Beauty on a budget
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.