Welcome to SPARQ-QARGS web site, the site of the Quebec Alpine and Rock Garden Society.

QARGS was founded in April 2000.  Its activities take place mainly at the Montreal Botanical Garden which is one of its partner societies.  QARGS is also a chapter of NARGS (North American Rock Garden Society) a major American society with thousands of members throughout the world.

The purpose of QARGS is to encourage Quebec gardeners, both novice or experienced, to become familiar with alpine flora and all that it encompasses.

A better understanding of these plants and a greater knowledge of their specific needs will doubtless lead to improved diversity in members’ gardens and will help them to develop skills in growing these specialized plants.

The rock garden  has been a traditional garden feature in many gardens of Quebec.  It is defined by as many concepts as the number of gardeners who have built them.  Each had his own vision of what should or should not be included in their rock garden.    Nevertheless, Quebec gardeners generally agree on a basic structure with rocks set in such a way as to represent a sloping garden that simulates a natural alpine environment. The next step is to use  associated rock garden plants with dwarf conifers, flowers and shrubs in an ultimate attempt to replicate a particular scene from the natural habitat of a mountain.

Alpine plants have long been of interest to gardeners throughout the world.  There are important specialized societies in Scotland, England, the Czech and Slovak Republics and the United States.  The diversity of plants found in the mountains are unique and awe-inspiring to anyone observing them.   It is amazing to see the adaptations alpines develop to allow them to survive and thrive despite the harsh conditions at high altitudes.

Gardening has become the second most important leisure activity in Quebec.  As a result,  gardeners are looking at rock gardens differently and are including species that were up to now underused here.

Gardeners are increasingly searching for rare species adapted to Quebec gardens and will search for interesting novelties.  These interesting plants are, however, not always available in local nurseries, since they are produced by specialists.  At the moment there are still few nurseries which can meet the demand.  Growing alpines takes time and patience, which makes them unpopular to most perennial plant nurserymen

Happily from now on, however, with a specialized society like QARGS we can expect this situation to improve.  QARGS is now active and will help gardeners get together, promote interest and provide information on alpine and rock garden plants.  This in turn will stimulate the local nurseries and specialized growers to meet a new demand.  QARGS wants to set up services to meet the needs of its members.

 Let’s take advantage of it!

Board members 2018-2019

PresidentRené Giguère
Vice-président Charles Charron
TreasurerColette Lemay
SecretaryChloé Courtemanche
Administrators Luana Boulanger
Pauline Doucet
Rock Giguère
Majella Larochelle
Chantal Berthiaume