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March 01, 2019

Garden talk

Carson Arthur plants the seeds of garden design at the Calgary Home + Garden Show

Pepper Rodriguez

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There may still be snow on the ground in Calgary at the moment, but it’s never too early to talk about the coming garden season. It starts with coming up with a plan, and Canada’s garden guru, Carson Arthur, has some ideas to help the green thumb.

Carson, an internationally renowned landscape designer and outdoor lifestyle expert, will be one of the headliners for the upcoming Calgary Home + Garden Show, happening February 28 to March 3, 2019, at the BMO Centre & Corral at Stampede Park. And he can’t wait to share his ideas on planning
your private outdoor space, whether you live in a home with a spacious backyard or in a high-rise condo.

At the show, Carson will be sharing exactly how to grow your own thriving garden and food no matter the space, including insights from his soon-to-be-released debut book “Vegetables, Chickens and Bees: An Honest Guide to Growing Food.”

“Nobody wants to see their vegetable dreams die the tragic death of a #gardenfail!” he says. His insights to gardening — especially taking into account Calgary’s sometimes-unpredictable weather — is a helpful guide.

“Whether it’s a backyard, a rooftop, a balcony or even just a window ledge, I can tell you everything you need to know about sunlight, space, soil, seeds, and setup.”

Carson may seem like a polished speaker, an accomplished presenter on TV and on the stage. But even though he has been in the game for a long time, he tells Condo Living that he is very much an introvert at heart.

“I love being at home or in my store even though I spend a lot of time on the road shooting television shows or public speaking. I am not very good in large groups and often fade to the background at big social events.”

This trait though may be the secret to his success. “That’s why I love creating intimate and private spaces in people’s yards. I design areas that I’d be happy disappearing into.”

His love for design grew from watching television. “I watched all of the Designer Guys shows and wondered why no one created outdoor spaces the way Steven and Chris thought about indoors ones. The ‘Outdoor Room’ movement was in areas like California and Florida but not north of the border. I
really wanted to change that, hence my first TV series Room to Grow.”

His appearances at these home show events is something he looks forward to. “I am all about audience participation. I want to know what people are thinking. I love when homeowners come with questions. It’s their chance to get an unfiltered response to the landscaping issues they are faced with,” he says.

Paradoxically, even if Carson is an introvert, he says he loves the back-and-forth banter he has with his audience at his various appearances. “I am passionate about making sure that every single question gets an answer and that every single person leaves the show knowing more than they came in
with. It’s what I live for.”

His followers can’t get enough of his sage advice in creating the perfect garden. And he says anyone can do it, whether they live in an apartment condo or estate home. The key is in the planning.

“Before you get inspired by all of the outdoor options available; sit down and really think about how you are going to use your space. Most times, adding an area outside that you don’t have indoors is the best way to ensure that you will actually have a purpose for the renovation,” he says.

“I love adding outdoor fireplaces and sitting areas in small yards, especially if the homeowner doesn’t have an indoor option. The same for dining rooms or even a spot to read the newspaper.  It doesn’t matter the size of your space, there are ALWAYS options that work. Even for those in high-rise
condos or townhomes.”

Carson appears at the Home + Garden Stage Friday, March 1 at 5 p.m., Saturday, March 2 at Noon and again at 5 p.m.

2019 Calgary Home + Garden SHOW headliners

The 38th annual Calgary Home + Garden Show opens bigger and better this year with even more headliners, as the city’s biggest home + garden trade show continues to inform and entertain and wow.

HGTV Canada star Todd Talbot of Love it or List it Vancouver will return to Calgary to headline the Main Stage at the annual Calgary Home + Garden Show, taking place February 28 - March 3, 2019 at the BMO Centre & Corral at Stampede Park.

“We are so excited to welcome Todd back to Calgary, along with an outstanding line-up of celebrities and local experts, to inspire homeowners to tackle their indoor and outdoor spaces this spring,” says Teri Salazar, Show Manager for Marketplace Events, producers of the Calgary Home + Garden
Show. “Todd is known for his no-nonsense real estate advice and his practical approach to making the most of your home. He’ll be tailoring that insight for Calgary homeowners when he takes to the stage at the Home + Garden Show.”

Joining Todd on the Main Stage is HGTV Canada gardening and outdoor lifestyle expert Carson Arthur from Home to Win, along with a lineup of local favourites, more than 550 exhibitors and an outstanding list of new features designed to whip any home and garden into shape.

She adds that Calgary Home + Garden is more popular than ever. “We have found that consumers are more interested in renovations then before – because maybe it doesn’t make sense to sell their house and buy a new one in this economy, so they are staying put and making their current homes
work for them by doing either minor or major renovations.”

Salazar also says that the annual event – the biggest of its kind in the city – is a good place to find new design inspirations. “People love to see what new products and solutions are out there right now. We also are noticing a shifting trend with DIY’ers, and so they can come to the show and get expert
advice or ideas for how to do projects on their own.” 

For more information, or to buy tickets online and save $2, visit

Get to the BMO Centre early and save!

The first 400 visitors on Thursday, February 28 and Friday, March 1 will receive free parking with proof of ticket or purchase.

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