Visit Our Own Back Yard

Visit Our Own Back Yard

Summer Beautification Promotion – 2018

The links below provide a summary of our coverage of the 'Visit Our Back Yard' promotion during the summer of 2018.

- Launch (May 5 , 2018)
- Update re: Aug 9 Deadline (July 31, 2018)
- Update re: Judging Day  (August 13, 2018)
- Update re: Judging Forms Deadline (August 21, 2018)
- Winners Announced (September 13, 2018)
- Council Recognizes Gardening Winners ( September 25, 2018)

The Promotion

In an effort to increase local tourism and encourage residents of the County to get out, explore and discover our beautiful County, Saddle Hills County is sponsoring the 2018 'Visit Our Own Back Yard' promotion.


LilyIn order to participate all you need is to be a resident of the County and have a patch of garden on your property which you can devote to beautifying your yard and your community. In order to qualify to have your project judged on August 18th (during Alberta Open Farm Days) you must register with the County by August 9th and provide before and after photos of the patch of garden/property you are improving.  Judges and the public will only be allowed on participants’ properties by invitation on August 16th between the hours of 11:00 am and 2:00 pm for the purpose of judging.


There will three winners who will each receive a $500 gift certificate to be used at one of Saddle Hills County’s three greenhouses (in 2017 or 2018) - Anne’s Greenhouse in Fourth Creek, Bay Tree Bloomers Greenhouse in Bay Tree, and Sharon’s Greenhouse in Gordondale and other prizes.


Projects will be judged on the following criteria:

1) Plants used in the project must be non-invasive*

* The County’s Weed and Pest Decision matrix is available online or by request from the County office

2) The project should add to the beauty of the property and the County

Clematis3) The project should bring benefits such as:

· Plants which encourage the growth of other, non-invasive plants

· Plants which help the farming community and/or other plants (e.g. supporting and encouraging bee population)

· Plants which contribute to the health of the local environment and ecology (e.g. fruiting species, etc.)


Part of the purpose of the project is to emphasize the importance of adding plant species to your garden which are not only attractive and hardy to our area but are crucial in sustaining bee, butterfly and bird populations.  

It is also hoped that gardeners in Saddle Hills County embrace the  value of a self-sustaining garden, e.g. fruit trees, vegetable garden and berry bushes.



The public will judge the projects together with three official judges being the owners/representatives of the three greenhouses. Each judge will have one vote just like members of the public. The public will be allowed to judge through forms published in the Signal, available at the office or online.


Winners will be announced the week of August 19 – 25 and will be invited to attend a Council meeting in September to be honoured and receive their prizes. 


Register by downloading and filling out the form below, downloading and filling out the waiver below and returning them both to the County office by Thursday, August 9th together with a 'Before' photograph of the patch of garden / property to be beautified..

- Registration Form
- Waiver

Return to:
SaskatoonSaddle Hills County Complex, Junction of Highway 49 and Highway 725.
Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm.

By Mail:
Saddle Hills County, RR 1, Spirit River, Alberta, Canada, T0H 3G0

By Fax:

By Email:

Saskatoon Berry

Suggested Plants
Together with the three greenhouses, the Saddle Hills County Rural Development Department has arrived at a list of plants which satisfy the criteria of the contest.

This by no means an exhaustive list and we urge residents to consult any of the greenhouses for advice on plants that will do well in their particular circumstances. Our greenhouses have a large array of plants which satisfy the criteria of the contest and will add beauty and functionality to your garden.

We urge you to rely on the greenhouse owners to advise you on the best choices for your garden.


1) Plants used which are non-invasive*

2) Plants which will help your project add to the beauty of the property and the County

3) Plants which should bring benefits such as:

· Encourage the growth of other, non-invasive plants

Delphinium· Help the farming community and/ or other plants (e.g. supporting and encouraging bee population)

· Contribute to the health of the local environment and ecology (e.g. fruiting species, etc.) 



SuggestedLate spring to early summer: Chives / Clarkia / Clover / Dianthus / Larkspur / Lupine / Osteospermum / Pea / Poppy / Alyssum / Viola.

Mid-season: Bachelor's Button / Basil / Black-eyed Susan / Gaillardia / Asclepias / Calendula / Echinacea / Cosmos / Dill / Feverfew / Foxglove / Monarda / Portulaca / Squash, pumpkin / Thyme / Coreopsis / Yarrow / Verbena / Petunia / Nasturtium / Nicotiana / Snapdragon.

Late season: Asters / Dahlia / Cleome / Marigold / Salvia / Scabiosa / Sunflower / Zinnia.

Shrubs for a border: Honeysuckle / Dogwood / Mock orange / Roses.

Food producing: Strawberries / Haskap / Blueberry bushes / Saskatoon bush / Cherry / Gooseberry / Rhubarb / Apple / Crabapple / Raspberry.

Additional:  Peony / Sedum / Bleeding Hearts / Veronica / Monks Hood / Iris / Liatris / Nine Bark / Hydrangea / Potentilla / Cedar / Snowball Bush.

Additional Zone 2/3 Perrenials 
Click here for a full list.

Prohibited Plants


ProhibittedOrnamental species on the prohibited noxious weed list in Alberta:

· Pale yellow iris (Iris pseudacorus)

· Flowering rush (Butomus umbellatus)

· Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera)

· Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)

· Bighead knapweed (Centaurea macrocephala)

· Common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)

· Knotweeds (Fallopia species)

· Tamarisk or salt cedar (Tamarix species)

Ornamental species on the noxious weed list in Alberta:

Common Tansy· Yellow clematis (Clematis tangutica)

· Baby’s breath (Gypsophila paniculata)

· Dame’s rocket (Hesperis matronalis)

· Toadflax (Linaria vulgaris and Linaria dalmatica)

· Ox-eye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)

· Common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)

· Creeping bellflower (Campanula rapunculoides)

Common tansy