2021-2022 – The program will run starting late October 2021, continuing through until April 2022. Due to uncertainty around COVID-19 and the need to find a suitable venue for the course, registration for this years class will open on Aug 1, 2021. Details are pending.

Anyone interested in doing an introductory course related to the program should consider either or both of the following classes: Calgary Gardening Fundamentals and Garden Journaling. Registration is open right now!

The Master Gardener program is perfect for those interested in learning more about the art and science of gardening such as botany, plant identification and propagation, pest and weed management, sustainable gardening techniques and more. It is both theoretical and practical, taught by horticulturists, experienced practitioners and industry experts. Participants are encouraged to work together as a group in order to enhance knowledge and to solve problems. Different perspectives enrich the discussions and the learning experience. This non-credit program is designed to train volunteers who then can share their knowledge in the community.

Are you looking for a challenge?

The Master Gardener program provides a broad scientific base of knowledge for gardeners. Expert speakers will help bolster student understanding of garden care and enhancement.

Community participation

Participants network to share knowledge and create a community of like-minded learners. They will join a bigger body of Master Gardeners across the continent who have the knowledge and tools to provide gardening guidance and assistance to the public and institutions.

Program commitment

This program will challenge participants and requires a serious investment of time. Students are led through an intensive program with assignments, written examinations, and a volunteer practicum of forty hours.

Prerequisites

Required: Secondary (High School) Education is required. Some post-secondary school (education or experience) is an asset.

Recommended: Since the Master Gardener Program covers a variety of topics and is scientifically challenging, attending the prerequisite courses is recommended to help ease the transition into the program. The recommended prerequisite course is Introduction to Woody Plant ID. Calgary Gardening Fundamentals and Garden Journaling are also courses that are helpful to any beginner/novice gardener wishing to take the Master Gardener Program in the future. They are usually run in spring.

Schedule

The 2021-2022 Master Gardener Program will run either on Saturdays or weeknights depending on venue availability. Part A runs Oct – Jan 2021 and Part B runs Jan-April 2022. Both parts do not have to be completed in the same year. For an example of program details and schedule, see below for the schedule from the previous year:

See the 2020/2021 program details and schedule

View the 2020/2021 Master Gardener calendar

Note: The calendar starts with a display of the current month. You may need to page through the calendar until you reach the scheduled classes and courses.

Location and Cost

This years’ Master Gardener Course will be held in person at a community centre, public health emergency permitting. We are exploring options for a hybrid course, with the option to participate online for part or all of the course. In the case where it cannot be held in person the Society reserves the right to offer it via an online platform instead.

Costs: $200 registration fee, due with application, + $TBD course fee (for A+B together), due between Sept 15&30.

Brochure

Need a bit more information? See last year’s Master Gardener brochure. Will be updated once a venue / delivery style is confirmed.

Application Form

The Master Gardener application form will be available in July.

Frequently asked Questions

Should I take the prerequisite courses?
While you do not have to take the courses to be successful in the Master Gardener program they will increase the scope of your knowledge and provide extra tools with which to approach the course content. Since the Master Gardener course is taught by experts, more can be gleaned from these experts if students have a good foundation in gardening knowledge. For some students this will be from experience, while others may find it helpful to take courses to help solidify those understandings. Read the course descriptions carefully and feel free to contact the coordinator if you have any questions about what is right for you.

What happens if I cannot attend all the classes?

Often students will need to miss one or more classes. The material can be made up by reading the notes (handed out at the beginning of each section), listening to audio recordings (most instructors permit) and going through lab materials at the office.

How much work is the course?
The course involves quizzes, assignments and a final assessment (after part B). Students should anticipate 1-2 hours/week of reading, 1-2 hours of studying and several hours on assignments. Time spent on assignments is often determined by the interest level of the students and the reference materials chosen.

What is involved in the practicum?
The practicum hours can be completed through the Calgary Horticultural Society, associated gardens and/or personal-interest volunteering. The goal is to have a mentored/supported volunteer experience in which some of the concepts from the course can be applied. The Calgary Horticultural Society offers opportunities to be part of teaching and display teams, research & writing, hands-on work in the teaching gardens, and much more.

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