Beauty on a bud­get

Alberta Gardener Magazine - - News -

ex­hibit their pro­grams and wares at a sub­si­dized rate.

Work­shops and talks on a wide range of top­ics are pre­sented through­out the year.

The gar­den sur­round­ing the Cal­gary Hor­ti­cul­tural So­ci­ety of­fice has been trans­formed into a teach­ing gar­den, pro­vid­ing space for work­shops and demon­stra­tions on yard-smart mod­i­fi­ca­tions such as rain gar­dens, redi­rected down­spouts for use with rain bar­rels and com­post­ing, as well as how to grow a wide range of or­na­men­tals and veg­eta­bles.

The Com­mu­nity Gar­dens pro­gram, now in its 15th year, pro­vides ed­u­ca­tion, a net­work of re­sources, ex­per­tise and col­lab­o­ra­tive con­nec­tions to pro­vide start-up as­sis­tance for new gar­dens and on­go­ing sup­port for es­tab­lished ones. In­cluded is an in­for­ma­tive web­site and search­able data­base to lo­cate gar­dens, ed­u­ca­tion work­shops and kitchen ta­ble talks for gar­den lead­ers and a twice monthly e-news­let­ter. The so­ci­ety works closely with the city of Cal­gary parks depart­ment and many other or­ga­ni­za­tions in the city and prov­ince that form the com­mu­nity gar­den net­work.

Part­ner­ing with the city of Cal­gary’s yard smart pro­gram the club de­vel­oped the wa­ter wise ed­u­ca­tion se­ries: work­shops that en­gage, ed­u­cate and em­power Cal­gar­i­ans to re­duce out­door wa­ter con­sump­tion and man­age storm wa­ter on their prop­er­ties, while learn­ing to gar­den suc­cess­fully. The pro­gram has three parts:

— for be­gin­ners. This two hour workshop was de­vel­oped and is de­liv­ered by Kath Smyth, staff hor­ti­cul­tur­ist, to­gether with city wa­ter ser­vices and is part of the city’s yard smart pro­gram. The goal is to teach be­gin­ner gar­den­ers how to build suc­cess­ful, en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly wa­ter-wise gar­dens in Cal­gary.

— This three hour workshop delves into top­ics of soil, com­post­ing ben­e­fits and tech­niques and the im­pact of gar­den­ing.

Com­post workshop Dig­ging in: yard smart makeover workshop

— for in­ter­me­di­ate gar­den­ers. This is an in-depth, half-day workshop that pro­vides the op­por­tu­nity to re­ceive hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence trans­form­ing a gar­den. Par­tic­i­pants walk away with re­sources and an un­der­stand­ing of the steps in­volved in cre­at­ing and main­tain­ing a yard-smart gar­den.

The group hosts spring and fall plant shares for mem­bers to share plant ma­te­rial and in­for­ma­tion about plants, their cul­tures and habits.

The gar­lic co-op­er­a­tive ex­change, tra­di­tion­ally a com­mu­nity gar­dens event, cel­e­brates and pro­motes grow­ing her­itage gar­lic hardy to Cal­gary and main­tain­ing the cul­ti­va­tion of va­ri­eties of her­itage gar­lic for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. Over the past four years, the so­ci­ety has col­lab­o­rated with Fort Cal­gary, In­gle­wood and Mcclure Fel­low­ship com­mu­nity gar­dens in grow­ing her­itage gar­lic in sup­port of this ex­change. Each year, the gar­lic co-op has seen an in­crease in both the num­ber of gar­den­ers par­tic­i­pat­ing and the pub­lic’s in­ter­est in lo­cally grown hard­neck her­itage gar­lic. Last year, 81 peo­ple par­tic­i­pated in ex­chang­ing 38 gar­lic va­ri­eties (257 gar­lic bulbs).

As the so­ci­ety moves for­ward it strives to keep pace with the needs of Cal­gary gar­den­ers. With the help of its many mem­bers and ded­i­cated vol­un­teers the Cal­gary Hor­ti­cul­tural So­ci­ety con­tin­ues to be a busy, vi­brant or­ga­ni­za­tion.

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