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Registered Program

Using gardening to ‘grow’: our community, community garden & build knowledge of gardening in Calgary.

Join Janet Melrose, Calgary’s Cottage Gardener for a unique learning program at the Dalhousie Community Association!

Gardening can provide an opportunity for you to “grow, nurture and bloom” (Janet Melrose). Janet’s vast experience, great stories and great tips about gardening in Calgary will make you want to get out there and apply some great ideas into your own gardens (no matter the size of your garden or your experience level).


The program will focus on a wide range of topics for gardening, with each talk focusing on the tasks for that part of the season. Goals for the program include:

  • To foster general knowledge, skills and passion of and for gardening in Calgary at multiple levels of existing experience; and
  • To build community and fundraising for DCA’s new community garden (Janet is graciously donating most of the proceeds from the program to our Dalhousie Community Garden).

Location and Timing:

Each session is 2 hours long and will run from 6:30-8:30pm at the Dalhousie Community Association. The topics will be very relevant for the season (details for each topic at the bottom of this information page):

  1. May 18 – “Spring Gardening is Swinging in Calgary” (completed)
  2. June 15 – “Summer Gardening in the City”
  3. September 21 – “Fall Activities for City Gardeners”
  4. October 19 — “Gardening into the Winter”


You can sign up for the program or hand-select the sessions you want to attend. Each session will be informal (which is what makes Janet’s style so natural and awesome) and will include demos and examples. We may even be using Sue’s garden for a session – weather dependent and whether participants want an in-garden experience.


Individual Sessions*

  • $20 per person (tickets purchased online at least 2 days prior to the event)
  • $25 per person (at the door, no discount)

(*DCA Members will receive 15% off single session)

(Maximum 40 participants per session)

* When registering, choose the individual you are registering and then at the next step choose one of the two options of merchandise (DCA member or non-member) to add to your cart and then complete with credit card payment.

#3:  Sept 21 – Fall Activities for City Gardeners

Gardening in fall is a delight with warm days. The season may be ebbing away but there are many tasks to complete before winter has the city in its sights!

  1. Cutting back perennials now- Yes or No?
  2. Planting trees and shrubs in fall
  3. Dividing perennials
  4. Planting spring bulbs
  5. Harvesting the edible garden and preserving the bounty
  6. Amending the soil & composting

*Sessions from Spring 2023*

1:  May 18 – Spring Gardening is Swinging in Calgary

(Thank you all for coming, it was a great session with Janet)

May is prime gardening time! It’s time to get the garden planted and all those well laid plans underway.

  1. Sowing and planting the edible garden
  2. Annual containers for the garden
  3.  Perennials
    • Choosing the best for various light, soil and moisture conditions
    • Dividing perennials for more and to share
    • Planting perennials
  4. Trees and Shrubs
    • Selecting the best tree and shrub for the right place and function
    • Large or small plants- which is better?
    • How to plant to avoid transplant shock
  5. Building and protecting the soil
    • Amending that heavy clay soil
    • Mulching

#4: October 19 – Gardening into the Winter

Winter is knocking at the door, but there is still so much to do…if you choose.

  1. Raking leaves and making leaf mould
  2. Cleaning out containers and readying them for the winter
  3. Those last harvests of edibles
  4. Protecting trees and shrubs from critters and the weather
  5. Winter mulch
  6. Organizing and sharpening tools
  7. The shed or garage!
  8. Assessing the seasons successes & challenges
  9. Laying plans for next year

*Sessions from Spring 2023*

#2: June 15 – Summer Gardening in the City

It’s early summer and the garden is growing well. No time to relax!

  1. The upcoming forecast for summer weather
    • Protecting the garden from heat, storms, hail, and drought
  2. Water conservation
    • Techniques for watering to conserve water
    • Investing in water harvesting and keeping water on your property
  3. The things that bug us and our plants
    • Weeds
    • Insects
    • Pathogens
    • Critters
  4. Early Harvesting of Edibles and Succession Planting