Skip to content

Join Janet Melrose, Calgary’s Cottage Gardener for a fun, interactive gardening series 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).


  • Offering a program ‘Gardening in Calgary, that in 2024 will focus on specific topics of relevance and interest for gardening in Calgary, with each talk being an in-depth exploration of the subject;
    • With the desired goals of building community and fundraising for the new community garden
  • Foster general knowledge, skills and passion of and for gardening in Calgary at multiple levels of existing experience.

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 23 – The Climate Resilient Garden
  2. June 20 – Getting the Most Out of Your Edible Garden
  3. August 8 – Bringing Back the Bugs
  4. September 12 – Fall Activities to Prepare the Garden for Next Year


You can sign up for the full series or select the individual 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.


Individual Sessions: $20 per session (pre-purchase online at least 2 days prior to the event) or $25 (at the door)

(*DCA Members will receive 15% off – pre-purchase only – code will be emailed)

(Maximum 40 participants per session)

Garden Session Purchase Here

#1:  May 23 – The Climate Resilient Garden

Our climate has undeniably altered and the effects are both apparent and profound for us and our gardens. Here is how we and our gardens can adapt to the new reality.

  • How Calgary’s climate has changed over the past decade & the impacts to the gardening season
  • Water restrictions & how they will impact gardening in 2024
  • Strategies for a climate resilient garden:
    • Improving soil organic matter
    • Mulching
    • No-till cultivation
    • Watering techniques & water harvesting
    • Protecting the garden through covers
  • Perennial versus annual plants
  • Native plants versus exotic plants

#3:  August 8 – Bringing Back the Bugs

Wildlife of all sorts are diminishing and the silence can be deafening. Explore how we can bring back the bugs in our gardens.

  • An overview of the situation
  • Roles of insects and other wildlife in the garden
  • Beneficial versus not so good bugs
  • Creating habitat-shelter, water, food
  • Cultural techniques to encourage wildlife in the garden
  • Managing the garden without pesticides

#2: June 20 – Getting the Most Out of Your Edible Garden

Space is limited. Time to get the most out of your edible beds.

  • Principles of Intensive Gardening
  • Choosing crops for best production
  • Square Foot Gardening
  • Companion planting
  • Relay planting
  • Crop rotation
  • Extending the seasons

#4: September 12 – Fall Activities to Prepare the Garden for Next Year

The fall often feels like the end of the season, but its an essential part of the cycle of the garden

  • How our garden season is lengthening the fall
  • Locking carbon into the soil with soil improvements
  • Composting
  • Cutting back perennials or leaving them up
  • Fall planting -spring flowering bulbs and more
  • Protecting the plants for winter
  • Fall wrap up

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