Mom and daughter team up on book to inspire gratitude in gardening – Calgary

A Calgary woman and her mom have written a book designed to get people feeling grateful and inspired by the act of gardening.

“This is your book. This is your personal growing guide. This is your personal gardening memoir,” horticulturist Donna Balzer told The Homestretch on Thursday.

It’s called the Three Year Gardener’s Gratitude Journal and Balzer along with her daughter Chelsie Anderson, wrote it in a daily journal format.

“This is just one line a day for three years, so you can reflect back on what happened last year, the year before. ‘When was that first tomato? What was that first bug? When did I hear a frog?’ All those little things you record, and then they are right at your fingertips,” Balzer said.

Anderson, who is also The Homestretch’s gardening columnist, said gratitude became the book’s underlying theme.

“We are just endlessly grateful for the growing conditions. People like to complain about growing conditions in Canada, but I think we have it pretty good here,” Anderson said.

“We have this nice clay soil that holds the minerals, so we just wanted to share that idea with everyone. We just want people to kind of reflect.”

What am I going to do next?

Balzer said it can be a planning guide as well.

“It’s the little checkup, what are you going to do this month? What are you going to develop? What are you going to build? I am constantly thinking about what I am going to do next.”

And working together on the project ended up being a positive thing.

“I think it’s been really good for us because we have been able to come together on this common ground. It’s been really good to get to know my mom in a different way. It turns out she’s as fast-paced as I am so we got this book done in a year.”

With files from The Homestretch

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Sherwood Park

Sherwood Park is a large hamlet in Alberta, Canada within Strathcona County that is recognized as an urban service area.[7] It is located adjacent to the City of Edmonton’s eastern boundary,[8] generally south of Highway 16 (Yellowhead Trail), west of Highway 21 and north of Highway 630 (Wye Road).[9] Other portions of Sherwood Park extend beyond Yellowhead Trail and Wye Road, while Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) separates Refinery Row to the west from the balance of the hamlet to the east.[9]

Sherwood Park was established in 1955 on farmland of the Smeltzer family, east of Edmonton. With a population of 70,618 in 2016,[6] Sherwood Park has enough people to be Alberta’s seventh largest city, but technically retains the status of a hamlet. The Government of Alberta recognizes the Sherwood Park Urban Service Area as equivalent to a city.


Sherwood Park, originally named Campbelltown, was founded by John Hook Campbell and John Mitchell in 1953 when the Municipal District of Strathcona No. 83 approved their proposed development of a bedroom community east of Edmonton. The first homes within the community were marketed to the public in 1955. Canada Post intervened on the name of Campbelltown due to the existence of several other communities in Canada within the same name, so the community’s name was changed to Sherwood Park in 1956.

The Sherwood Park Urban Service Area is located in the Edmonton Capital Region along the western edge of central Strathcona County adjacent to the City of Edmonton.[8] The majority of the community is bound by Highway 16 (Yellowhead Highway) to the north, Highway 21 to the east, Highway 630 (Wye Road) to the south, and Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) to the west. The Refinery Row portion of Sherwood Park is located across Anthony Henday Drive to the west, between Sherwood Park Freeway and Highway 16. Numerous developments fronting the south side of Wye Road, including Wye Gardens, Wye Crossing, Salisbury Village and the Estates of Sherwood Park, are also within the community. Lands north of Highway 16 and south of Township Road 534/Oldman Creek between Range Road 232 (Sherwood Drive) to the west and Highway 21 to the east are also within the Sherwood Park urban service area.

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