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Gardeners' Corner at the

Calgary Horticultural Society

Creating Resiliency in the Garden—Member Talk and Seed Share on Thursday!
Thursday, February 6, 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Haysboro Community Association, 1204 89 Avenue SW
Speaker: Elaine Rude
Cost: Free for members, $10 for non-members (cash at the door). Registration is not required.

Exceptional garden plantings instill in us a sense of being immersed in nature. They can evoke strong emotional responses allowing us to experience the garden with mind, body and spirit. These designed plant communities evoke a spirit of place with an emphasis on ecological vs geological preferences.

Changing climate and weather patterns are creating challenges in how and what we grow. With some thought given to our plant choices and pairings, the garden can continue to thrive and feed the soul. 

Resiliency in the garden is created by taking a more natural approach to pairing plants in communities, using layers and a lighter touch. Join us for this talk and discover:
  • How to pair plants in a manner that mimics nature
  • How to create resiliency through pairing and plant diversity
  • How to layer plants effectively
  • How to manage your garden evolution in a naturalistic manner
  • How all these things benefit people, wildlife and the overall environment
Seed Share
Come early for a seed swap! If you have seeds that you'd like to exchange or give away, bring them to this Member Talk. We will host the seed swap from the time the doors open at 6:30 pm until the talk starts at 7:00 pm. Ensure that seeds are in clearly labelled packages. This will be a member-to-member swap, giving you a chance to chat with other members about their seeds. Seeds may be left on the sharing table or exchanged directly with another member. A basket will also be available to make a donation of seeds to the Society. Please only bring seeds collected or purchased in 2019 or 2020.
Growing Edible Mushrooms
On January 25, the Society hosted the Growing Edible Mushrooms in your Backyard workshop. It was presented by Tara Stephens of Fungi Akuafo (Society corporate member). The workshop was sold out, so here are a few tips from the presentation:
  • Decide what you want to grow and order the spawn (may take weeks to receive as the spawn may need to be prepared).
  • Choose a mushroom that you can identify as it is possible when growing outside for your growing medium to become populated by wild mushrooms.
  • Understand the growing requirements of the mushroom you want to grow and choose an appropriate location. Also, there may be preferred food sources e.g., wood stacks or logs, wood chips, a mixed garden bed or a compost bed. 
  • Gather supplies and/or cut down or acquire tree (must be a healthy tree)
  • Innoculate growing medium and wait. The inoculated growing medium should be covered as the mycelium develops in the dark. Check every couple of weeks and uncover when the mycelium is visibly growing. 
  • Check weekly for mushrooms. Mushrooms are the fruiting structures of mycelium.
There was so much more covered. Visit for more information. 

The sidebar photos were taken at the class. Top to bottom: Mushroom covered in power-like spores growing in a bag, the bag passed around so participants could take a close look at the specimen, turkey tail mushroom,  checking the texture of the myceliated spawn (it had an earthy smell), pail filled with wood chips used for growing mushrooms. (Deborah Maier)

April 25 and 26 | Max Bell Centre
Save the Date!
Calling Exhibitors and Sponsors!
Businesses and organizations that have participated at the Garden Show in recent years will be sent a package inviting them to attend again. If you're interested in having a trade show booth and have not received a package, please contact Nisha at

Calgary Gardening Magazine
The member magazine will be posted on the website in the Members Only section this weekend. Be sure to read From the President as the article provides an update on the membership fee changes that were announced at the AGM September 19.
New Year, New Programs! The 2020 Program Calendar is Ready!
See | What's Happening for program details.
Don't miss out on the popular programs. Sign up today! Online registration is always open.
Build Your Tropical Jungle
Wednesday, February 12, 7:00 to 8:30 pm
Meadowlark Park Hall, 623 58 Avenue SW
Instructor: John Ostrowdun (nee Duncan), from greengate Garden Centres
Cost: $25 members, $35 non-members
Register online
  • Looking for a breath of fresh air?
  • Does green make you happy?
  • Wanting to add more plant friends to the mix?
Then this talk is for you!  Discover some of the best indoor plants to grow, some trickier ones to try and how to take care of the growing jungle in your home: whether it's fending off pests or ensuring that water and light match your plants' needs.

Registration for this talk closes on Wednesday, February 5.
Introduction to Greenhouses
Tuesday, February 11, 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Garden Retreat, 6510 1A Street SW
Instructor: Stacey Laursen
Cost: $30 members, $40 non-members
Register online

This talk is for participants who are looking to get started with greenhouse growing.
It will cover the following:
  • greenhouse selection—materials, kits, location
  • greenhouse accessories—lighting thermometers, heaters, vents
  • greenhouse growing—starting plants, feeding and watering, monitoring plants and systems
Registration for this talk closes on Thursday, February 6.
Getting Started with Roses
Tuesday, February 25, 7:00 to 8:30 pm
Society Office, 208 50 Avenue SW
Speakers: Joan Altenhof and Jenny Hart from the Calgary Rose Society
Cost: $25 members, $35 non-members
Register online
Would you love to grow roses but don't know where to start?
Maybe you have inherited roses but aren't sure how to care for them?

Then this talk is for you!  Topics will include:
  • What are hardy roses?  What are tender roses?
  • Choosing roses, both hardy and tender
  • Planting roses, including location and soil preparation
  • Providing rose care over the summer
  • Pruning hardy roses and tender roses
  • Giving roses winter protection
Registration for this course closes on Wednesday, February 19.
Valentine's Day Planter
Saturday, February 8, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm
greengate Garden Centres,
14111 Macleod Trail SW
Instructor: Verne Williams
Cost: $65 members, $85 non-members
Register online

Create a beautiful planter for yourself or special someone for this Valentine's Day!

The planter will feature roses and a personalized container.  The instructor will guide you through the creative process and teach you how to keep your container looking wonderful.

Registration for this workshop closes on Monday, February 3.
Seed Starting
Saturday, February 29, 1:00 to 3:00 pm
Garden Retreat, 6510 1A Street SW
Instructor: Joanne Ogilvie
Cost: $40 members, $50 non-members
Register online

Get a jump on the growing season! Starting your plants from seed can be less expensive than buying transplants and can also give you a much broader choice of interesting varieties!

We will discuss seed choice, start times and growing methods, including windowsill and grow-light gardening. Whether you are interested in annuals, perennials, herbs or edibles, this hands-on workshop will give you the information you need to go from starting a seed to planting the seedling in the ground. Learn the proper care and handling of a variety of young seedlings and practice transplanting to promote the sturdiest and healthiest results! Seeds and materials will be provided but feel free to bring your own selection of seeds to plant. 

Registration for this course closes on Monday, February 24.
Tea with Kath
Tuesday, February 18, 2:00 to 3:30 pm
Society Office, 208 50 Avenue SW
Speaker: Kath Smyth
Cost: Free for members, $20 non-members
Register online

Come join Horticulturist Kath Smyth for a cup of tea and gardening-themed conversation.

Topics for February will include:
  • review and revise
  • houseplant care
  • tree and shrub monitoring
  • seeds
Pre-registration is required.
This event is free for members however we ask you to pre-register as the office space is limited.  If you are unable to attend after you have registered, please be kind to others and let the Society office know.
Registration for this course closes on Monday, February 17.
Spread the word! 
Invite your friends to subscribe to this e-news. Forward this email and ask your friends to subscribe by clicking this JOIN link. 
Thanks—come grow with us!
Support the Society

New Year—Start a Plan with a Garden Journal

Stop by the Society office to purchase your copy ($20) of The Growing Journal. The Society's journal is a terrific tool to help keep track of your plans and the activity in the garden. The pages are not dated, so you can journal at your own pace, without the stress of finishing an annual diary. It's a great gift for a gardener on any occasion. Purchase this gardening resource and support the Society.

Help Us Grow!

The Calgary Horticultural Society is a registered charity dedicated to cultivating Calgary’s gardening community. Your support helps us continue our mission to enrich the lives of Calgarians by supporting gardening and the enhancement of the environment through our programs of talks, workshops and courses. Donations enable the Society to engage Calgarians in Gardening for Life—every donation is appreciated. Thank you for supporting the Calgary Horticultural Society. Donate online.

If you prefer, you are welcome to drop by the office (208 50 Avenue SW) to make a donation or call us at 403.287.3469 and we will be happy to assist you.

Membership—a Gift that Blooms Year-round
It's a gift that gives throughout the year—free Member Talks, garden centre and workshop discounts, online resources, e-news, e-magazines and Open Gardens tours. Gift memberships may be purchased online—visit Membership/Join the Society and scroll to the bottom of the page. Or, come to the office (208 50 Avenue SW) to purchase the gift membership and you can take the membership card home.

Volunteer with us in 2020!

There are plenty of opportunities to get involved with the Society and help grow our gardening community. Contact the Society's Volunteer Coordinator, Norm Cook, at 403.287.3469 ext. 1 or email if you would like to volunteer for a Society event, talk, class or course. All Society classes have volunteer monitors who help with set up, introduce the instructor and assist class participants. We're preparing for events such as:
  • Parks School (for City of Calgary employees) 
  • Calgary Home + Garden Show
  • Seedy Saturday
  • Aggie Days
  • Casino
  • Garden Show 
  • Open Gardens
  • Community Outreach
  • Workshops, talks and courses
These events are successful because our volunteer community helps out—Come Grow with Us!  Visit Get Involved/Volunteer on the website for more information about volunteering.
Specific Help Request—Aggie Days
Program Assistants
  • April 1 to 3 from 9:15 am until 2:30 pm to help at the school program
  • April 4 and 5 from 9:45 am until 1:00 pm or from 1:00 pm until 4:15 pm to help at the family weekend program 

Specific Help Request—Casino Volunteers
Elbow River Casino, April 20 and 21
  • Evening shifts: 7:00 pm to 3:30 am
  • Count Room: 11:00 pm to 3:30 am
Contact the Society's Volunteer Coordinator, Norm Cook, at 403.287.3469 ext. 1 or email if you are able to fill one of these volunteer requests.
Director/Board Secretary
The Calgary Horticultural Society Board of Directors is seeking to fill the position of Director/Board Secretary. This volunteer role requires a minimum two-year term commitment as well as availability for approximately ten hours per month to attend Board and Committee meetings and attend Society events. Applicants must have previous experience in an administrative role, be familiar with word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software. Though gardening expertise is not a must, support for our mission and organizational goals are key.

To learn more about the Board of Directors and how to apply, visit Involved/Volunteer. Scroll down the page to the Society Board of Directors section/Board Opportunities link.
Be an Open Gardens Host
Open Gardens will be here soon. The dates are May 24, June 7, July 5, July 19, August 9 and September 13. Gardens on the tour need to be interesting, but perfection is not required. We welcome all types of gardens: food, xeriscape, low or high maintenance, half a duplex or acreage, showcase or a work-in-progress. Your garden and story should captivate the visitor for at least a 15-minute visit. If you're interested in being a host, visit What's Happening/Open Gardens on our website for details. Fill in the Submit an Open Garden form and one of our volunteer Open Gardens coordinators will contact you. If you're unsure if your garden is ready to be a garden on the tour, then note that in the form and a team member can help you decide.
Join the Show!
Be part of the Garden Show team!
The Society's 2020 Garden Show is on April 25 and 26, at the Max Bell Centre. We are building on last year's experience to enhance the show and the planning has begun! If you're interested in being part of the Garden Show team, contact Norm at or call 403.287.3469 ext. 1. Save the date and plan to attend.
Do you have a gardening question? Did you find a great source for unique seeds you'd like to share? Log in to the Members' Forum, choose a topic and let other members know. We look forward to hearing from you!
Copyright Calgary Horticultural Society | 2020 | All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
208 50 Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta T2S 2S1

Phone: 403.287.3469

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