In Blazer’s Garden a walled-off parking area was surrounded by a massive nine-foot (three metre) wide hedge. Once two sides of the hedge were removed, the greenhouse was installed and patio bricks were laid. Most of the plants in pots and planters on this patio are edible, so the vegetable garden and sitting area are combined into on larger, single use area for fun and food. The fence keeps the deer out!

Have you ever knocked out a wall inside your home? Did that give you a wonderful feeling of space and openness? Now imagine knocking down a few walls in your garden.

On April 13th I am giving some wall-bashing design tips during the Calgary Horticulture Society’s Garden show at Spruce Meadows.

If you only like black velvet paintings in your home and have those already, why bother renovating? Likewise, if you only like black flowers, don’t be tempted by the newer push to pink. Ditto if your landscape is divided into tiny rooms. Why bother opening up the space, expanding the view and enjoying an open design in your garden?

Gardens divided into rooms are quaint. You have your formal living area where the outdoor “couch” sits. An overhead cover or gazebo sometimes encloses this space. On one side a fenced or walled-off vegetable garden means you don’t have to look at the utility room or food production area of the landscape. Walls of lattice divide the outdoor table — or the garden equivalent of a dining room — from the barbecue in the kitchen. In other words, the entire yard is chopped and diced into several small spaces and the overall feeling is claustrophobia.

On April 13th, I promise to help gardeners grow with inspiring ideas to personalize landscape design. I want everyone to boldly knock down the walls or barriers to good landscape design. Join my interactive session as it kicks off a weekend of talks and ideas. Or if your garden is already perfect, jump in and help new gardeners give their designs a boost in the bush department during our interactive bush brainstorming session.

Will all our garden designs become natural, xeriscape, sustainable, pollination friendly spaces? Probably not. No one wants a cookie cutter house or a cookie cutter garden plan designed by a robot. Take the leap, update your garden into the new “open-style” landscape design and attend the later sessions to choose an overall theme that works for you.

Knock down mental and physical walls and boost your landscape knowledge at the Garden show this weekend.

Note: The garden show runs all weekend but I speak only once at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, April 13th. Garden Show Website

Donna Balzer will be appearing in CREB®Now as part of the paper’s ongoing guest columnist series, featuring local home and garden industry personalities. A published author, magazine contributor, radio guest and television host, Balzer speaks and writes about gardening, has a garden column on CBC radio, tweets @NoGuffGardener and blogs at