I have 2 tickets that I'm not going to use for the Calgary Home and Garden Show this week-end. Anyone who will be in the Mount Royal University area in the next couple of days is welcome to come pick them up from me! Just comment on the bottom of this post or send me an e-mail (link of the left-hand-side of this page) and we'll hook up.
I just pruned some shrubs and unfortunately I can't go to this presentation, but I thought I'd pass this information along in case anyone's interested. I received this notice from the Calgary Horticultural Society:
SPECIAL SPEAKER EVENT – FREE FOR SOCIETY MEMBERS!
Using Native Woody Plants in Southern Alberta
Day: Saturday, Feb 27, 2010
Time: 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Place: Fort Calgary, 750 – 9 Ave SW
Light refreshments, meet up with fellow members!
Join us for a special presentation by Master Arborist Gerard Fournier.
This is a unique opportunity to learn about choosing and care for trees
and shrubs in the Calgary garden from one of today’s leading arborists.
I already got rid of half of the hedge a couple of years ago to make room for fruit-producing shrubs, but I did keep some of the hedge in the hard-to-reach corner of the yard and because I love the fall colour of cotoneasters so much. But I am not a hedge person. I will not be trimming a hedge multiple times over a year to keep it trim and neat. Too much work. I also prefer shrubs in a more natural form.
So how am I rejuvenating this hedge and keeping it low maintenance? It was very old and overgrown so last year at this time I hacked back more than 50% of the branches right at ground level - especially branches that were crooked and crossing over other ones. Over the course of last year's growing season, many thin new shoots grew up at the base of each shrub. I want to train only some of those to become new branches, so this year I cut most of those shoots back except for about 3-5 per shrub. I kept the thickest, straightest branches that were growing towards the outside of the shrub and were not crossing over any other branches, and got rid of the rest of the shoots.
There. I'm done taking care of that hedge for the year.
Are you thinking about spring yet? While it seems other people are starting to complain about winter dragging on (except maybe in Vancouver), I have been thankful for the yearly 5-month hiatus so that I can focus on other parts of my life (and I literally mean "can" because I don't think I am actually capable of focusing on much else extracurricular during gardening season. I know. I have a serious problem.)
But it is time. Time to start wrapping up my indoor projects (I barely did anything this year! where did the time go?) Time to start making seed-starting charts. And time to start addressing those questions new gardeners are looking to get answered - as evidenced by the increased blog traffic and questions I start getting at this time of year.
For a start, here are some posts I've written around this time in past years that people have seemed to find useful:
And this year my kids (aged 6, 4, and 2) are a little older and I feel it is time to reach out to the gardening community a little more than just from my computer at home when I happen to have a minute or two to myself. I wrote an article on Piet Oudolf-inspired plants for Calgary sustainable gardens recently for the Calgary Horticultural Society's magazine, and I have now committed myself to making a presentation on "Tips for Growing Food in Calgary" for them in March. Any suggestions about tips or questions you think I should address would be most welcome!
It's funny - every year at this time people start getting excited about spring. Yes, the days are getting longer so everybody's spirits are lifting... but don't get your hopes up if you live in Calgary! I save myself from disappointment by not getting excited about spring until at least May, preferably June! (I will refer back to this post when my fellow Calgarians start whining about the latest snow storm in late May...)
I haven't been thinking much about gardening at all, actually. February and March are always my crazy-last-ditched-effort-to-get-projects-done-around-the-house-before-gardening-season-begins time! I haven't felt much like posting lately either, frankly - too busy!
But I was wondering if I am always this grinchy at this time of year or if it is particularly bad this year... I checked my posts from last February and it seems I felt about the same last year. I did find something fun to do with those February posts from last year though - make the "wordle" above! I used the software "Many Eyes" which can be found here: