Sunday, June 25, 2017

I Remember When...I didn't have a clue about gardening! by A.M.Westerling

When I first scanned the list of topics for my monthly Brides blog post, the only thing I zeroed in on for June was that the topic could be whatever the author wanted to blog about. It wasn’t until after I wrote my piece and checked the topic again that I realized I was supposed to share some of my favorite memories! Sorry about that, but I’m sticking with my original post on gardening. *wink*

Anyway, I’m going to share the things I’ve learned over the years:

A garden is a never ending project. You can’t finish it in one season. Tackle it bed by bed. Then you can go back to the earlier beds and do them over, particularly as your gardening savvy improves. And so on and so on. See what I mean? Never ending. Kind of like infinity.

This is a big one – Find the plants that like the spot you have!!  Or, do not try and force a round peg into a square hole. A fern will not survive in a hot, dry sunny spot, no matter how much you baby it. Sun loving annuals will not thrive in the shade regardless of how much water and fertilizer you give them. So, don’t be afraid to try something – if it fails, try again. If it grows, jackpot! This is a picture of my side yard which is mostly dappled shade. I’ve always wanted a hydrangea so I’ve planted that this year (it's the little shrub with purple flowers over by the fence) and I will wait with bated breath to see if it reappears in the spring. The hostas were also an experiment and obviously, I got that right. (Below, lining the walkway.)

Birds like water. Hares too, apparently. Anyway, a bird bath is just as good for attracting birds as a feeder. Plus a lot less messy.


Try native plants. If they can grow without your help, imagine what a little water and TLC will do for them. This is a patch of Snowberry in our back yard. I’ve never seen it grow taller than knee height in the wild but in my back yard it makes me look like a gardening super star!

 Gardening can be a challenge here in the Chinook belt of Alberta, so I plant all my annuals in pots. At the first sign of early frost, late frost and that scourge of the prairies, hail, I move the pots into shelter. That way I can participate in Calgary’s favorite summer pastime – The Running of the Pots.

Mulch is your friend. Nothing smartens up an untidy bed more than a layer of gravel, or bark chips, or whatever snags your fancy. The odd garden ornament here and there is pretty cute too.

Enjoy all the seasons. Spring is great for the planning and anticipation, for those first few days outside after a long winter, for hauling out the shovels and ending up with dirt under your finger nails. Summer is when your dreams and plans start to take root (ha, no pun intended) and the display of flowers and foliage ramps up. Autumn is lovely for the colors and crisp air and the final clean up, and jotting down notes and ideas for next year. And winter for the respite. Good for both your garden and you and we won’t even discuss shoveling snow. Which is also good for you, by the way, as long as you don’t overdo it.

Finally, most important, make sure to regularly take the time to enjoy the fruits of your labor! And remember, a bad day in the garden is better than a good day at work. Oh wait, there is no bad day in the garden! 


  1. Beautiful photos of your garden. It IS a lot of work, but satisfying when it turns out so pretty. Yes indeed, take time to enjoy it.
    JQ Rose

    1. Thanks, and today will be another perfect day to be outside, we're having a heat wave here in Calgary! There might be a book and cold beer involved.... ;)