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Gardeners UNITE

Gardeners UNITE!

Maureen Sexsmith-West

ISA Certified Arborist, PR4600A

This piece was inspired by a conversation I had with a new resident this week who loves to garden but doesn’t have a place to do it at her new home. Gardening is increasing in popularity. In addition to enhancing your outdoor spaces, it allows us to grow organic produce and to watch our finances. There is something wonderfully therapeutic about planting a seed, nurturing it and reaping the bounty – not to mention the release from pulling out weeds instead of your hair when dealing with teenagers or job stress. Gardening provides opportunities for exercise, education and socializing – a great family activity that can bridge three generations. These traditional skills deserve to be passed on to future generations.

I spent hours digging worms as my mom tended our massive garden plot. We ate fresh veggies most of the summer and when fall came, it was canning season. My Mom still grows a few veggies at her condo. No matter where I lived, I have always found (or made) room to grow a few veg or berries. I carry on the tradition of canning and take great pleasure in sharing my bounty with family and friends. Yes – that is me on the right, creating a load of laundry. Gardens can be as small as a planter of herbs on the patio to a market size garden. They can be traditional row gardens, square foot gardens or take on a life of their own when ‘edible landscapes’ are created using a variety of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. By growing UP you can make the most of fence line planting. Preserving or freezing your bounty can keep you in fresh food well into winter.

There are so many wonderful organizations in our area. Over the years, many have contributed greatly to the beautification of our City. I encourage you to get involved – many of the existing members are seasoned gardeners with a wealth of information. It is a great place of meet people with a passion for plants. Each group offers something a little different. Whether you are a beginner or a veteran, your participation, of even one hour a month, is welcomed.

As non-profit organizations, they would benefit from in-kind assistance on their initiatives and financial contributions from corporations or citizens help bring their vision into our communities.

With winter settling in, it is a great time to build your knowledge, meet new gardeners or get inspired to try something new next growing season. Here a just a few groups worth investigating. The Lethbridge & District Horticultural Society is over 100 years old. Plant sales, garden tours, monthly speakers the last Monday of the month at the Library and much more. Take in their Native Prairie Plants Garden at the Galt Museum. call Barb @ (403) 381-7153. Email:

Bonsai Society – A group of like minded meticulous pruners. Annual show 1st or 2nd weekend May. Annual field trip in May. Meetings 2nd Tuesday each month except July & Aug. at Lethbridge Public Library at 7:30pm. Contact Carmen (403) 328 3855. Prairie Urban Garden is an initiative of the Oldman Watershed Council promoting xeriscape sustainable gardening in our semi-arid environment. They host an annual garden tour. Call (403) 382-4239 or visit Friends of the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens: Memberships, Volunteer opportunities and donations help keep them providing an amazing experience for residents and tourists alike. Call (403) 328-3511, Email:

Lethbridge Naturalists Society -The Lethbridge Naturalists Society meets monthly on the second Wednesday of the month. (403) 328-3108. Email or

Fairfield Gardens Society – Take the Heritage Forest Walking Tour at the Lethbridge Research Center. Check out the beautiful floral gardens they have created. For donations, meetings and volunteer opportunities call (403) 317-2272, Email:

Grow it! Community Garden. Located at 2405-41st Steet North by the Animal Shelter Conact: Eunice 403-328-2761 Email:

Campus Roots Community Garden (U of L) – Join them at their monthly meetings or take in one of their speaker nights. For more information check out

Community Garden Society: Sign up for a rental plot or help out on the Board. Adjacent is the Coaldale Edible Forest with fruit bearing trees and shrubs. Cooperative help to plant and tend a food bank plot needed for 2013.

Coaldale Communities in Bloom: Is looking for volunteers for their Board and projects. Brenda 403 345-2229

Happy gardening. If you can add to the list, please post a comment.


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