April in the garden

Five simple tips for new-home horticulture

What makes a new home your new home? When you plant petunias, of course – or tomatoes, or your grandma’s old peony…

This month, we celebrate your new home garden with five simple tips for success:

  1. Measure twice, plant once

If you are buying a home on the resale market, it might contain valuable plants. Take time this spring to stop and assess your plant inventory, your slope and your yard size before you create the garden design of your dreams.

  1. Get extra soil.

If your home is new and the builder promised you soil, ask for an extra helping. At up to $150.00 per yard, you could score big if you get an extra truck load (10 yards) of topsoil. And by the way, a “yard” is almost a metric metre. It is a pile three feet deep, three feet wide and three feet tall, so it will take many yards of soil to fill your one yard.

  1. Be wary of free plants

There’s a reason some plants are free – they are weeds. If you are offered shasta daisy, goutweed or creeping bellflower in Calgary, run the other way. Peonies, on the other hand, may be worth up to $100 each, so just say yes!

  1. Buy expert help

Everyone has something to learn, and if you are new to Calgary, you can learn from the pros at the Calgary Horticulture Society’s show later this month, or in small-class settings like the Expert Gardener Series (details are available on Eventbrite).

  1. Smile and please yourself

Pleasing yourself means at least one person is happy with your garden. Channel your inner artist with a fabulous purchased or home-made sculpture. When my friends painted their dead tree bright blue and left it standing in place, they were the talk of the town. And it looked beautiful, too!

Donna Balzer is author of the “Three Year Gardener’s Gratitude Journal: Part Diary, Part Personal Growing Guide.” Visit www.donnabalzer.com for details.

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