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Gardeners' Corner at the

Calgary Horticultural Society

Follow the Society on Social Media!
Did you know that the Society is active on three social media platforms?

Our Facebook account (@calhort) has event posts for upcoming workshops. We also share interesting gardening posts that come into our feed. We support our Affiliate members by sharing their Facebook event posts. If you "Like" our Facebook page, then our posts should regularly be added to your feed.  

If you like plant and garden photography, then you'll enjoy our Instagram account (@calgaryhorticulturalsociety). We have made over 500 posts on our account. Many of the plants featured are from the Society's garden. Most of our Instagram posts are also share with our Facebook account.

The Society's Twitter account (@YYCGardening) shares tweets by organizations around the city, and even around the world, with a garden/gardening focus. For the 2019 Garlic Fair and Growers' Exchange, we used Twitter to share a garlic fact each day for over a month leading up to the event.

Yes, we do overlap posts, so choose a platform you already use or check them out and choose the one you prefer. You can select the social media icon you want to visit from the banner at the top of our website page. It will take you to our social media profile page and you can see what we've posted. 

We also use hashtags with our posts. Our usual tags include: #hortmember, #yycgarden, #yycgardening, #yycgardens. If you're interested in our Garden Show social media, follow these hashtags: #yycgardenshow, #calgarygardenshow. Hashtags are another way for you to be alerted about what we're posting.

We'll be using these social media tools to make announcements about What's Happening at the Garden Show. It's another means for keeping in-the-know. Using these tools, we try to make at least one
social media post per day. Follow us! 
Paint a Terracotta Pot
While the Society offered this workshop as family-friendly, it was an adult's afternoon (January 19) and no children attended. Participants were able to release their inner child and freely express their artistic side. The workshop advertised painting one pot, but since the large pot wasn't available, two smaller pots were provided. Working with two pots allowed the painters to try different techniques which included sponging, dripping, dabbing, masking (with elastic bands or tape) and adding twine. The style of the pot decoration ranged from elegant to bold. 
Key tips provided (if you want to paint your own pot) were:
  • wash the pot the day before and let dry thoroughly
  • use an acrylic or craft paint
  • do not paint the bottom to allow moisture a route out (the dry paint seals the pot)
  • put the base colour on first
  • paint over the pot lip and about 2.5 cm into the pot so the unpainted portion of the pot won't show even if the soil settles
  • let the paint dry until tacky before adding another colour (a hair drier can speed up the process)
  • dry the pot before using, and apply a sealer to the paint if the pot is being used outside
  • in the future, if you need to refresh the look, lightly sand off any loose material, clean the pot and touch up with paint
This was a decor-focussed workshop, but the session opened with a talk about the qualities of terracotta pots and why Elaine Rude (the instructor) liked them for growing plants. She also discussed considering the physical characteristics of the plant being placed in the pot, in order to create a design that would showcase the plant. 

The next make-and-take workshop is the Valentine's Day Planter led by Verne Williams. Details are listed in the Classes section below. Be sure to sign up early, as these workshops often sell out.

The sidebar photos are of a few of the pots painted in the class (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
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.
Cacti and Succulents: Jewels of the Home
Thursday, January 30, 7:00 to 8:30 pm
CNIB, 10 11A Street NE
Instructor: John Ostrowdun (nee Duncan), from greengate Garden Centres
Cost: $25 members, $35 non-members
Register online

Cacti and succulents have become incredibly popular in the gardening world in recent times. Learn how to care for these jewels of the home and succeed in growing cacti and succulents in Calgary.

Registration for this course closes on Monday, January 27.
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.
2020 Program Calendar
Watch What's Happening on the website for program updates as Michelle, the Society's Program Coordinator, has been finalizing details for the Society's talks, workshops and courses. New offerings are regularly being added to the calendar. Visit the website and check the coming months to sign up early for our popular programs. Coming soon...seed starting!
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!
Creating Resiliency in the Garden—Member Talk and Seed Share
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. During the social time between 6:30 and 7:00 pm, we will have a seed swap. 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.
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 Friday, January 31.
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.
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.
Copy Editors Needed!
We are looking for a couple of volunteer copy editors for the magazine and e-news. If you have experience editing content, have an eye for detail, are knowledgeable about plants and have an interest in working with a great team, contact Julie at You can work from home.
Director/Board Secretary
The Calgary Horticultural Society Board of Directors is seeking to fill an immediate vacancy for 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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