammed with uncommon flowers and huge trees. A trickling brook winds down the hill adding a  soundtrack to the visual display.  You might even glimpse one of the resident creatures. 

William Roland Reader was the Superintendent of Calgary Parks, Cemeteries & Recreation from 1913 to 1942. Strolling through the garden, you will experience a lovingly recreated landscape including the thousands of plants that he collected.  

The garden was rehabilitated according to Reader’s original plans and catalogs of some 4,000 plants.Reader Rock Garden was conferred with national historic site status in March 2018. Its plants are in bloom from mid-April to October but you are welcome all year round from sunrise to sunset. Reader’s reconstructed arts and crafts style house operates as a café during the blooming season.

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December 28, 2021

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