Description of Historic Place
The George Pegg Homestead and Botanic Garden is located on 5.13 hectares of land roughly 1.5 kilometres north of the Hamlet of Glenevis. The site includes 3 components: a garden, several farmstead buildings, and a prime boreal mixed-wood forest.
The heritage value of the George Pegg Homestead and Botanic Garden lies in its association with Mr. Pegg's prodigious contributions to the horticultural and botanical understanding of our province, particularly through his cultivation of a large garden of indigenous and exotic plants.
Shortly after his birth in 1910, George Pegg was brought by his parents from Ontario to western Canada. The family initially settled in the Red Deer area before relocating to the Glenevis area in 1913. Throughout his life, Pegg was a passionate observer of the natural world and developed an uncanny knowledge of the topography, flora, and fauna of his environment. As a young man, Pegg was an avid ornithologist; later in life, he developed a passionate interest in botany. He expressed his interest in flora through his remarkable garden, his herbarium of carefully pressed and dried specimens, and his work identifying Alberta's plant species. Pegg's garden contains a unique, eclectic assortment of indigenous and exotic plants, including the bristle cone pine and rare species of hawthorn, poplar, cedar, and juniper. In addition to the many living plants in his garden, Pegg also kept a substantial herbarium of preserved specimens that became a significant research resource for botanical scholars in Alberta. Entirely self-taught, he had an outstanding ability to remember and identify plant species he encountered. He was responsible for some of the first provincial identifications of several plants, including the great-spurred violet, the white angelica, mountain bladder ferns, and several bog plant species. Perhaps his most notable discovery was his identification of the bur-reed (sparganium glomeratum), a plant that had previously been found in only four other locations in North America. Through his efforts and expertise in identifying plants, observing their habitat and noting their distribution, Pegg enriched Dr. Ezra H. Moss' publication, The Flora of Alberta, by more than 100 species.
The George Pegg Homestead and Botanic Garden features several key elements. The garden offers a unique and beautiful selection of herb, shrub, and tree species. It represents one of the finest small-scale collections of domestic and non-native plants in the province. There are also a variety of farmstead buildings and structures, including a log home constructed in the late 1920s, a machine shed built circa 1950, an outhouse, a small building used as additional bedroom space, granaries, a sheep shed, a corral, a garage, a pumphouse, a windmill, and a weather station. The site also includes a prime boreal mixed-wood forest.
Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 1669)
The character-defining elements of the George Pegg Homestead and Botanic Garden include such features as:
- size and layout;
- continuous row of spruces on west side;
- fencing and gate;
- varieties of indigenous and exotic plants;
- garden stakes;
- George Pegg grave marker.
- materials, mass, form and style of all structures and buildings, including squared timber log house and white louvred weather station on stilts;
- practical, operational arrangement of buildings, corrals, and fields;
- original furnishings, fixtures, and artefacts on site, including coal stoves, garden records, and tools.
Boreal Mixed-Wood Forest:
- arrangement and species of trees.