Thinking of starting some landscaping or putting in a garden can be a bit overwhelming for most. Don’t worry, we have a few tips to help you out.
5 things you need to consider:
- Draw out a plan including permanent structures and measurements on paper. This will help get a clear understanding and budget of your ideas. If you need help with ideas, go online and search up landscaping ideas for our region or better yet, take a stroll and jot down ideas you see in other people yards. Be sure to look at how much sun you get and your direction as this will be important when choosing plants that need lots of sun or shade.
- Try to be waterwise by incorporating mulch, stones and rock into your plan. Mulch will save you time and money on watering and acts as a great weed barrier. Also, make note to where your down stouts are and utilize stones to make a path at the base to guide the water to your plants. It makes your job easier and helps against water runoff into our sewers.
- Think zonal. First time gardeners might not realize Calgary is typically zoned as 3 and may pick pretty plants that are zoned higher and wonder why they didn’t come back next year. Look for perennials that are zoned 3 or below. They are hardy and can generally withstand our Calgary winters.
- Think easy. Try using native plants, drought resistant and low maintenance plants. This will help make your gardening endeavors see success. Some great plant choices that thrive in Calgary are “Karl Foerster” Feather reed grass (Calmaggrostis x acutiflora), “Magnus” Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea Magnus) or for a shady spot try the Old-Fashioned Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis). For a full list of yard-smart perennials check out the Calgary Horticultural society at http://www.calhort.org/. Or go to the City of Calgary for a free downloadable list at http://www.calgary.ca/UEP/Water/Documents/Water-Documents/Yard_Smart_Annuals_Perennials.pdf
- Be patient! Remember it’s nature and not science. We have Chinooks here and unpredictable weather being so close to the mountains. Try something and if it doesn’t work, don’t worry even experienced gardeners don’t have luck with every plant. Ask the experts at your local garden centres or become a member of the Calgary Horticultural Society. Their membership gives you good discounts at all the popular garden centres and nuseries plus you get a bi-monthly publication with fabulous tips, work shops and interesting information on Calgary gardening.