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Gardeners' Corner at the

Calgary Horticultural Society

Watch What's Happening on
If you been following the Society on Facebook (@calhort) or perusing the classes calendar on our website ('s Happening), you'll have noticed that some of our most popular programs have already sold out.

Growing Edible Mushrooms in Your Backyard 
There was a lot of interest in the Growing Edible Mushrooms in Your Backyard workshop. It's offered by a team from our corporate member, Fungi Akuafo. Unfortunately, we are not able to offer another session, but if you visit their website, they are offering sessions in other locations.

Kick Start Your Garden
Janet Melrose's workshop to launch the gardening season, Kickstart Your Garden, quickly filled to capacity. Fortunately, she is able to lead another session. The second workshop will be held on Sunday, February 9, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Details are available in the classes section of this e-news below (or visit What's Happening)

Cacti and Succulents: Jewels of the Home
Last year we sold out John Ostrowdun's (nee Duncan) talk on these popular house plants. So, for the January 30 talk, we're offering the session at the CNIB location (10 11A Street NE) in Bridgeland. The room can hold three times the number of people as the Society's room—let's fill it! John usually brings a plant or prize to give away at his talks and he's always insightful and's a talk worth attending. Read more about it below, or use this link to What's Happening to sign up. Note: Registration for this talk closes on Monday, January 20.

Garden Show
The work on the April 25 and 26 Garden Show is underway. We'll be including updates in our weekly e-news as plans are finalized. Calls for volunteers, exhibitors and sponsors are included in the Garden Show section near the bottom of this e-news. As developments are made, we'll be adding information to the Garden Show 2020 page under the What's Happening menu on the website. Please check the site regularly for Show updates. 

What's Happening is where you can find information on all the Society's scheduled events, whether or not registration is required. It's a great tool for keeping up-to-date on the Society's activities. We look forward to seeing you at an upcoming event—visit What's Happening to discover what's available now. Join us in Gardening for Life!
Magazine Feedback
We received feedback expressing concern about including an article focussed on climate change in the member magazine. It is a controversial topic, but we think the topic is of interest to our members. Article authors are writing from their personal point of view. Regardless of the topic, we try to offer stories presenting different perspectives. Thank you for reading and commenting on what is presented in Calgary Gardening

Visit Calgary Gardening under the Members Only section of the website to access the magazine and read Glynn Wright's article Climate Change and Calgary Gardeners in the December 2019 / January 2020 issue. Your comments are welcomed by our magazine's Managing Editor, Julie Barringer. You can reach her by email at You may also send the Society a note using the Contact Us page on the website.
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.
Sustainable Garden Design
10 Weeknights—Mondays and Wednesdays starting Monday, January 27, and ending Monday, March 2, 6:30 to 9:30 pm (excludes February 17, Family Day) 
Society Office, 208 50 Avenue SW (Note the new location)
Instructors: Jeremy Zoller, Michelle Edworthy, Mike Dorion and Mike Light
Cost: $300 members, $350 non-members  
Register online

Students will create a finished home garden design based on ecological principles such as water-saving, closed loops and habitat creation.  

Participants will learn: 
  • Technical design skills, such as drafting and site analysis  
  • Differences and similarities between sustainable design systems such as permaculture, xeriscaping and food forestry  
  • Water movement through soil and around properties; hardscaping to direct and/or store water  
  • Best practices for building a greenhouse  
  • How to build and amend soil while considering the soil biology  
  • Plant selection based on water needs, habitats, niches, wildlife value and personal goals  
Participants will have the opportunity to present their final design to fellow students and instructors for comments and suggestions. 

Registration for this course closes on Monday, January 20.
Kickstart Your Garden (Second class!)
Sunday, February 9, 1:00 to 4:00 pm
Society Office, 208 50 Avenue SW
Instructor: Janet Melrose
Cost: $45 members, $60 non-members
Register online

New session due to popular demand! Get your garden ready with this comprehensive workshop covering everything you need to know to launch into spring! Learn about spring soil amendments, indoor and outdoor winter sowing, the best ways to clean up your garden after winter, and early direct sowing and planting. This workshop has two hands-on activities: starting microgreens and seed starting through winter sowing.

Registration for this course closes on Monday, February 3.
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.
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.
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 20.
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.
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!
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!
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
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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