The Calgary Horticultural Society is a registered charity dedicated to cultivating Calgary’s gardening community. With 4,000 plus members, we are one of the largest and most active gardening organizations. In 2018, the Society celebrates its 110th anniversary. The Society’s mandate has a strong focus on gardening education and offers the knowledge and skills to do it well. The Society is driven by the belief that as the gardening community grows, the city’s quality of life is enhanced, and so is the environment.
From our office just off Macleod Trail, our devoted staff works year-round to develop and deliver quality educational programs that help local gardeners meet the challenges of Calgary’s unique microclimate.
In addition to providing educational opportunities and operating an office, staff and volunteers work together to host a website, publish a magazine eight times a year and e-newsletter throughout the year. This team hosts talks and workshops at the Society office and in the community, organize and host garden tours and special events, grow a demonstration and teaching garden and nurture a network of community gardens through our Community Gardens program.
Vision: Gardening for Life!
Mission: To encourage gardening for the enhancement of our environment and quality of life.
- Put the fun into gardening
- Connect and support new and experienced gardeners
- Promote learning and successful gardening
- Work with our environment to minimize our footprint
- Lead in making Calgary a city of gardening excellence
Watch our video to learn about the Society
How we do it—Programs
Gardening in the Calgary area is challenging, from rapidly fluctuating temperatures and weather challenges, to cost of supplies, to actually finding space to garden. The Calgary Horticultural Society helps new and experienced gardeners learn ways to be successful by providing fun and educational programming all year round. Our programs are designed to help participants enjoy a healthy, beautiful yard without compromising the environment.
Garden Show—A two-day event each spring includes an education program of speakers and demonstrations, an information and garden trade show element, and a place for gardening organizations and groups to exhibit their programs and wares at a subsidized rate. This way we are able to support, celebrate and be a part of the gardening community.
Courses and Talks—Aim to engage, inspire and educate. A wide range of topics are presented throughout the year. In 2017 the Society launched its own Master Gardener Course and the associated Woodies Plant Identification Course. Check out www.calhort.org. Workshops are open to the public and have a fee attached for attending and to cover costs and instructor’s honorarium.
Demonstration and Teaching Gardens—The traditional suburban back and front yards of the Society office have been transformed from a lawn into an outdoor classroom. The area includes a variety of beds and spaces with water-wise modifications such as a rain garden, redirected downspouts for use with rain barrels and three large-size demonstration compost bins, and a wide range of plants and vegetables. Volunteers manage and tend the garden and classes held here enable participants to get their hands dirty.
Community Gardens—Now in its 17th year, Community Gardens is designed to strengthen and promote this gardening movement through education the creation of a network of resources, expertise and collaborative connections. The society hosts a searchable database to locate gardens; education workshops and Kitchen Table Talks for garden leaders to share information and ideas and a twice-monthly e-newsletter full of community information and events. The Society works closely with The City of Calgary Parks and gathers its strength and success from its association with the many other organizations in the city. Go to the Community Gardens page for more information.
Yardsmart Partnership—Water Wise Education Series with City of Calgary Water Resources, developed workshops that engage, educate and empower gardeners to reduce outdoor water consumption and manage stormwater quality and quantity on their properties while learning to successfully garden.
Plant Share—The Society hosts two plant shares a year in the fall and spring for members to share excess plant material with other members and provide information about plants, their cultures and habits. For more information visit the Plant Share page.
The Garlic Fair—Held in September, the Garlic Fair is an opportunity to share seeds and celebrate the harvest. Click Learn more about the Garlic Fair.
Publications—The Calgary Gardening Magazine is produced 8 times a year, monthly e-newsletter and a community gardens e-newsletter updates twice a month and other gardening resources. We also host a website full of resources and information, including the Ask the Expert Q & A where question gardening problems are solved by volunteer gardening experts.
Membership—The Society is a member organization and there are special benefits that come with that designation. Check www.calhort.org for details. Read about the benefits of membership.
We Invite you to
Join us. Four thousand folks already have. We are the best and oldest resource for gardening! The benefits of being a member are many. Sign-up for a membership.
Volunteer with us. Four hundred folks already do as board members; committee planners; workshop monitors; gardeners; garden show hosts; horticultural experts; house painters, builders and building maintainers; Calgary Gardening magazine writers, editors and copy editors; social media and media representatives, compost turners, pruners and more. We have a variety of fun and educational opportunities to choose from. See the available volunteer opportunities on our Volunteer page.
Come Grow with us! Sure Calgary’s growing conditions can be tricky but you can create a beautiful garden space no matter where you live. We are passionate about helping you achieve gardening success. Grow with us and learn about tools, resources and knowledge to implement long-term, sustainable yard practices. Find outWhat’s Happening at the Society.
Donate to us. The Calgary Horticultural Society is a charitable organization that raises funds and issues tax receipts for all donations of $20 or more. Your support will help to sustain our programs so we can help gardens, gardener and the community of gardeners keep growing for years to come. Learn how your donation makes a difference.