Calgary Herald

An event for gardeners by gardeners

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Are you itching to get some dirt under your fingernail­s after Calgary’s long winter? Hoping to learn some more about gardening or be inspired by fellow gardeners? You’ll find it all at the Calgary Horticultu­ral Society’s annual Garden Show this weekend.

The Garden Show is an annual event organized by society staff and volunteers — all are Calgary gardeners.

“It’s an event put on by gardeners for gardeners,” says the Society’s executive director, Elizabeth Jolicoeur. “Our show is about celebratin­g gardening, educating about gardening and it’s about inspiring people to garden.”

One of the Garden Show’s most popular features is the Speaker Series, with expert gardeners discussing a wide range of topics, and the challenges of gardening in a climate like Calgary’s. Among this year’s speakers are Jim Hole and Donna Balzer, both familiar names in Calgary gardening circles.

On a smaller stage in the Equiplex building, visitors can take in a variety of How-to clinics featuring shorter talks on a wide range of topics, including growing roses and orchids in Calgary, pruning trees and shrubs, and growing and cooking with herbs and creating containers.

Greengate is the official garden centre partner of the Calgary Horticultu­ral Society, and its greenhouse manager, John Duncan, will be hosting a how-to presentati­on on how to create containers.

The Garden Show is aimed at all ages, and is a family-friendly event.

“We encourage people to bring their children, because we have fantastic children’s activities going on. These are all free,” Jolicoeur says.

The Garden Show also offers several hands-on workshops for adults.

“It’s a great way to get your hands in the dirt, be inspired for spring, learn some new ideas and see what the latest trends are.”

Pre-registrati­on is required, and can be done by visiting the Calgary Horticultu­ral Society website at www. calhort.org. If space is available, you can register on site.

Container competitio­ns will be available to both children and adults; as well as a display garden competitio­n, with indoor gardens designed by profession­al landscaper­s. “We really need people to come out and vote for their favourite,” Jolicoeur says.

Visitors can also stop by the Community Garden Resource Network booth, located in the Marketplac­e Tent, for informatio­n on the hot new community gardening trends in Calgary.

“What we encourage people to do is come and spend the day with us. Take a workshop, listen to a speaker, have lunch, and do some shopping,” says Jolicoeur.

More than 100 exhibitors will be on hand, with informatio­n on the latest trends in gardening, as well as gardeningr­elated items available for purchase. Outdoor exhibitors will also be on hand.

You can support Horticultu­ral Society programs by purchasing a ticket for a raffle, which features the following prizes:

Premier Yard Package, including spring and fall cleanup, by Renaissanc­e Landscapes, tree consultati­on and pruning by the Arborest Tree services, lamppost from the Outdoor Lighting Company and garden tools from Alberta Forest and Garden. Value: $2,400.

Greengate Landscape Package: Design and $500 worth of plant material, valued at $1,500.

Fire Pit Package with benches and Inuksuk garden courtesy G.I.T. Landscapes; valued at $1,500.

Weekend Getaway For Two. Two-night stay in a luxury condo in Radium, Kimberley or Invermere, B.C. courtesy Rocky Now Accommodat­ions. Includes $500 cash and $100 gas card. Value: $1,200.

Handcrafte­d Arbour provided by Tom Martin & Carole Moore. Value $1,200.

Tickets are $5 each or three for $10.

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