Chris Byra: Mountain Gardening: Amateurs Building a Garden

Date: 7:30pm-10:00pm, Feb 14, 2018

Imagine the ultimate British Columbia garden.  It would be on a mountainside high above a mighty river with views to snow-covered peaks.  There would be gullies graced by rhododendrons and steep slopes with rocks retaining colourful perennials and rare trees. A large waterfall feeding a rippling stream winding through the garden would draw the eye to other delights hidden behind curving yew hedges. Gravel paths retained by rock walls would cling to the steep slopes and a huge tufa garden spotted with exquisite alpines would be a centrepiece.

Such a garden to take the breath away exists on the north slope of Chiiliwack Mountain overlooking the Fraser River. Chris and Jane Byra started their garden on a wooded lot in 2002 and have transformed it into an outstanding garden with an eclectic range of plants and superb design. As a dedicated rock gardener, Chris loves rock and has built winding trails with rock walls and extensive rock gardens. 

At the entrance to the 2.5 acre property is another massive rock garden with a huge leaning rock left the way it fell off the truck.  It now provides the perfect backdrop for Saxifraga longifolia, Lewisia tweedyi and other delightful rock plants. We had a club trip to visit the garden on May 14, 2016.  This presentation by Chris will describe how the garden was built with photos of the various stages of constructing the garden.