Blog Posts

Newsletter April 2019

I know you’re enjoying spring – I’m not even going to ask. 

Gardening season is upon us and while you may not be putting seeds in the earth yet, I’m guessing you’re making plans to. If you’re not, call me, we’ll talk. In the meantime, let me inspire you with news of the Garden. It’s been a busy winter!

1. The AGM

If you were at the AGM, it was so great to see you! Thanks for joining us!

If you weren’t at the AGM, we’re so sorry to have missed you. It’s been ages and we’re dying to catch up!

Here are the highlights from the meeting:

– Srimal Ranasinghe from Sustainable Calgary gave a very interesting talk which touched on the benefits of growing food in currently underused spaces, improving community through a wide variety of revitalizing projects, and showed us some re-imagined spaces in Acadia & surrounding neighbourhoods. 

Take a look at the link for an inkling of the vision for the Anderson to Heritage project at

– We held elections and have some new Board members to introduce! Please welcome Melody Plummer to the role of Secretary and Linda Berry to the role of Director at Large. Thanks so much for stepping forward, ladies! 

2. Rentals for the 2019 Season

There are still 4) 4×6 beds and 2) 4×10 beds left to rent. Please take a look at the map below to confirm your name is on there and to see which bed you’ve been allotted. Should you have any questions about your rental, please email the Registrar, Fiona. If you have questions about your payment, please email the Treasurer, Bonnie. Thanks!

3.  Garden Opening & the Community Clean Up – all on May 11th

We’re going to have our official opener on May 11th which is the same day as Acadia’s Community Spring Clean Up (poster attached below). 

We’ve got some holes to dig, concrete to pour, and some general clean up & planting to do so for all of you who signed up for Building, Small Repairs, and Special Events, we’ll be contacting you with volunteer requests. Many hands make light work, especially in the garden! 

The veterans among you are already self-sufficient but we’d like to have our new renters come for an orientation at 1:00 pm so you can get your shed key, learn how the watering system works, and generally get the lay of the land. You’ll also get the opportunity to meet the Board, some of your fellow gardeners, and generally have a bit of a chat. It’s a fun event, rain or shine.

4. Row Covers

This year we’re offering optional row covers for your beds – either floating or hooped, as you like. We’ll talk more about this in the next few weeks so consider this a teaser.

5. New Additions to the Food Forest

We’ve got some new plants coming to the Food Forest this year including a Canada Plum, hazelbert shrubs, 3 varieties of grape vines, and hops. There has been some talk about incorporating a pear tree as well but that may be down the road still. You’ll also notice some new Food Forest signage at the opening, one of which is attached below. As part of our Vision to better interconnect our Community, we’ve received a grant from the City of Calgary’s Neighbourhood Grant Program which has allowed us to make this sign and incorporate some of the languages most spoken by residents of Acadia: Tagalog and Spanish. We’ve also included French, not only because it’s a national language but because we’re neighbours with École de la Source, a Francophone Charter School. Watch for more signage coming this year!

6. Education: Upcoming Talks & Workshops

For the 2nd year, our South Central Garden Coalition is presenting a series of talks & workshops called Garden On!

Super Seeds, presented by Janet Melrose – Calgary’s Cottage Gardener, happening April 11th from 7-9 pm at the Haysboro Community Hall.

Preregistration is required in order to obtain enough materials for all attendees. The cost is $15 and the eventbrite link is here:

If you haven’t attended a gardening workshop before, this is a great one to start with. It’s a fun group and you’ll learn a tonne, even if you’re an experienced gardener.

Our Upcoming Workshops will include:

May 13th – Garden On: building Herb Planters – at The ARC – $15

June 19th – Maximizing Potential in the Garden – at The ARC – price TBD

7. 1st Annual Garden & Art Tour: a fundraiser for the Acadia Community Garden & Art Society

This is an absolute beauty of an event and the brainchild of Jill, our Volunteer Coordinator. Here’s how it works:

A. Think of all the amazing, interesting, bizarre, forward-thinking gardens in Acadia. 

B. Think of all the amazing, interesting, bizarre, forward-thinking art installations in Acadia.

C. Now imagine, for a small fee, receiving a map which located all of these gardens/art pieces for you, and having 5 hours over 2 days where you could take a self-guided tour of Acadia to see the sights and talk to the artists responsible!

That’s amazing, right!!!

Well, it’s happening this July and we want you to help us make it amazing!

Get involved by showing off your talents!

Refer your talented neighbours! Send them the poster or send us their contact info; we’d be happy to go and talk to them about showing off their spaces!

Volunteer your time! Buy a map! Tell the world!

Get in touch to participate Poster attached below.

8. Calling All Dreamers & Creative Minds: a volunteer opportunity

We’re working on building some Community Partnerships and applying for grants to access funding for upcoming projects. If you’d like to be a part of that Very Creative Team, please email Stephanie at It’s a very exciting time for this Committee and the more Big Picture Thinkers we have, the better off the whole community is. 

9. Extra seeds and seedlings

We’ve got Gardeners already offering extra seedlings for transplant to any takers so I’ll put it out there now: bring all your extra seeds & seedlings to the Opener on May 11th. Trading plants/seeds is a great way to make friends and try some new things. We’ve also had a huge donation of seeds from Renee’s Seeds via Quick Grow Edmonton Trail so those will be available for the taking too.

And that’s probably enough for today. As always, if you have questions, concerns, or if you just want to chat, get in touch. We’re happy to hear from you.

Have a great weekend!



2019 Board of Directors

President: Stephanie Sweeney


Past President: Corinne Sandhurst


Vice President: Laurie Vanderwal


Secretary: Melody Plummer


Treasurer: Bonnie Mellafont


Volunteer Coordinator: Jill Swingler

Email: (or if the volunteer address bounces – we’re temporarily having trouble with it) 

Registrar: Fiona Thai


Communications & Resident Master Gardener: Joanne Klein


Web Designer: Open

Email: (currently forwards to Joanne Klein)

Directors at Large: Linda Berry, Andy Poldaas, Dan Wray

EMERGENCY: Joanne Klein  mobile: 403-862-4789

General Garden Email:

General Garden Phone: 403-800-8365

Physical & Mailing Address: 332 – 94th Avenue SE  Calgary, AB  T2J0E8

Social Media

Facebook: @AcadiaCommunityGarden

Twitter: @acadiagarden

Instagram: @growingacadia

We also have a closed group on Facebook that we use as a forum and which you are welcome to join. Search ‘Friends of Acadia Community Garden & Art Society’ and request to join.

Notice: You’re receiving this email because of your membership and/or affiliation to the Garden. Should you wish to be removed from this list, please reply to this email and make the request. Thank you.

The Acadia Community Garden & Art Society’s Annual General Meeting 2017

Please join us for the upcoming annual general meeting so we can get to know you this 2017!

Time: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Date: Monday, April 10, 2017
Place: Calgary Co-op Macleod Trail, Community Room (upstairs) 8818 Macleod Trail SE

Everyone is welcome – friends of the garden, past, current or interested gardeners, volunteers or anyone who is curious about us.

Hope to see you there!

Acadia Garden and Art Society, Board of Directors

Hello Acadia: April Issue

Acadia Community Garden & Art Society 

Those of you who read this article regularly – and that’s all of you, I’m sure – may have noticed that we’re pretty keen about gardening. It’s true, we love to garden. We could likely talk about it day and night, month in and month out. But I’m going to tell you a secret: we like other forms of art too. It’s true! And now I’ve got to ask, are there any quilting fans out there?

I’ll be straight up with you. While I’ve enjoyed sewing since my junior high Home Economics class (is that still a thing?), I’ve only been quilting for a couple of years, and casually at that. Despite the relatively short length of time since my inception, I think it’s safe to say that I’m an addict. I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt, the mug, the spare room full of fabric, and still love everything about it.

Let’s use that zeal for good, shall we, and explore the awesomeness that is quilting. We’ll call it QUILTING 101.

First things first, never let anyone tell you that hand quilting is dead. Sure, quilting with your sewing machine is faster and much easier on the fingers, but there is real satisfaction in seeing your carefully placed stitches run through that gorgeous material. Other benefits include quilting in bed – let’s see someone do THAT with their sewing machine – or the warmth it provides when you’re quilting in your chair on a cold, snowy night. Remember that scene with Peter’s granny in Heidi? Brrr. Makes me wish I was quilting right now.

Secondly, styles vary wildly. As with any art or craft, people explore their creativity in any way they’re moved to. Some find solace in traditional patterns, others prefer a modern flair, while the next may unleash their mastery in high-realism art. A few of the more common types of quilting include:

  • Pieced or Patchwork: This is probably what you think of when someone says ‘quilt’. It’s a series of shapes sewn together, often in blocks, and usually with an obvious pattern. It could include triangles, squares, or any other shape, and could be made of pre-cuts, sampler-blocks, or based on a complex pattern. The options are endless.
  • Appliqué: In this style, cut shapes are stitched to a background fabric. They’re occasionally padded for added form.
  • Paper or English Paper Pieced: This precise style of quilting will appeal to those who want their seams to line up perfectly. Methods vary so do some experimenting with styles to see which method suits you best. Note that there’s often hand-stitching involved so if you’re short on patience, this may not be the style for you.
  • Art Quilts: These are unlikely to be found on anyone’s bed. Rather, art quilts aim to create an image or idea, much like a painting would, and are often wall-mounted. They often feature mixed media, perhaps paint or non-fabric fibres.

Finally, you’ve got to learn to bind the quilt properly. It’s a crying shame to spend so much time creating a masterpiece only to make a mess of the final stitches around the perimeter. Fortunately, you can get tutorials online or take a class at one of the local quilt shops. There are three within spitting distance so, no excuses.

We’ll be sure to continue this conversation on our social media channels and hope that you’ll share your art projects with us. We’d love to see what you’re working on.

If you’d like to get more involved and build a greater community for yourself, come on down to our AGM! You can find us Monday, April 10th, from 7:00-9:00 pm in the Community Room at the Macleod Trail Co-op located at 8818 Macleod Trail SE. Everyone is welcome and we’re always looking for new people to join the fun! Hope to see you there!

Joanne is a Master Gardener and Novice Quilter who lives in Acadia.

Hello Acadia- January Issue

Water-Wise Gardening

Whether you call them water-wise, drought-smart, or xeric, methods of gardening that contribute to the conservation of water are essential to ecosystem preservation on a global level. Let’s face it, we’re seeing an increase in the desertification of land and freshwater rationing in many parts of the world. The writing is on the wall and we’re going to have to learn to embrace techniques to save this precious resource before it’s too late.

Fortunately, as gardeners, this is well within our grasp.

The benefits of planting water-wise trees and shrubs are obvious – they’re the ones you ignore, neglect, walk on past. Those 40 year old lilacs? Yep – they’re fine. Your lamb’s ears and karl foerster reed grass – check! The 30′ tall aspen and poplars? No problem, they’ll take care of themselves. The weeping birch on my neighbour’s lawn? Well, that’s a different story.

Alberta is a diverse place. For example, Calgary and Edmonton, though only about 300 kms apart, are different climatically. Calgary is classified as a cool, dry, continental climate. We’re a semi-desert, meaning little precipitation, we have a high elevation, meaning great temperature range with little heat retention, and are subject to chinooks, which can mean a 30 degree temperature change in mere hours. Despite all the ribbing we give to Edmontonians about their frigid weather, all that adds up to a longer growing season in Edmonton than in Calgary. Really.

Let’s get back to the birch. Weeping birch is native to Europe and in a locale subject to rain in quantities that far exceed ours. In order to keep your weeping birch happy, you’ve got to add water, and we’re talking about 200 L per week, more if it’s hot and your tree is transpiring a lot of water out of its leaves. So, is the weeping birch a water-wise plant? Absolutely not. Do you need to cut it down? No. Instead, let’s talk about how to manage our current spaces in a more conscious fashion.

You can begin by taking a critical look at your garden and identify its strengths and weaknesses.

Are your plants organized by water requirements?

By grouping your water-loving or drought-tolerant plants together in beds, you create areas that naturally retain water and which allow you to ration your watering accordingly. Don’t overlook shrubs and trees when making this assessment. Once established their root systems will reach far so look to the drip lines of these plants rather than at the trunks or stems.

How much lawn do you have?

Turf requires about one inch of water per week so if you’re not interested in limiting your lawn, implement measuring devices to ensure you’re not overwatering it or trimming it too much (a shorter lawn is a water-hungry lawn).

Where does water gather?

If you’re not harvesting your rainwater, ensure you’re directing your downspouts to water-loving plants and trees as opposed to the street or sewer. Make the most of this free resource.

Understand your microclimates and choose the right plant for the right place.

Ensure that your drought-tolerant plants are placed on south/west facing slopes, areas of higher elevation, and in areas of high soil drainage. Learn where your sunny, windy, wet, and dry areas are and choose plants that excel in those spaces. You’ll have happier plants, fewer pest problems, and a more efficient garden.

Amend your soil and use mulch.

Test your soil and amend to hold water as necessary. Use natural mulch to continue the amendment of your soil over the years, to keep moisture in your soil, and as a natural weed deterrent.

There is one bit of fine print: even newly planted, drought-resistant plants will require some watering until their root system is well established.

By maintaining the health of your plants and incorporating the techniques mentioned above, you’ll soon have an eco-friendly garden that will satisfy you for years to come.

Happy New Year with Xeriscaping

Happy New Year Everyone!

On this very snowy January 1st, after you’ve shovelled your walk, and perhaps your neighbour’s too, why not kick back with a cup of coffee/tea/nog, grab a nearby gardening book, and settle in for a nice day’s read.

What sort of book will you choose? The latest gardening magazine? The seed catalogues that might be piling up around you? Perhaps you’ll delve into permaculture, explore cottage gardens, or plan to graft a franken-apple tree (please do this!)

One subject that’s captured my interest over the past few years is xeriscaping (using plants that, once established, will thrive with little to no added water beyond what nature provides).

Usually when talking about xeriscaping, we’re quick to reassure people that we don’t mean a moonscape of rocks & cacti but I’ve gotta admit, over the last few months, those cacti have been calling my name!

Over the next few weeks, let’s explore some of the hardy cacti & succulents that excel in Calgary’s climate. I think you’ll be surprised at the variety and number of plants to choose from, as well as their inherent beauty. We’ll discuss where to put them, how to keep them happy, and what benefits they’ll bring to the garden.

Here’s a series of little-known tidbits:

1) roses have prickles – not thorns – and they’re modified stem tissue
2) thorns are modified branches, like on a Hawthorn tree
3) spines are modified leaves, as seen on Barberry or Cacti

Cat Poop on a Stick

(photo taken from the City of Calgary website, see link below)

If you have a Mayday, Schubert’s Choke Cherry, or any other tree/shrub from the Prunus family, you’re likely familiar with the Black Knot Fungus issue in Calgary. It’s ugly, it spreads quickly, and it looks like cat poop on a stick (cannot be unseen)!

It’s easy to see now that the branches are bare so once you spot it, it’s time to act.