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Gardeners' Corner at the

Calgary Horticultural Society

Photographing Plants with a Phone Camera
Pat Matthews attended this workshop on Sunday, January 26 and has these tips to share:
  • Get as close as you can to your subject
  • Apply the rule of thirds—divide image space vertically and horizontally in three, set the subject at an intersection of the lines for more interesting framing
  • Isolate the subject—use a scarf or piece of cardstock or foam core as a backdrop
  • Frame the subject—particularly for landscapes, use real or discount store greenery to add foreground and frame the subject to clearly define the area of interest in the picture
  • Use the free app Snapseed to make corrections to images such as adjusting white balance or add fun features such as frames or text—be sure to play around with the tools!
"The workshop was a lot of fun and very helpful for taking better photos with my phone. I will be using what I've learned when I take more pictures."—Pat Matthews

The sidebar photos were taken at the class. Top to bottom: Getting close to the subject to capture the details of the flower and fill the frame with the subject; Working with a partner to place a fabric backdrop behind the plant and hide the busy background that is detracting; Using a piece of black foam core so the succulent stands out in the picture (Pat Matthews)
Gardening is a family affair...
but now family is no longer defined by an address. 

With the membership changes effective April 1, you may bring your family member to Society events at the member price with your individual membership. For example, you may take your mom, dad, child, grandchild or spouse to a Member Talk for free. The change also means that your event partner does not have to be related or live in your home, your guest can be a friend. You can bring a different person to each event. The new "Bring a Friend" membership benefit opens the door to sharing your love of gardening with your gardening family. April 1 brings an exciting change to our membership benefits. There is no longer a Family category of membership, but we know that for many members, gardening is a family affair and our individual membership still lets you share your joy of gardening with your family. 

April 25 and 26 | Max Bell Centre
Save the Date!

Buy Tickets!
Advance tickets are now available online.
Select Garden Show Tickets on our homepage to access the ticket information.
Prices remain the same as last year.
Members Advance $10
Non-member Advance $12

Note: online tickets are subject to a service fee.
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

We have some new businesses joining us at the Show. We're excited about our newcomers and the new offerings by some long-standing Show supporters. Do you know a business that would be of interest to gardeners?  Is there a workshop you'd like to participate in? Send Nisha an email ( and let us know! Check out the Exhibitors list under Garden Show 2020 on the website to see who's booked to come.
Calgary Gardening Magazine
The member magazine is online under the Members Only section of the website. Are you itching to get growing? Check out Colleen Tanner's article What Do I Do Now? February for ideas to help you get started. Log in to the Members Only section of the website, select Calgary Gardening to access the current issue (February/March) of the magazine.
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.
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.
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.
Design Your Yard
Back by popular demand—the Design Your Yard workshops! 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

Saturdays, February 29, March 7 and 14 from 9:30 am to noon
Evergreen Community SPACES - Pine Studio
(Mayland Heights)
1709 8 Ave NE
Register Online

This is one of several Design Your Yard workshops being planned this year. Other locations where we anticipate workshops include: Crestmont, Cranston, New Brighton, Livingston, Pine Ridge and Scenic Acres.
We will provide further information as it becomes available.
Calgary Home + Garden Show —February 27 until March 1
Visit us at the Calgary Home + Garden Show booth 540. Our theme at the booth is Gardening Tools and Templates. If you go, you'll have an opportunity to enter to win two tickets to the Society's Garden Show on April 25 and 26.  

Use the picture button to purchase tickets online and save $2. Be sure to use promotion code GROW for additional savings!
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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