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Gardeners' Corner at the

Calgary Horticultural Society

Gardens of Inspiration: Alpine Gardens Member Talk Revisited
On Thursday, June 4, Cathy Kurio was the guest speaker for the Society's Member Talk. She shared fantastic photos of alpine plants in their native environment, taken by members of the Calgary Rock and Alpine Garden Society (CRAGS). It was fascinating to see how dedicated some CRAGS members are in recreating those environments in their yards at a large scale. While some gardeners did full yard make-overs, Cathy also showed that an alpine garden can be created in a small trough container—so, any Calgary gardener can create an alpine garden in their yard. 

Many alpine plants are quite tiny and are particularly adapted to their niches. The presentation clearly showed that to be a successful alpine plant grower, the gardener needs to understand and create the growing environment needed by the plant—be it a crevice, mound or trough. 

If you missed the presentation, or would like to re-watch it, visit the Member Talk menu under the Members Only section of the website. The presentation was captured on video and is posted there for viewing.

The banner photo at the top of this e-news is of the small alpine mound garden in the Society's teaching and demonstration gardens. Cathy Kurio led it's construction in May 2016. In her talk she noted that the Veronica whitleyi (the plant with the small purple flowers at the back and right side of the photo) needs to be trimmed back. While it is not an alpine plant, it is a good rock garden plant. The sidebar photos are close-ups of some of the flowers in the bed: Penstemon davidsonii; Erigeron; Phlox kelsyi 'Lemhi Midnight'; Potentilla porphyantha; Townsendia parryi; Sempervivum sp. surrounded Asperula gussonei. The photos were taken on Friday, June 5, 2020. (Deborah Maier) 
July Member Talk
We will have an online Member Talk on July 2, 6:45 to 8:30 pm. Jane Reksten will be speaking about the gardens at Lougheed House, a national and provincial historic site in Calgary. Watch this e-news and the What's Happening calendar on for details.
Calgary Gardening—The Ohio Buckeye
Are you looking for a new shade tree for your yard? Then consider the Ohio buckeye. Read Kayla Rayann's article, The Ohio Buckeye: Five Reasons to Love It, in the Society's member magazine Calgary Gardening for background on why it may be a good choice for a city yard. 

The Friends of Reader Rock Garden Society have noted that their Ohio buckeye should be blooming this weekend, if you would like to visit the garden and see what one looks like.

Visit the Members Only section of the website, log in, select the Calgary Gardening menu and enjoy reading about gardening.
Last Call: Supporting Our Community—Donate Seeds You Don't Need

This is your last chance to donate seeds to this program. Hopefully, you'll finish your vegetable planting this weekend and be able to contribute seeds to support Calgarians in need. If your seed package has been opened, please place it in a sealed plastic bag. All seeds must include sowing instructions. Please only donate seeds that are less than two years old (one year for beets). Place your seed donations in the Society's mailbox at 208 50 Avenue SW, by Thursday, June 18.

Thank you to everyone who has been able to contribute to our program. Your generosity is appreciated.
Supporting Our Community—Soil Sponsor
Thank you to Eagle Lake Professional Landscape Supply for their generous donation.
Membership Has Benefits—Plan Ahead! Father's Day is June 21
Are you looking for a birthday, Father's Day, or special celebration gift? You can sign up for a gift membership online.

With the gardening season underway, we understand you may be eager to have the gift recipient enjoy the benefits that a membership card can access, but please allow time for us to process the application. The online purchase receipt can be used as proof of membership for in-person member discount shopping until the membership card arrives in the mail. 

If you want to sign up for a class and purchase a membership online, allow 24 hours from the time of the membership purchase until you attempt to purchase the class at the member rate. If you need to register more quickly, call the office at 403.287.3469 ext. 6 and leave a message. Both purchases can be made at the same time by phone. Phone messages are checked during office hours, Tuesday to Friday between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm.
Spring Plant Share—Extended until June 22
We've been receiving a lot of feedback from our Plant Share participants that they would like to continue the online sharing opportunity into June, as they are still working in their gardens and will have more plants to share later. Responding to this request, we are keeping our Spring Plant Share Facebook group and forum topic active until Monday, June 22. See below for participation details.
  • We have created a forum topic dedicated to member-to-member plant exchanges. It will be accessible from the Members Only section until June 22. Members can post about the plants they have to share and/or are looking to acquire. Visit the Plant Share page here
  • We have also created a private (members only) Facebook group. If you are a Facebook user and a Society member (we confirm membership status before admitting anyone into the group), then you may want to join our group to post information about plants you have to share and plants you want.  2020 Society Plant Share. We have more than 100 (and growing) members in this group.
Feel free to participate in both. Once you connect with someone to share plants, you will need to coordinate using private messenger (PM), how and when the plant exchange will take place.

Please follow COVID-19 guidelines when conducting member-to-member plant exchanges, including following this tip from the City: "Sharing bulbs/cuttings or plants? Create a "sharing zone" where you can put plants. Leave them there for 24 hours before having your neighbour pick them up."

May you have a successful Spring Plant Share!
Juniors Garden Club

It's time to get growing! Watch this CTV Calgary news video (click the linked text or press the play button on the image) and meet two of the Juniors Garden Club's participants. These gardeners have part of their mom's large garden space to grow in, but your gardener could grow food in a balcony container. 

If your kids are interested in learning more about gardening, then sign them up for this free program. It's a partnership between the Society and Ag for Life that will allow kids to explore, learn new skills, build confidence, and have fun using gardening as a focus for their discovery.

To learn more about this program and to sign up, visit the Juniors Garden Club page on the Ag for Life website. Sign up for some garden inspiration.
Community Gardens
Community Gardens—A Community Garden's COVID-19 Garden Procedures
The Acadia Community Garden and Art Society has prepared a video to help their gardeners understand the procedures required when visiting the garden. It provides a great overview for distancing and sanitizing. Be sure to check with your community garden about the rules in place for a visit. Some gardens require gardeners to bring their own hand tools. Press the play button on the image to watch the video. The video link is also posted on our website. Visit Gardens.
July Open Gardens
We have started preparing for our July Open Gardens video tours. If you have signed up to host a tour of your garden, expect a call from one of our Open Gardens coordinators to confirm your interest. We will also make the arrangements for videoing the gardens and interviewing the hosts. July is booked, but we're still accepting interested hosts for August and September. We expect that these dates will also be video tours. Visit the Open Gardens page under What's Happening on our website to learn more about Open Gardens.
Video Resources—Gardening in a Time of Change
We've posted a new video, Gardening in a Time of Change, prepared by David Hall, to our YouTube channel. David is a past student of the Society's Master Gardener program and is a member of the Speaker team for the TD Friends of the Environment outreach program. The Speaker team was to provide live presentations on behalf of the Society to interested community groups and organizations. Unfortunately, because of the Public Health requirements, the Speaker team has not been able to offer their planned presentations. However, you can watch David's presentation on YouTube.

Be sure to visit our channel regularly to see what's new. You can find the Society's YouTube channel by visiting and searching for Calgary Horticultural Society.
Are you a Water-wise Gardener?
Then enter our Yard Smart Gardening contest. Our first draw will be made next week, June 16. It would be great to learn about your water-wise practices.

The contest runs from May 16 until September 15, 2020. A winner will be selected at random on the 16th of each month for the months of June, July, August, and September, from the entries received in the period between draws. You may enter only once during each draw period. The prize for the June 16 draw is $25 of Blue Grass Bucks. 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. 
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.
Practical Irrigation for the Home Gardener 
Saturday, June 20, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm
Online—Zoom Cloud Meeting
Cost: $30 for members, $50 for non-members

Do you want to learn the most effective and beneficial way to irrigate your garden? Drip irrigation is a DIY watering system that saves water and benefits your plants by distributing water more effectively. Plants are watered gradually and close to their base, which is where moisture is needed most.  

Installing a drip irrigation system does not have to be complicated or expensive. In this workshop, you will learn how to assemble a drip irrigation system and how to test your water pressure to find out its capacity for irrigation. Learn how to determine if your system should be above or below the surface and how to use timers.  

Instructor: Kath Smyth and Tom Martin

Registration closes Wednesday, June 17.

Create a Mosaic Succulent Pot 
Wednesday, June 24, 7:00 to 8:30 pm
Online—Zoom Cloud Meeting
Cost: $15 for members, $25 for non-members

Succulents thrive in our summer climate; they are easy to care for and they add a lot of interest to any container collection. Combining succulents in intriguing arrangements of colour and texture is very popular. Creating mosaic style arrangements in a pot-within-a-pot adds a whole new twist to the possibilities. With a little creativity, imagination, and a variety of cuttings, a mosaic succulent pot is a quick, easy, and fun arrangement to make. In this workshop Elaine Rude will demonstrate how you can make a beautiful mosaic pot of your own.  

If you would like to make a planter along with the instructor or after the class, you will need the following supplies: 

  • a large container (at least 12 inches across) either shallow or regular depth 
  • a small container  
  • a variety of small succulents (potted or cuttings) such as: Echeveria; Aeoniums; Graptoveria; aloes; string of pearls, string of dolphins, string of bananas; sticks on fire 
  • cactus potting soil
  • decorative rock  

Instructor: Elaine Rude

Registration closes Thursday, June 18.

Garden Coaching 
Thursday, June 18, 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 June include: 
  • bug of the month 
  • on-going garden chores including composting, thinning
  • pruning evergreens 
  • what to do with spring bulb foliage 
  • deadheading 
  • watering 

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. 

Tea with Kath—Facebook Live
Wednesday, July 8, 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 July 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. 
Design Your Yard
Not sure what to do with your new yard? Need to reimagine your mature yard? Learn how to create a well-thought-out, functional yard in this multi-day workshop.  Homeowners will work on scale layouts of their own properties and complete step-by-step tasks to create a design that meets their needs.

Two people residing at the same address may attend this workshop at no additional charge, with the requirement that they work on ONE yard plan together. Names of both participants must be provided at the time of registration.

Participants will learn how to:
  • work through the process to develop a yard design
  • apply basic design principles and techniques for creating a beautiful, environmentally responsible, functional yard
  • calculate volumes of soil and mulch and access available resources in the community (such as free compost from the City)
  • irrigate their yard
  • select plants at a garden centre to fulfill their design's requirements 
Participants will need:
  • property dimensions - Real Property Report (RPR)
  • graph paper, ruler, pencil, and eraser
  • wish-list requirements
  • photos from your wish list

This workshop is sponsored by the 
City of Calgary

Cost: $75 members, $100 non-members
Design Your Yard: July
Wednesdays, July 8, 15, and 22
6:30 to 9:00 pm
The next Design Your Yard workshops will be offered in September.

Master Gardener Program Registration is Open!
Do you want to take your gardening knowledge to the next level? This multi-week course is tailored to gardening in Calgary. To learn more, visit What's Happening/Master Gardener!
While the spring rush is settling down, garden centres are still busy. Visit the garden centre's website to review their guidelines before visiting. Try going later in the day as it may be quieter then. Plan for a crowd, be prepared to wait and allow two garden cart lengths between you and other shoppers. Please only touch what you intend to purchase. May you find the plants that you want for your garden.
Do You Have Gardening Questions?
The try one of our sources for answers: 
  • Read our Gardening FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) page under the Resources section of our website.
  • Submit a question to Ask a Gardener. This service is also found in the Resources section of our website, and is available to members and non-members.
  • Society members may submit questions to Ask an Expert. This service is found under the Members Only section of the website.

Thank You!

Our new service, Ask a Gardener has been very successful. Since it's launch on May 22, 56 questions have been submitted. In that same period of time, 31 questions have been submitted to Ask an Expert. Thank you to our volunteers who respond to the questions and the gardeners who need help. We couldn't offer these program without the support of our volunteers. Thanks!

If you have questions about volunteering with the Society, contact Norm 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 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 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.

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208 50 Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta T2S 2S1

Phone: 403.287.3469

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