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.
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.
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.
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 (and purchase) during the exchange. The exchange starts at sharply at the appointed hour. After a welcome message, 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 field 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 and pay for the plants that you have selected for purchase.
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, you may request a tag. When your letter is called you may select up to five plants for purchase. You can buy plants for $3 each.
Aggressive and Generous Plants
Plants that are groundcovers or prolific self-seeders are often aggressive and generous growers and, if planted in ideal conditions, can take over the garden. Many of these plants are brought to the Plant Share, but they are frequently left to languish on the tables. If you bring in three pots of the same type groundcover, aggressive, or generous plant, the same type of dead-nettle (Lamium) or cornflower (Centaurea montana) for example, it may be counted as one plant.
Do 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.
This is a free, members-only event. Please register to attend. Members may bring a guest to the event. Register your guest when you register for the event. Visit the Plant Share/Garlic Exchange event on the What’s Happening calendar to register.
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 field.
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, peat, 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 turned away,
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.