Wednesday, 12 October 2016

October - Our own seedy exchange

Were you ready for the snow?

As flakes fell, the Highlands Community League Hall felt extra cosy for our October meeting.

Some members were prepared for the snowfall (I was not one of them).  We talked about putting the garden to bed, the great re-jig of the Community Garden (thanks, Ollie!), potential club holiday plans, and some projects for the new year.

With "business" out of the way, it was on to our seed and bulb exchange!

Among the selection were Ollie's tulip bulbs and Cheri's native plant seeds.  Margaret also offered to split her lovely mums (left, still blooming) next spring.  Fingers-crossed this bout of snow doesn't stick around so we can put our new finds into the ground.  

(Below: Our youngest member was not for swap.)

November's meeting will be our holiday / year end celebration.  Keep your eyes on your inbox for an email with more details.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Canada 150

Canada's 150 birthday is next year -- are you planning on making your garden red and white? 

Whether you're going all in or just adding a small patch of our national colours, this might catch your attention: the Netherlands's has created a special commemorative tulip --  The Canada 150. 

Club members were pretty excited about this flower last meeting.  It's certainly pretty with its smooth white petals and "maple leaf" (inspired) red markings.

Photo courtesy: National Capital Commission
To get your hands on some bulbs, check with Home Hardware the exclusive retailer.

For more info about this tulip, photos of Ottawa's spring-time tulip displays, information about Canada-Netherlands connection visit The Weather Network News. 

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

August's Weed and Wine

Marie in vintage Highlands Garden Club gear.
After some hard work in the community garden, we retired into the community hall for some much hard-earned wine and gardening talk. 

Dandelions as big as carrots!

Margaret demonstrated good technique for "slug scooping" and gave us each our own super doper slug scooper spoon (patent pending).  Perfect for all the slugs we've been seeing with our raining weather. 

Unfortunately, another pest has been attacking our gardens: the scarlet lily beetle.  Lori is following up with the Lily society for more information and help. Stay tuned!

Monday, 8 August 2016

Highlands Herb Walk with Dionne (YEG Community Herbalist)

Club member Dionne, YEG Community Herbalist, is holding guided tour of her Highlands herbal garden where participants learn what grows in our city and when/how to harvest, use, and prepare them as medicine.

Highlands Garden Club members receive a $10 discount!

See below for details and how to register.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Creative Fire: Artist Garden Tour

Part one of June 8th's meeting was a garden tour of Creative Fire Studio.  Artist Beverly Oliwa showed how she integrates her beautiful Paverpol sculptures in the garden for a whimsical and magical effect.  Sylvia and Aimee were so enamored by her work they purchased one to celebrate their wedding anniversary!

Dionne shares her photos and a few words on the visit:

It totally torrentially down poured when we arrived at Bev's house.  We got soaked & huddled in her living room looking out into the garden & learned a bit more about her sculpture making process. 

We wandered the garden, & enjoyed. 

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

ARLS's 31st Annual Lily Show 2016

Posted on behalf of The Alberta Regional Lily Society

The Alberta Regional Lily Society (an affiliate of the North American Lily Society) presents its 31st  ANNUAL LILY SHOW 2016 at the GREENLAND GARDEN CENTRE (23106 Highway 16 East at Clover Bar Road - Sherwood Park)

- Saturday, July 23, 2016 - 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Sunday, July 24, 2016 - 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Everyone Welcome.

For more information and updates:

Thursday, 14 July 2016

July Meeting at Margaret's: Business in the Front, Blooms in the Back

Slightly overcast skies hinted at storm, but we were lucky -- the meeting wasn't rained out and we had plenty of time outside again to explore Margaret's garden.

This time (a month earlier than last year), the kale was a little less monstrous and a different set of flowers were in bloom. 

Happy bees buzzed around as we checked out some native beauties in the far far back -- no space wasted, flowers and plants right into the alley! 

We later convened back to the front yard to enjoy tea and treats.

We discussed upcoming events: The tour of Wilf Maul's acreage is on!  Also of interest is Alberta Open Farm Days at Northlands on Aug.21st.  There will be farm tours, demonstrations of honey harvesting, and talks on beekeeping, keeping chickens, and backyard farming. 



Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Neonics in the News: Lawsuit Launched!

Ecojustice* has launched a lawsuit to challenge the federal permits given to two neonic pesticides!

This class of pesticides has been linked to mass die-off of bees and is controversially still available in Canada. According to the lawyer for Ecojustice, Charles Hatt, "The (Pest Management Regulatory Agency) does not have reasonable certainty about the risks of these products, which they're required to do."

For more on the background of these permits and other related articles visit CBC News's post.

* Representing The David Suzuki Foundation, Friends of the Earth Canada, Ontario Nature and the Western Canada Wilderness Committee

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Blooming Beautiful!

Bang!  It's summer, every day what-was-a-bud is suddenly a bloom.  It's hard to catch flowers in the garden just as they're blossoming, but some patient and talented people have and shared!

See how lilies, Phalaenopsis orchids, Love-In-A-Mist (Nigella damascena), peonies, irises, dianthus, hibiscus, chrysanthemums, and others unfurl with this National Geographic video:

Katka Pruskova created a number of mesmerizing video Flowers Timelapse compilations.  Below, is Flowers Timelapse I of Amaryllis, Lilies, Easter cactus, Rose, Gladiolus, Tulip, Gardenia.  (Flowers Timelapse II and Flowers Timelapse III are also stunning.)
Flowers Timelapse from Katka Pruskova on Vimeo.

Beautiful and breathtaking... and plenty interesting for scientists to look into just why and how flowers open and close.  To find out more visit:
- Wired "The Physics of the Flower's Bloom"

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

2016 St. Albert Garden Tour

Posted on behalf of The St. Albert 50+ Club

The St. Albert 50+ Club is hosting a fundraising community event:

Sunday, July 3, 2016      
12 Noon—5 pm  

It will be a fun afternoon with some lovely gardens.  Be sure to get tickets before June 30th

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

"PAX" AT THE LAKE Art Exhibitition

Club members had a great visit with Beverly Oliwa at Creative Fire Studio last meeting.  Her art pieces were beautiful and impressive.

She's inviting all to see some of her new works this weekend at Wabamum.  Details below for "PAX" AT THE LAKE.

The demonstrations on Saturday will involve creating garden art with T-Shirts.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Celebrate Pollinator Week 2016

It's National (US) Pollinator Week!

Celebrate by learning about and appreciating our pollinator friends (bees being only just one) between June 20-26, and spread the news.


Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Hal Hopkins: Building Bee Hotels

Join Highlands Garden Club in its commitment to helping our community protect pollinators and “Bee Friendly”. This is very important because native bees ensure the growth of the food we eat as well as the flowers we enjoy. To do this job they need food, protection from pesticides and shelter. We can all help by planting native heirloom plants, avoiding the use of pesticides and:

Building Bee Hotels

Highlands Garden Club invites you to hear guest speaker Hal Hopkins, a man who is avidly involved in studying native bees.

Date and time: Wednesday, April 13 at 7:00 pm
Location: Highlands Community League, 6112 – 113 Avenue
Admission: FREE or Bring seeds to share with your neighbors

Hal has set up and monitored bee hotels at the University of Alberta Farm and has collaborated with the Edmonton & Area Land Trust on bee hotels. He shared information in an article on bee hotels in the Fall 2015 issue of Alberta Nature magazine. Hal will now share with us his experiences on what the bees prefer and what they don’t like.

Note: Bee hotels are built for solitary bees which do not sting.

Monday, 14 March 2016

From Cell to Sell: Creekside H&G bedding plant plugs

On Saturday, March 12th, Club members took a field trip to Creekside Home and Garden (formerly known as Dunvegan Gardens EDM).

We were greeted by Roq (Rock) and his staff who provided a great tour of the garden centre.

It is quite amazing to see the process:
A machine plants seeds into cells by needle.
Seeds get planted in the starter cells (512 to a sheet).  Plugs are then finished as bedding plants. We often forget all the hard work that goes into the process and this trip was a great eye opener.

Photos by Erica.

Finished bedding plants in the garden centre.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Flowers! An Icebreaker.

Poster By Alvesgaspar, Tony Wills (10) - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
My friend, an exasperated groom, once remarked, "There's no ugly flower!"  This did not help his bride-to-be choose her bouquet, because though none are ugly, there are certainly more beautiful ones in the eye of the beholder.

At last meeting, we found out just which flower struck each member's fancy. 

Here's our list with some online photos. 

Enjoy these blooms as we head through icy times.

Can you match the member (Dionne, Erica, Janice, Lana, Lori, Margaret, Vivianne) with their floral favourite?

Lilies from 2009 Lily Festival By Shahnoor Habib Munmun - Own work, CC BY 3.0 

Monarch butterflies on Common Milkweed, Asclepias syriaca from Make Way for Monarchs

'First Lady' peonies by Tracy Cox from Canadian Gardening "Peonies on Parade"

Icelandic Poppies from Decor8 blog
"Golden Celebration" from David Austen Fragrant English Roses