Member news

July 17, 2018
 We would like to open our garden to the Hort Society members this Tuesday July 17th from 7 o’clock until 8:30. 
When Len retired he wanted a project to keep him busy, so we decided to build a house big enough for our newly-blended family of six daughters and nine grandchildren (eight of whom are girls).  He also wanted a large yard to putter in and he got one. 
We had planned to pick away at the landscaping on the five-year plan until last year when one of my girls said she was getting married this summer and wanted to have the gift opening in our yard.  Then it became – quick get something green and growing into those bare patches of ground!
 Backing onto the coulees as we do, has its challenges.  First is the wind, which the solution to that is: this is Lethbridge, learn to live with it.  The second is the deer that love everything we plant even when the books say they don’t eat those plants… the deer obviously haven’t read the books.  We have found a way to keep them out of the back yard but they are still a challenge in the front. 
The third challenge was that neither Len nor I had ever had a flower garden before so that has been a really steep learning curve but is one we are enjoying.  We both have had vegie gardens before so have a bit better luck in that area.  Today our lilies are looking great so I hope they will stay that way until Tuesday for all to enjoy along with our other plants.
Today we are having the first cherry pie off our Romeo and Juliet cherry trees.  You will also see lots of plants some of you will recognize like grape vines, iris, blue boy celmatis, grape hyacinths, lady’s mantel and much more that we have bought or received from different members.
Our address is 124 Canyoncrest Point West.  To get here: Take University Drive south as if you were going to the Paradise Golf Course.  Go through three roundabouts and when you come to the T-intersection of Canyon Parkway and Canyon Boulevard turn right.  At the first street turn left onto Canyoncrest Point and go all the way down to where the street starts to curve and you will see  a big brown house on the right (coulee) side.  The gate to the back yard is on the right/South side of the house.  Come on in and welcome!
Elizabeth and Len Hale
P.S. There will be cookies for whoever can tell us why the elephant painted it toenails red.
June 1, 2018
Paul Stevenson was named 2017 Gardener of the Year at the regular Horticultural Society meeting May 28. Paul was cited for his hard work toward planning for the Legacy Garden project, scheduled to start this summer.
June 23, 2018
Annual Wildflower Walk

For the last many years, members of the Horticultural Society have enjoyed
going to Waterton to see the wild flowers. This year, we have decided on a slight
change for the location of our outing. And we have combined this with the first of
our open gardens this summer.
First, we will spend an hour in the garden of Charles Winchester who lives at
Kimball, southeast of Cardston. Charles is a plant lover who lives and gardens
on 1.2 acres that was his parents’ home. The garden is made in two main areas
with some smaller secondary areas. The lilac garden is surrounded by lilacs with
flower boarders around a fire pit and small lawn. The vegetable garden is across
the driveway and is being turned into flower beds. A fairly new flower-bed along
the side walk on the west side of house has some native plants and sedums. The
rest of property is lawns.
We will also be visiting Deb Gregorish’s property, called “Set a Spell”, south of
Police Lake. The property comprises many acres of aspen parkland with a
number of trails through it. There are also some wetland areas. We will follow a
main path that at the beginning is fairly flat then starts to go up hill. The trail
emerges from the trees to an open hillside normally covered with wildflowers,
and which gives an absolutely amazing view of Chief Mountain.
If we continue tothe top of the hill, we will encounter a cairn marking the US /Canada boundary. We can stand with one foot in the United States and one foot in Canada. There
are a number of alternate paths back to the parking area.
Deb has set up an area of tables for a picnic lunch – hikers might bring chairs for
sitting. There are also quite reasonable outhouse facilities on site.
As we will be out most of the day, bring lunch/snacks, water, sunscreen, and mosquito repellent. We migh tencounter wildlife on Deb’s property, so if you’re nervous like me bring bearspray.
We will car pool. You may drive if you want, or be a passenger. Please be
ready to share gas expenses with your driver. Our meeting place will be the northwest corner of the parking lot at the Safeway store at Fairway Plaza (Highways #4 and #5.) The car pool will leave at 8:30 a.m. sharp, so please be there ten minutes early to sign the required Waiver and Release Form.
Thursday, July 6, 2017

One of our members, Cathy Littler, has invited us to her garden from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, July 6.   The address is 527 – 11 Street South.   Here’s a description of the garden and some of the work that has gone into it.

We have been living there for just over 2 years now.  When we bought the property, it had recently been built so they had removed any plants that existed before that time, with the exception of a large lilac tree in the back that they just beat up a little.  They did lay sod front and back as well.  The first summer I removed all of the sod on the north side of the sidewalk in the back and planted a variety of sun loving plants and grapes, which I have never grown.  They are doing very well.  I also trimmed the lilac and fertilized it a lot and put new soil in around it and decorated it with colorful birdhouses to fill in all its bare branches.  I also planted a shade garden under the lilac.So the second summer, last year, I took down the birdhouses and the lilac has filled in nicely. 

I lost a few rose bushes and Shasta daisies over the winter.  I decided I didn’t like all the water I was using to keep the front lawn alive, due to the large trees on the boulevard.  So last September my husband and I rototilled all the sod up, put in a stone path and a very large rock, a pine topiary tree and a variety of xeriscape plants.  We were racing to get this done before it got too cold.  All but one plant survived the winter, which was great.  It is filling in now and my greatest challenge is to not fill up every piece of exposed dirt with more plants. “

An evening strolling in a garden is a great way to deal with the heat.  And we have been invited into the garden of Barb Mansbridge.  Hope lots of people can visit. Penny.

July 10, 2017

Barb Mansbridge:  Monday, July 10 from 7 to 9 p.m.               242 Cassino St. South

We moved into the house in 2013 and started the garden in 2014 with plants moved from our previous High River home; plants begged, borrowed and stolen from plant exchanges and neighbours; and plants that called out from the garden centres. The small yard (emphasis on small) was compacted grass in the back and front without any floral relief. We hauled in loads of garden mix from Burnco and proceeded to put together an odd, but charming, little garden. There aren’t any plants you can’t find at a garden centre but we hope you enjoy the arrangement.

July 11, 2017

Ken and Linda Richards:  Tuesday, July 11 from 7 to 9 p.m.                                      This garden is on an acreage SE of Lethbridge; directions below.

Ken and Linda live on a 4-acre property, developed over the past 15 yrs.  During the past 5 yrs they have built 29 raised flowerbeds.  They are growing over 100 species of plants in the beds with emphasis on native Canadian plants.  Most of the seed goes to Canada’s national seed gene bank, Saskatoon.  Ken will number 100 plant species and give visitors a list of names to match against the numbers.  Highest score wins a bottle of wine. Using Highway 5 as if going to the airport and on towards Waterton Lakes NP Travel 2.7 km south past the airport until you reach Highway 508 at which you turn left (east on pavement).  Follow #508 for 6.4 km to Range Road 20-5.  Turn right (south) on gravel road, briefly.  We are the second house of the first driveway on your left (paved).  The property sign says #75079.

Using Highway 4 as if going to Coutts    From the intersection of 43 Street and Highway 4, travel 9.6 km southeast past the SMRID Main Canal and a truck pull out.  At Range Road 20-5 turn right (south west, paved road).  Be very careful as there is a busy railway crossing immediately off the highway.  Drive 2 km south and cross Highway #508 on to a gravel road.  We are the second house of the first driveway on your left (paved).  The property sign says #75079.

June 11, 2017

Gardener of the Year 2016: Dr. Marion JankunisWhen Stephen Leacock was awarded his PhD in mathematics he joked that now he had earned the degree, his

Marion Jankunis, right, presented with Gardener of the Year for 2016 by Lethbridge and District Horticultural Society President Penny Dodd

head was full, and he couldn’t learn anything more. Our Gardener of the Year could say the same. Although she has a doctoral degree in medicine, she continues to engage in educational activities, and recently earned the Prairie Horticulture Certificate from Olds College.

She also puts in a vegetable garden every year, and particularly enjoys growing cherry tomatoes, potatoes and winter squash.  Along with her husband, she also grows vegetables for the food bank. When I first heard about that contribution, they were growing 1200 pounds of potatoes to give away. Although she says the volume is not what it used to be, but they still make an annual contribution – mostly onions the last few years.

Her biggest interest in the flower garden right now is the herbaceous peony.  She has started hundreds of seeds since first buying them from the Canadian Peony Society seed exchange in 2010.  Now she also uses the American Peony Society seed exchange as a source. Her primary interest is in the herbaceous hybrids (interspecies crosses of herbaceous peonies) and single red lactifloras.  

She has had some of her seedlings bloom for the first time already, and is expecting more this spring.  We will watch for the commercial release of some of her hybrids. Maybe she’ll name something after us.

Another of her interests is alpine flowering plants for the garden.  She has successfully grown several alpine perennials that are said not to be hardy in our climate.  Her main source of seed for the alpines is the seed exchange held by the North American Rock Garden Society.

To see some of the public spaces she has contributed to, visit three of the gardens the Hort Society continues to develop and maintain. First, she was one the few (four or five) people who developed the native plant garden at the Galt Museum & Archives, where she contributed not only physical labour, but also the native seedlings she had grown.

She has also been the driving force behind the rehabilitation of the flowerbeds on the north side of Henderson Lake. Her commitment there includes planning the beds, growing plants, purchasing shrubs, arranging for work bees, establishing and maintaining contacts with the city, and actually doing the physical work.

Finally, she is the person behind the Hort Society’s involvement in the Hospital Beautification Project. She has been our contact person there, she makes the decisions on the annuals to plant every year, and, as usual, she does a lot of the physical work.

If all this isn’t enough, she contributes further to gardening in the city by her commitment to the Hort Society as one of our directors.

June 4, 2017

Volunteer Opportunity

The Galt Museum & Archives is looking for a volunteer to collect seeds from the Native Prairie Plants Garden.   The Seed Program  collects, cleans and packages the seeds and then sells them in the Museum Store.  The program is mainly volunteer run.

It is an easy job and not terribly time-consuming.  Someone will call you to let you know when it needs to be done and what seeds to collect.  At times it may be  two or three times a week during the peak collecting season, for perhaps an hour or so at a time.  At other times, it’s maybe once a week or less.  All supplies and training are provided.    If you are interested in helping, please call Beatrice at the Museum at 403-320-3154.

(Scroll down for member discount program at local garden-related businesses.)

Syrian family looking for garden space
A Syrian immigrant family is looking for garden space. They would do some yard work in exchange. Canadian volunteer would assist. Contact Roger Durupt
An Ode to Our Roses
By Paul Stevenson
Alas and alack
What was to be
Is not to be
While mountain trekking last week to celebrate
Our long lost betrothal some deer
Dears that they are
Visited our back sanctuary and
The best crop of tea rose blossoms
In many a year have found their way
To the digestive tracts of our friends
Of the forest
To be woeful is foolish
That said – aaarrrghhh
2015 Gardener of the Year
On April 25, Dave Pearson was awarded the Lethbridge Herald / Lethbridge and District Horticultural Society Gardener of the Year Trophy in recognition of his promotion of horticulture in the community.
Dave served 15 years as a director of the Horticultural Society taking a leading role 2015 Gardener of the Yearin organizing the annual flower shows. Since 2004 he has volunteered with the Friends of the Fairfield Gardens Society. His interest in growing edibles contributed to the establishment of the PSAC Food Banks Garden in 2010 and, in 2013, he was instrumental in the building of the Interfaith Food Bank Learning Garden. His volunteer contributions now extend to the Community Garden Project at the Boys and Girls Club.
Although Dave humbly credits his fellow volunteers with the success of these community-based gardening projects, his leadership, expertise and hard work make him a most deserving “Gardener of the Year”. Congratulations Dave.
Upcoming member’s only events
Open Gardens invitation
If you are willing to open your garden to be viewed at a time that is convenient to you, or when a particular display is looking great, give our president, Penny Dodd, (403-380-3809) a call; we’ll get the word out to members.
As an incentive this year we will offer a one year membership up to $25 plus a $20 gift certificate for the effort the home owners make in opening their garden to members.
Board seeks input for Canada 150 project
The Board would like to form a committee to look at possible projects for Canada’s 150 birthday.
If you would be interested on being on this committee or have ideas about potential projects please contact the president, Penny Dodd
Member Discount Program
The following businesses support the Lethbridge and District Horticultural Society by offering discounts on horticultural products. This benefit is non-transferable and intended to be used only by Society members. Please politely inquire before you purchase. Always show your valid membership card and be prepared to show photo ID if requested. The
retailers reserve the right to limit or withdraw this offer without notice. If you have any questions, please contact the Society Treasurer.
• Coaldale Nurseries 10% off purchases. Trees and shrubs only.
• Country Blooms Garden Centre 10% off purchases. Discount does not apply to Gift Shop items.
• Green Haven Garden Centre 10% off purchases. Available year-round. Not to be used with other promotional discounts.
• Home Hardware – West Lethbridge 10% off purchases. Discount applies to seasonal garden items only. Inquire before purchase.
• Shaughnessy Greenhouse 10% off purchases.

• Hilltop Greenhouses at Monarch 10% off purchases.

Thank you for supporting these local businesses.

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