The problem with gardening in Calgary is that a lot of information that's available out there is just not appropriate here. We're "special"! ;-) So I have sorted through the last two months' gardening "news" and here are the posts that I think have useful information pertinant to our Calgary conditions.
If you follow me on facebook you would have seen these in "real time", but just in case, here are some links to check out while you're dreaming and scheming for spring.
from Garden Buzz:
The American Elm -I used to live on an elm-lined street in West Hillhurst that looked like the first photo in this article. I do miss those big beautiful trees!
The Inevitable Schubert Choke Cherry - Common for a reason, the Schubert choke cherry is a nice tree for a small yard.
The Iconic Maple, eh? - Manitoba maple 'Baron' is a good choice for a shade tree in Calgary.
The Unpopular Poplar - Some good information here on appropriateness of different poplars in different situations, plus why topping a tree is bad, plus a plug for the new Paskapoo poplar!
Grasses liven the winter garden, so back away from the pruners - So true! Calamgrostis (feather reed grass) and helitotrichon sempervirens (blue oat grass) are some suitable grasses for Calgary.
from Blogs and Blooms:
Falling in Love - See, I'm not the only one thinking about gardening already: some seed-ordering tips and a heads-up for Seedy Saturday in March!
What Not to Plant in Calgary - Summary: don't try to grow eggplants, peppers, okra and artichokes in Calgary. Instead, try carrots, parsnips, potatoes, onions, beets,and the lettuce family. Note: I also grow tomatoes every year, even though they don't thrive here. The taste of a freshly picked tomato is worth it, though, IMHO. I also know people who have grown tomatillos, no problem.
from the Calgary Horticultural Society:
Announcing the CHS Perennial Plant of the year - Helenium autumnale 'Mardi Gras' (Helen's Flower)
from Flowery Prose:
Flowery blurbs, volume 6 - More gardening news from another Calgary garden blogger: new poplar tree variety, Calgary Hort society's perennial plant of the year, vertical farming, and online plant id lecture.
from Black Walnut Dispatch:
Lessons from the Winter Garden (of my discontent) - A practical and honest take on "winter interest"!
from Grounded Design:
Perennials to Interplant in Grasses - Everybody's talking about grasses! Do you like the meadow look?
from A Way to Garden:
Seed-shopping tactics -Love this cartoon!
from Gardening Gone Wild:
Garden on a Windowsill - Here are some ideas for some easy indoor flowers, in case the weather these days is getting you down!
Great Design Plant: Redtwig Dogwood -Dogwood is a great shrub for winter interest and looks especially good in front of evergreens. Some varieties are more drought tolerant than others - Bow Point nursery sells a good Calgary-friendly variety!
Old School Green Design: Add Texture with Grass - Are ornamental grasses "an acquired taste?" I don't think so!
Checklist: What to do in the garden this month - Most of these ideas I like! Can't see myself ever making decorative plant markers, though!
Great Design Plant: Golden Creeping Jenny - I use this plants in containers for the summer, then plunk it in the ground in fall. It makes a great, colourful groundcover so I usually leave it in place the following year, although I could dig it up for more pots again in spring. Either way, it is a very useful plant!
In the News:
Is tap water killing your soil? The experts weigh in - A case for using rain barrels whenever you can.
How to eco-fit your garden - Here's a beautiful re-design of a small, rectangular backyard.
5 Good Reasons to start your own seeds - from organicgardening.com