The Lacombe and District Garden Club is celebrating 75 years in the community this year. Over the past year, the club has gone through a bit of a revival since the COVID-19 pandemic. After the pandemic, the club held a meeting to determine its next organizational steps.  

“We chose our two goals: to be a community of gardeners who enjoy gardening and spending time in gardens, and the other was to have some learning opportunities,” explained Karen Holmes, President of the Lacombe and District Garden Club.  

The club meets once a month in the winter and several times throughout the summertime to take in as many gardens as possible. They take the time visit local gardens around the City and even tour gardens and greenhouse operations in other communities. During the summer of 2023, they went as far as Olds College Botanic Gardens and Constructed Wetlands, Strathmore’s Communities in Bloom greenhouse, and the DNA gardens near Elnora.  

The Club’s President, Karen Holmes is new to the community of Lacombe and moved here in 2021. She dug up a bit of history at the Lacombe Museum about the club after getting some questions and inquiries throughout the year. Through that research, she determined the club started in early 1948, which means that 2024 is the 76th year the club has been around. This year, the special anniversary will be used to celebrate the club’s revival and roots in the community.  

“We wanted a little bit of time to figure out what we wanted to do in order to celebrate 75 years because we really feel that the club at 75 is now rebeginning,” said Holmes.

This year, the club will be distributing sunflower seeds across the community to celebrate. The sunflower is featured on the club’s logo.  

“Last summer, we collected sunflower seeds from sunflowers grown in Lacombe and we're now distributing them to school kids, county people, the museum, and other organizations with the objective of trying to get as many sunflowers growing in Lacombe as possible this year so people can grow with us and celebrate with us with these lovely flowers that are so marvelous,” explained Holmes.  

Along with the seeds, the club will be sharing some of its history on the Lacombe and District Garden Club Facebook page and is currently working with the City to plant a tree to mark the occasion of its 75th year. The club will also be hosting some private events in the summer for club members and club alumni.  

One of the major events from the club’s history was the flower and vegetable shows. Sadly, participation in those began to diminish for those in the 90’s. Those shows had up to 300 entries with over 1,000 people in attendance.  

“This is a traditional bench show where people bring in their beautiful flowers, their vegetables, and things that they've grown to display and then judges judge them based on size, shape, appearance, and all those kinds of things,” she said.  

Now, the gardening club likely won’t be returning to flower and vegetable shows any time soon as people’s interest in gardening has changed. Holmes says the people interested in gardening are often looking to learn how to garden, thinking about sustainability, or are interested in issues related to climate change. 

“Things have shifted in terms of the interests of members. Not to say that there wouldn't be people who'd like to do a garden show, but it's not as big of a push as it used to be,” said Holmes.  

Holmes says the club is looking forward to becoming more active in the community this year and sharing its history with the community. New club members are always welcome and can take part by emailing You can also stay up to date on the club by visiting their Facebook page.