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Gardeners' Corner at the

Calgary Horticultural Society

It's Summer!
The Society is into its summer programming. Tea with Kath will continue on Facebook Live and Garden Coaching will be online using Zoom meetings. Open Gardens tours are being recorded with formal video launch dates scheduled for July 19 and August 9. The office is still closed to drop-in visitors, but you are welcome to stop by the gardens and see what's in bloom. The deep purple of the Salvia at the front of the garden can be seen as you pass by while travelling north-bound on Macleod Trail. The native bed is in full bloom. The peonies smell wonderful. The yellow foxglove reins in the rain garden. In the back garden, the Evans cherries are turning red and the garlic scapes are curling.

Calgary has many lovely public gardens. Stop by Reader Rock Garden, the Botanical Gardens of Silver Springs, Central Memorial Park, or Lougheed House gardens. Summer seems to move swiftly, so be sure to spend some time in a garden to relax and enjoy the sights, sounds, and fragrances of summer.

Banner image: The beautiful Clematis 'Duchess of Albany' is in bloom in the Society garden. Bottom photos are of a few of the plants in the Society garden: salvia, poppies, sedum, fleabane, columbine, and rose (Deborah Maier) 
Summer Staff
The Society has been able to welcome two summer staff onboard: Christopher Campbell and Leora Cohen. 

Christopher has joined the team as videographer. He is a Broadcast Media Studies student at Mount Royal University. During the last two weeks, he has been helping Nisha Sridhar with the creation of the Open Gardens videos. Going forward, he will be responsible for creating most of the videos for this summer's Open Gardens video tours.

Leora has joined the team as a horticultural specialist. She is a recent Plant Biology graduate from the University of Calgary. Under Michelle Edworthy's guidance, she is reviewing and updating material for the Master Gardener program, community gardens, gardening resources, and plant database. If you watch the Open Gardens videos posted on the website, you'll have seen Leora interviewing the gardeners.

The extra help has already made a big impact. We're excited to their see what their contributions will bring throughout the summer! 
Calgary Gardening—Roses
Often when someone says "rose" we think of that solitary, sensuous, red rose on a long stem—a tea rose. Tea roses are not hardy in Calgary, but there are many other beautiful and aromatic roses that are. Read June Bergman's article And You Thought Roses Could Not Be Grown In Calgary in the July issue of Calgary Gardening magazine to learn more. 

Visit the Members Only section of the website, log in, select the Calgary Gardening menu, and enjoy reading about gardening.

Did you know that Calgary Gardening is published eight times a year on the first of the month of August, October, December, February, April, May, June, and July?
Plant Database
The Society often receives plant information requests. Did you know that the Society has a plant database? Silvia Kallen, while a Master Gardener student, prepared profiles to add 30 plants to the database. Leora Cohen, our summer horticultural specialist, has already reviewed 14, and they are now available on the website, expanding the plant list to 124 entries. 

The listing for each plant includes a photograph; summary of characteristics such as height, spread, light requirements, bloom time, colour(s), soil needs; and uses (including whether or not it is deer- or rabbit-resistant).  

You can browse through all the plants listed alphabetically by Latin or common name, or use the search filter to find plants with specific characteristics. 

The Plant Database is a members' benefit and is available after logging in to the Members Only section of the website. Non-members can see the list of Perennial Plants of the Year, under the website's Resources tab, but to see all the plant details, you need to access the plant database.

A huge thank you to Silvia and Leora for helping us expand this member service!

Image sidebar: A few of the plants recently added to the Plant Database: Alpine Marsh Marigold (Caltha leptosepala) (Pixabay); Iceland Poppy (Papaver nudicaule) (Winston Goretsky); Shooting star (Primula conjugens) (Pixabay)
Video Resources—Tea with Kath
On Wednesday, the Society hosted the July Facebook Live session of Tea with Kath. If you are a Facebook user, visit our Facebook page. If you don't see the video on the home page, look under the "More" button at the top for the link to the Society's videos, or use this link to visit the video directly. If you are not a Facebook user, you can watch the video on our YouTube channel.

In this session, Kath Smyth answers questions about pruning and garden pests, and provides recommendations for late vegetable plantings, hydrangeas, and roses. Watch the video—perhaps she'll answer your gardening question!

Members, be sure to watch the Open Gardens videos posted under the Members Only section of the website. The next video launch date is July 19 at noon.

For other video resources, visit our YouTube channel by visiting and searching for Calgary Horticultural Society. Check our channel regularly to see what's new. 
Enter to Win—Next week is the July draw!
Are you a water-wise gardener? Do you capture rainwater in your yard? Are you a right-plant, right-place gardener? Then tell us about it by entering our Yard-Smart Gardening Contest. The entry form can be found under What's Happening on 

The next draw will be made on July 16. Enter the contest and let us know about your water-wise gardening practices. This month's prize is a copy of the Society's garden journal and $25 of Blue Grass Bucks (vouchers that may be use at Blue Grass garden centre). Please note that we cannot mail the journal to the winner, but can provide contactless pick-up.

The contest runs until September 15, 2020. A winner will be selected at random on the 16th of each month for the months of July, August, and September, from the entries received in the period between draws. You may enter only once during each draw period. The Society will use the information collected from the contest submissions to help with program planning and water-wise gardening awareness. 

Want to learn more about creating a water-wise garden? Then sign up for a Design Your Yard workshop. See the Classes section for dates and more information.
We're Here for You!
While the Society office is closed for drop-in visits, we're still supporting our members Tuesday to Friday between 9 am and 4 pm—just give us a call at 403.287.3469, ext. 0. If the phone isn't answered, leave a message and Gail, the Society's administrative assistant, will return your call. If you call after hours and leave a message, your call will be returned the next business day.  
2021 Calendar
Has your garden been a COVID-19 sanctuary? Did you decide to create a Victory Garden? Have you planted more edibles this year? Share the beauty of the bounty of your garden: fruit, vegetable, and/or floral by submitting a photo to our 2021 calendar project. We will be accepting photos until September 16, midnight.

We are also asking for your 2020 garden story—what did gardening mean to you this year and why was it important?

The photographer whose photograph and/or story is used in the calendar will receive a free copy of the calendar. Visit's Happening/Calendar 2021 to submit a photo, your story, and be part of the 2021 calendar project.
Community Gardens
Community Gardens—Leafy Veggie Challenges
The garden is producing some nice leafy greens, such as Swiss chard. However, upon closer inspection, they are developing what looks like blisters. This is an indication that they may be food for more than the gardener—there may be a leaf miner enjoying the produce.

Usually, the first indication of a leaf miner is a trail in the leaf or a blistered area. Upon closer inspection, the trail may have black specs, which are the frass of the caterpillar that is eating between the top and bottom layer of the leaf. The consumption of the mid-leaf tissue causes the blister appearance. If you look closely at the blister, especially when held up to the light, you may see the small caterpillar. If the damage is minor, you can kill the caterpillar by squishing it in the leaf tissue. Badly affected leaves should be removed and put in the garbage. 

The caterpillar is a larval stage of a fly. The fly cuts holes in the leaf to feed and then lays eggs in the feeding holes. The eggs hatch and the caterpillar eats its way into the leaf. It will eventual pupate and then become a fly. The process can take as little as two weeks. 

Manage the leaf miner problem by squishing the caterpillars, removing the damaged leaves, looking for eggs on the under side of leaves and squishing them, and spraying the leaves on both sides with water to remove overlooked eggs and the adult pests (the adults can live for two weeks). Once the problem is noticed, daily inspection is recommended. Do not compost the damaged leaves, put them in the garbage.
Photos: A leaf miner trail on a pea leaf showing frass; blister caused by leaf miner larvae on Swiss chard; tiny, white leaf miner eggs on the back of a healthy Swiss chard leaf.
Note: The Facebook Live session on preventing theft from community gardens was held on July 9. If you were unable to watch it live, visit the Society's Facebook page to watch the video. Highlights from the evening will be posted in next week's e-news. A big thank you to the Acadia Community Garden and Art Society for hosting this event.

Visit Gardens for more Community Gardens information.
Visit the What's Happening Calendar for Program Details
To see the calendar, visit | What's Happening.
Need help registering? Call the office at 403.287.3469, ext.0 and leave a message for Gail.
Garden Coaching 
Thursday, July 16, 7:00 to 8:30 pm
Online—Zoom Cloud Meeting

Join us virtually in the garden for this monthly demonstration where we coach you through the practical tasks required each month in your garden. 

Watch a video on garden tasks as they were performed by staff and volunteers in the garden. Learn more as horticulturist Kath Smyth adds tips and tricks and answers some questions related to the topics at hand. 

The topics for July include: 
  • Cutting the grass: leave your clippings and don't cut shorter than 5.5 cm
  • Watering annuals
  • Tricks to retain moisture in the soil
  • Hilling your potatoes and carrots
  • Deadheading
  • Sowing a second seeding

Instructor: Kath Smyth

This is a Society member event. Registration is not required.

To join the Garden Coaching meeting, visit the Members Only Section of the Website. Select the Garden Coaching item from the dropdown list. This will open the Garden Coaching page with information about Zoom Cloud meetings and it hosts the meeting link. Please sign in at least 15 minutes before the talk starts.You may visit the page at any time to set up Zoom on your computer. 

If you can't attend the online session, watch for a posting of the session video on the Garden Coaching page under the Members Only section of the website.

August Programs
We're just confirming some programs for August. Watch this section of the e-news and the What's Happening calendar on for updates.
Plants for Shade Gardens 
Tuesday, July 21, 7:00 to 8:30 pm
Online—Zoom Cloud Meeting
Cost: $15 for members, $25 for non-members

Unsure of what to do in your north-facing garden? Have your trees matured and reduced the amount of sunlight available to plants? What is the difference between wet shade and dry shade? Are you dealing with the need to under-plant trees or are you planting beside tall buildings or fences?

If you are trying to address any of these questions, then this is a class for you! Come learn about different ratings for shade and which perennials and annuals will grow, and even thrive, in areas with minimal light.  

Instructor: Kath Smyth

Registration closes on Thursday, July 16.

Tea with Kath—Facebook Live
Wednesday, August 12, 2:00 to 3:00 pm
Format: Facebook Live
Cost: Free, registration is not required

Tea with Kath is continuing through the summer and is replacing the Society's Conversations in the Garden. As a result, please note that the August date is a Wednesday.

To have the video automatically display on your Facebook page, we recommend that you visit our page, like and follow us, search for us on your "Add a Friend" list, and send us a friend request by selecting the "Add a Friend" button next to our name.

Submit Your Questions
You may message questions in advance using Messenger (Message Host button) on the Facebook Event post. Be sure to start your question with "Could Kath answer". That way we're sure to know it's a question for this event. 
“Excellent course! Excellent content! Excellent speakers! I would highly recommend this course to all! I felt challenged in the best way.” —Master Gardener program participant
Do you want to take your gardening knowledge to the next level? This multi-week course is tailored to gardening in Calgary. The Master Gardener program is perfect for those interested in learning more about the art and science of gardening.

Classes are offered on Saturdays for the 2020–2021 season. The Master Gardener courses cover a broad base of gardening topics taught by industry professionals and experienced Master Gardeners.

The program is both theoretical and practical. It includes classroom and hands-on learning. A volunteer practicum will take the participants from Master Gardener in Training to Master Gardener.
2020-2021 Program
Part A
Saturdays from October 24 to December 12 and January 9, 9:30 am to 2:00 pm
Location: Calgary Zoo*
Topics: Climate, Soil and Soil Amendments, Plant Groupings, Botany, General Plant Care, Houseplants, Lawn Care, Irrigation, Communications
*Public Health Orders permitting
Part B
Saturdays from January 16 to April 17, 9:30 am to 2:00 pm (excluding February 13 and April 3) Location: Calgary Zoo*
Topics: Pathology, Insects, Non-insect Pests, Weeds, IPM, Tree Care, Design Overview, Greenhouses, Edibles, Flowering Plants, Propagation

For more details about the Master Gardener Program, please visit our What's Happening/Master Gardener on our website.

Download the application form and email it to
This year's Master Gardener Course will be held at the Calgary Zoo, public health orders permitting. If it cannot be held at the Zoo, the Society reserves the right to offer it at another location or via an online platform instead.

Do You Have Gardening Questions?
"Ask a Gardener" is back after addressing some technical challenges. If you are still waiting for an answer to a question, please resubmit it. We are sorting through previously submitted questions to address those that have been missed, but resubmitting should resolve your question more quickly.

You can also try one these resources for answers: 
  • Society members may submit questions to Ask an Expert. This service is found under the Members Only section of the website.
  • Read our Gardening FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) page under the Resources section of our website.
  • Check out the information sheets and links under the Resources Gardening menu. 


If you have questions about volunteering with the Society, contact us at
Volunteers are a valued resource of the Society. The safety and well-being of our volunteers is important to us. We are mindful of all the Society's future events and how the changing situation may affect them. Decisions about these event plans will be made closer to these event dates.
Support the Society

Membership—a Gift that Blooms Year-round
It's a gift that gives throughout the year—free Member Talks, workshop discounts, merchant discounts including garden centres, 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) when it reopens, to purchase the gift membership and you can take the membership card home.

Start a Plan with a Garden Journal

The Society's journal is a terrific tool to help keep track of your plans and activities 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 for any occasion. Purchase this gardening resource and support the Society. When the office reopens, stop by to purchase your copy ($20) of The Growing Journal.

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 enhancing 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.

You are welcome to drop by the office (208 50 Avenue SW) when it reopens, to make a donation, or in the meantime, call us at 403.287.3469 and we will be happy to assist you.

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!
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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