Plan to Join Us
Each spring and fall the Society hosts a Plant Share. These are members-only events. When possible, the Society hosts the event in-person. The Society also has online tools for member-to-member sharing.
Participate in the Fall Plant Share: Saturday, September 9, 2023
Plan to join us on Saturday, September 9, 2023. Plant in-take for sharing is 9:00 to 9:45 am. Sharing starts at 10:00 am sharp! We expect the plant share part of the morning to be completed by 11:00 am.
Note: This is a in-person, members-only event. Members may use their Bring a Friend benefit, and bring a guest to the event. Registration is not required.
New for 2023
We have increased the number of plants that members can bring to the Plant Share to 10. However, we are looking for plant diversity not quantity. More than three of the same plant will not give the exchanger more than 3 credits towards selecting new plants from the exchange tables. For example, if you bring 10 irises (regardless of colour), you will receive an exchange note for 3 plants. If you bring 3 irises, 3 ostrich ferns, 3 daylilies, and 1 hepatica, you will receive an exchange note for 10 plants.
If you bring more than 10 plants or more than 3 of the same kind, you will be given the option to take the extras home or donate them to the Plant Share.
How In-person Plant Shares Work
An hour before the Plant Share starts, members bring their plants to the sharing location. Members and their guests visit the check-in table. We will be asking to see membership cards, so please have your card on hand.
Once you have completed your check-in, bring your plants to the in-take table. Plants should be labelled, with at least their common name. It would be helpful if you can also include their mature size and growing environment on the label. If you do not know the name of your plant, visit the Labelling Table for assistance.
Participants may bring up to ten plants. The goal of the Plant Share is to provide quality plants to Society members so they can refresh their gardens and to provide good plants to new gardeners.
For the plant(s) that you bring, you will receive a lettered coupon. The coupon will note the number of plants that you may collect during the exchange. The exchange starts sharply at the appointed hour. After a welcome message and announcements, the Master of Ceremony will call out a letter. When the letter called matches the one on your coupon, you may enter the sharing area to select your plants. The sharing area is a roped off part of the park with series of tables with the plants. The plants are organized by plants size and type. Once you walk around all the Plant Share tables, you will come to the checkout where you turn in your coupon.
Prior to the start of the sharing event, you may walk around the outside of the roped-off sharing area to view the plants. However, this must be done at distance, to let the volunteers get the plants organized quickly.
The Plant Share is a fast event and typically ends an hour after the sharing starts.
Nothing to Share? Purchase!
If you don’t have any plants to exchange, but would like to participate, after all sharing selections have been made, purchasers will be invited to the sharing tables. You can buy up to five plants for $3 each, cash only.
Please bring a piece of your prized plant. If it’s time to divide the peony that gets all the compliments in your garden, save a piece for the Plant Share. Let another gardener enjoy it’s beauty. If you started perennials from seed earlier this year, could one be given a home elsewhere? Every gardener needs a special plant, consider sharing yours.
Seeds for Sharing
A table will be set up for sharing seeds. You can exchange seeds, or if you don’t have seeds to exchange, you can make a cash donation. If you have extra seeds and don’t need more, you can the donate seeds. Seeds remaining after the event will be used by the Society or donated to other gardens.
Aggressive and Generous Plants
In the past, many gardeners have brought groundcover or prolific self-seeder plants to the Plant Share. These plants are often aggressive growers and, if planted in ideal conditions, can take over the garden. Because many Society members already have these plants or don’t want them, they are frequently left to languish on the tables. Please consider posting these plants in our online Plant Shares: the Facebook Plant Share Group: Calgary Horticultural Society and the Plant Share Forum. That way, you can connect directly with gardeners who want these plants. Some examples of plants that often do not have homes after our Plant Shares are dead-nettle (Lamium), cornflower (Centaurea montana), and catmint (Nepeta).
Purchasing or Renewing Your Membership
It is recommended that membership purchases and renewals be made in advance of the Plant Share. You can call the office at 403.287.3469 to purchase or renew over the phone. The office is open during the Plant Share for membership purchases and renewals. If you need to renew your membership on the day of the Plant Share, please come to the office prior to bringing your plants to the Plant Share.
Tips for Preparing for the Plant Share
- Two weeks before the Plant Share, look at your perennial plants to determine which can or should be divided.
- Feed the plant with a 0-10-10 fertilize to encourage healthy root growth. Nitrogen fertilizers should be avoided to prevent encouraging tender new leafy growth.
- Create a label for the plant and put it in the ground next to the plant.
- A week to four days prior to the Plant Share, put the plant in a pot, tuck in the tag, and/or create a masking tape label on the pot. Water the pot well so it looks vibrant and healthy on the day of the Plant Share.
- If you have creeping bellflower (Campanula rapunculoides) or another aggressive, invasive plant in your yard, it is better to bring your plant bareroot. Bareroot means that all the soil has been remove from the root of the plant. Put the root in water or moist potting mix, coir, vermiculite, or sawdust to keep the root moist. On the day of the Plant Share, the root can be wrapped in moist newspaper or paper towel and then placed in a plastic bag, to prevent it drying out while on the tables.
- Also, please review the Alberta Invasive Species Council website (abinvasives.ca) for information regarding invasive species. Any plants brought in that appear on this list will be put in the garbage.
Doing a bit of work in advance means that on Plant Share day, you can just grab your plants and go—no last minute decisions that might result in a damaged plant because you were rushing.
The Alberta Invasive Species Council website (abinvasives.ca) has excellent information about plants that are considered invasive in Alberta. On the list are some plants that were once considered garden plants and could be purchased at garden centres. These plants include: perennial baby’s breath, creeping bellflower, dame’s rocket, Himalayan balsam, purple loosestrife, common tansy, yellow clematis, and yellow flag iris.
These are some of the plants that gardeners may bring to the Plant Shares that will be disposed of.
Please do not bring simple forms of the white shasta daisy. It has been shown to revert to one of its parents, the oxeye daisy The oxeye daisy is on the invasive species list.