Documents: Special Interest:

Central Alberta Garden Clubs
by Linda Tominson
February 18, 2001

There are a number of active Garden Clubs in Central Alberta. The clubs allow like minded people to meet and discuss ideas, and help and encourage beginning gardeners. Many garden clubs are being rejuvenated with new younger members. The older members are a wealth of information while the younger ones are eager to learn and do most of the leg work; a win, win combination.
Many of the aims and objectives of the clubs are very similar although they use different methods to reach their goal. The clubs exist to learn about and promote horticulture. Some clubs are active year round, with different activities every month, while others are dedicated to producing a Bench Show.
Year round groups have time to explore many aspects of gardening. Usually they bring speakers in, have plant exchanges, go on garden tours, and help with yard and garden awards and Bench Shows.
Speakers can shed light on different aspects of gardening. They are usually entertaining with some new information for even the seasoned gardener. Question and answers afterwards are a must; more ideas are put forth by the speaker and the audience.
Plant exchanges are a good way trade unwanted plants for new ones. Most clubs have private exchanges as well public ones. The exchanges are as individual as the clubs so check to see what the rules are before you go. The end result is the same; participants go home with plants that are hardy to the area.
Clubs often tour private or public gardens. Touring allows gardeners to see what others are growing, ask questions and get fabulous ideas of what to do in their own yards. 
Yard and Garden Awards, along with Bench Shows are very labor intensive. If they are well organized, with lots of volunteers, they can be an enjoyable, learning experience. Most of the Shows in our area occur the last weeks in August.
Feel free to contact the garden clubs listed below. They all welcome new members.

The Red Deer and District Garden Club meet the 3rd Thursday of the month at 7:30. The topic for February is Starting Seeds. Their web site is
Lacombe and District Garden Club meet the third Tuesday of the month at Parkland Place. 
Sundre has a young club with over 100 members. They meet at least 4 times a year and put out 4 newsletters. 
Clearwater Garden Club in Rocky Mountain House has members from through out the County and beyond. The club meets the second Tuesday of the month, 7:00 at Lochearn School. In February there will be a quick election then it is time to explore different seed catalogues that the participants bring.
Rimbey and District Horticulture Club meet the 3rd Tuesday in each month at 1:30 in the Provincial Building. Their motto is to "Educate, propagate and meditate". They accomplish this through a number of shows held through out the summer. They have been instrumental in planting trees and flower beds around town. For more information call Mary Burrows at
Drayton Valley started the Black Gold Garden Club last year in response to the Alberta Horticultural Association's request to host their annual meeting. They meet the 2nd Tuesday of the month in the Provincial Building. February’s topic is: Building a Greenhouse from Scratch.
Three Hills has sponsored Junior Gardeners for many years. Children register, receive seeds and care for a 15’ (5.5 m) square garden all summer. The gardens are judged and prizes are awarded at the annual Bench Show. Meetings pertain to the Bench Show and the Junior Gardens. New members are desperately needed to keep this project going. 
Trochu has held a Bench Show the 3rd Wednesday in August sense 1967. As in all shows, help is always appreciated
Ponoka has a Junior Garden Club. Adult members visit district schools encouraging students between grade 4 and 6 to join and plant a plant 12’(4.4 m) square garden. The young gardeners receive seeds and their progress is monitored and judged. 

For contact information on any of the clubs please E-mail me.

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