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  • Hort Week
    Enjoy the company of fellow horticultural enthusiasts, participate in workshops, enjoy new courses, and relax in the gardens! Come for a day or stay the week and take in the whole experience!
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Hort Week Schedule

For 50 years gardeners have gathered at Olds College to participate in Hort Week. Once a gathering for Horticulture Professionals, Hort Week has evolved into a week of courses and workshops for all gardening enthusiasts. 

Join us for a day or stay the week and take in the whole experience! 

Hort Week "At A Glance"

Hort Week has a ton to offer, and this year, our courses and workshops include learning about yard and gardening, landscaping, homesteading, floral arrangements, plant medicine and even soap making!

Below are our classes this year, listed by date and time on our "At a Glance" schedule linked above.  Be sure to register early, as class space is limited and based on available materials.  We can't guarantee that there will be space for walk ins for these popular classes!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Botanic Garden and Wetland Talk & Tour

Join Jane Reksten, the Manager of Botanic Gardens and Greenhouses at Olds College, for an informative and enlightening walk throughout all phases of the Olds College Botanic Gardens and Wetlands.  This 3 hour session begins with a visual presentation to provide an orientation to the gardens, their history, role at college, and their ongoing evolution.  Along with the following tour through the gardens, this session is a great opportunity to ask your gardening questions, and get a true sense of how the gardens are managed and maintained.

Instructor:  Jane Reksten
Date:  Monday, July 17 2017
Time:  9am – Noon
Tuition:  $80 - or $30 if you register for another Hort Week class!

From Garden to Vase

Have you ever watched with awe as a florist quickly puts together a beautiful hand tied bouquet? Now you can learn how…

A long-standing tradition throughout Europe, the hand-tied bouquet is a floral arrangement made without any container.  It is constructed in a way in which it holds together perfectly making it easy to be handled by both giver and receiver and easily arranged into a vase after the fact.

Vases come in many shapes and sizes and knowing just what to do with them can be challenging. Hand-tied bouquets can be designed in many styles, easily adaptable to the vase at hand.  With beautiful fresh blooms of seasonal flowers and foliage to work with you will learn many techniques to create a stunning vase.

A truly relaxing day and a great way to be creative.  This course it is suitable for the complete beginner and anyone with a love of flowers.  Please bring a floral knife, hand pruners, wire cutters, scissors and pliers to class

Instructor: Ben Fulkerth
Date:  Monday, July 17 2017
Time:  9am – 4pm
Tuition:  $160 + $95 materials

Working with Cosmic Rhythms in the Landscape 

The idea of planting according to the phases of the moon is familiar to many gardeners and this course begins with an explanation of these forces. The influence of the other lunar cycles will also be discussed. As well, the influence of planets and constellations on plants, insects and microbes will be examined in relation to the lunar rhythms. Sources for astronomical planting calendars, tools for the management of their influence and the results of plant trials will be presented.

Instructor:  James Edwards
Date:  Monday, July 17, 2017
Time: 1pm – 4pm
Tuition:  $80
 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


Native Plants for Alberta Gardens 

Alberta is blessed with profuse and varied native trees & shrubs, herbaceous perennial and annuals that all are absolutely suited to their particular ecological nook of the Province. Hardy, often drought-tolerant, attractive to all sorts of wildlife and insects, pest resilient, and beautiful; they are often scorned by gardeners preferring more lush and/or exotic plants from elsewhere in the world. Yet there is much gardeners can and should learn about our native plants and how they have adapted to our climate; and how incorporating native plants or their cultivated cousins into our gardens can save gardeners time, energy and money not to mention frustration in one of the more challenging environments to garden wisely and successfully.

Instructor:  Janet Melrose
Date:  Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Time:  9am - Noon
Tuition:  $80 + $40 Materials

Large Scale Floral Design 

Certain occasions, events or venues require arrangements on a larger scale.  This course will teach you the mechanics necessary for designing statement pieces for all types of events, from outdoor parties to holiday celebrations.  Learn valuable tricks for creating a variety of large scale floral decor, and floral arrangements.  Using different techniques, this hands-on course will increase your comfort level when creating pieces on a grand scale. 

While professional floristry experience is not required, it is an asset for this class.  Anyone with a love of flowers is welcome.  Please bring a floral knife, hand pruners, wire cutters, scissors and pliers to class

Instructor: Ben Fulkerth
Date:  Tuesday, July 18 2017
Time:  9am – 4pm
Tuition:  $160 + $95 materials

Herb Gardening for Calgarians (and Area!)

Herbs not only enhance the beauty of your garden but can liven up your cooking and benefit your health too! Versatile, easy to plant and care for, relatively trouble free, and multitudes of way to incorporate them into your garden make learning and using herbs almost a requirement for the edible gardener to grow and enjoy.   Plus, you will have the opportunity to plant up a basket using half bushel basket and a selection of herbs & edible flowering plants provided.

Instructor: Janet Melrose
Date:  Tuesday, July 18 2017
Time:  1pm – 5pm
Tuition:  $95 + $30 materials


Wednesday, July 19, 2017


Making Goat Milk Soap
 

Want to learn how to make your own soap?  Learn how to make a wonderfully nourishing goat’s milk soap from scratch using local organic goat’s milk.  This beginner’s class includes a few tricks of the trade to making milk soaps, texturing tops, cutting methods and more.  There will be a variety of clays, herbs, and essential oils to choose from so you can make your very own unique combination.  A broad overview of what you need to do to sell soap in Canada, related government regulations, labeling requirements and insurance policies will be discussed.  See www.handmadecanadiansoap.com for some of the soaps made by the instructor.

Participants will get to take home a mold and 6 bars of their own soap.

Please note that when working within this workshop hazardous mixtures are used and can cause serious injury if proper safety equipment is not worn or directions not followed.  Participants must be 18+ and are required to bring the following equipment:  Apron (water proof preferable), long sleeve shirt and pants, safety glasses, rubber gloves, closed toe footwear.  Please also bring:  spatula, large stirring spoon, scissors, 2 ice cream pails, stick blender, cloth rags, and (optional) plastic measuring cups.  Participants who do not bring the proper equipment will not be allowed to participate – if you have any questions or concerns about the correct equipment, please contact the college.

Instructor:  Sandy Vallee
Date:  Wednesday July 19, 2017
Time: 9am – Noon
Tuition:  $80 + $35 Materials

Introduction to Pollinators

What are pollinators, and why are they important? This class will discuss pollinators and what you can do to help ensure pollinator health. We will walk through the Olds College gardens to consider Pollinator Garden Designing and to see both indigenous and non-indigenous pollinators at work. This hands on workshop also includes the construction of a solitary, indigenous-bee habitat structure, and provides a presentation about using indigenous plants to successfully attract and support pollinators.

Instructor:  Cynthia Pohl
Date:  Wednesday July 19, 2017
Time: 9am – 4pm
Tuition:  $160 + $20 Materials

Working With Nature in the Landscape 

The use of organic materials in the landscape is an old practice that continues to be used around the world. These practices provide increased nutrient availability and moisture retention in the soil by creating a healthy, prolific and resilient soil food web. The uses of different ‘waste’ materials as compost inputs, soil amendments and ground covers create a more complete nutrient cycle within the landscape. Different types and uses of living and non-living organic materials as mulch will be discussed in the context of urban landscapes. The use of biochar, compost teas and mycorrhizal fungi will also be discussed.

Instructor:  James Edwards
Date:  Wednesday July 19, 2017
Time: 1pm – 4pm
Tuition:  $80

Thursday, July 20, 2017

 
The Sensory Garden

A well planned and designed sensory garden requires knowledge, forethought and an understanding of the particular challenges to growing edibles.  This in depth workshop you will learn the design principles and cultural practices of edible gardening, how our climate in general and microclimates in your garden in particular impacts and influences applying these principles & practices to how your design your garden, historical and current systems & techniques such as: French potagers; cottage gardening; square foot gardening; water reservoir containers, practicing Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to control pests, diseases and weeds, and pitfalls to avoid and tips  The results will be productive, beautiful and full of life. Not to mention be absolutely suited to your location, challenges and needs.

Instructor: Janet Melrose
Date:  Thursday, July 20, 2017
Time:  8am – Noon
Tuition:  $95

Making Medicine with Plants; Teas & Tinctures

Have you ever made medicinal tea and wondered whether to infuse or decoct the plant parts? Do the different methods of infusions pull different medicinal constituents from the same plant? What about tincture recipes with different plant to solvent ratios and varying alcohol percentages? Or maybe you don’t want to use alcohol as a solvent at all, are there other options? Are there different methods to make the same tincture and which one is best suited to you? After you’ve figured out the proper way to make your tea or tincture, how much and how many times per day for how long should you be taking it?

Using plants as medicine can seem confusing at first and the long list of questions that arise in the process might scare the aspiring home-herbalist away. My goal is to make the path to using plant medicine truly accessible to you; I believe this begins with good basic understanding that one can build their own confidence upon. Come for hands-on tips and tricks on everything tea & tincture, “leaf” with confidence and a unique tea blend you’ll know what to do with when you get home!

Instructor: Jenni Cyman
Date:  Thursday, July 20, 2017
Time:  9am – Noon
Tuition:  $80 + $10 materials

What “Grows” In Your First-Aid Kit?

Let’s explore the modern first-aid kit together and replace as much of it as we can with readily available plants that can be found in the forest or backyard as well as plant preparations that can be made at home or easily sourced from the local grocer! This will be a fun, creative class with a good portion spent outdoors in the College Botanic Gardens as well as in the wilder areas that surround its parking lots! A demonstration on making a topical medicine will be given in the classroom. Participants will leave excited, empowered and with their own bottle of “Pitch-Perfect Second Skin Wound Spray”. Bonus: this will be a great experience to take home and share with your children or grandchildren!

Instructor: Jenni Cyman
Date:  Thursday, July 20, 2017
Time:  1pm - 4pm
Tuition:  $80 + $10 materials

Roses for Alberta Gardeners 

Roses are great shrubs for Alberta that don’t deserve their bad ‘rep’ that can earn a place in your garden. Discover tips and techniques for growing and cultivating roses in our challenging climate.  Learn the ones to choose, and how to care for them for years of enjoyment!  In specific, this in depth workshop you can learn how our climate and soil conditions affects which rose species, varieties and cultivars thrive in Alberta, a brief history of roses in cultivation, symbolization, myths and legends about roses and Canada’s important role in rose development and breeding.  Roses for everyone will also be discussed, including:

  • Tender roses, including Floribunda, Tea, Grandiflora, etc, Miniature
  • Species, including those native to Canada, Scotch, and others
  • Hardy Shrub, including Early Canadian, Explorer, Morden and Parkland, and artist series

Janet will also teach about proper planting techniques for tender and hardy roses, caring for roses (including fertilization), pruning and training roses, propagation by layering, suckers, preparing your roses for overwintering, and some diseases and insect pests affecting roses in Alberta and control methods.  You don’t want to miss this! 

Instructor: Janet Melrose
Date:  Thursday, July 20, 2017
Time:  1pm – 5pm
Tuition:  $95 + $30 materials

Continuing Education


Continuing Education Department

Phone: 1-800-661-6537
Email: coned@oldscollege.ca

Register for Hort Week today!

Olds College leads real-life, hands-on education in Canada. We help you explore your passion.