Floods brought change

Na­ture has given op­por­tu­nity for a re­newed gar­den

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - Weekend Life - CORINNE HANNA

I have of­ten com­mented that the hardi­est spec­i­men in a Cal­gary gar­den is the gar­dener. This adage was cer­tainly tested in the early sum­mer of 2013. While we Chi­nook-belt gar­den­ers have be­come ac­cus­tomed to late frosts, cool sum­mers, dodgy soil con­di­tions and reg­u­lar bouts of hail, noth­ing could have pre­pared us for the del­uge we en­coun­tered in June.

As I made my first foray into the gar­dens af­ter the wa­ters re­ceded, as bad as things looked, I knew it could have been worse. We were spared the strong cur­rents that dev­as­tated many ar­eas in south­ern Al­berta. Trees, shrubs and even newly planted an­nu­als were mer­ci­fully left in place, al­beit smeared with a thick, gooey layer of silt.

While we were left with a huge clean up job (silt has pow­er­ful nutrient hold­ing ca­pac­i­ties so we churned what we could into the gar­dens) other folks in our re­gion were left with com­pletely dev­as­tated land­scapes. What is a gar­dener to do when con­fronted with such a seem­ingly overwhelmi­ng chal­lenge? Gar­dens are al­ways works in progress so calamity can be an op­por­tu­nity to re-eval­u­ate a space and to be­gin again with fresh eyes and ideas.

Given a newly cleaned slate, I rec­om­mend spend­ing some time pon­der­ing the op­por­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges of your space. How do you re­ally use your gar­den? What bugged you be­fore, and what did you re­ally love and use? If you have ex­ist­ing trees, what are the shade pat­terns now? If you have an awk­ward shaped space, can you di­vide and con­quer?

If en­ter­tain­ing is your pas­sion think about the size of space you will re­ally need. Map out ta­bles and chairs, cook­ing and loung­ing ar­eas. It will seem like a huge area, but if you build it they will come. Don’t short­change yourself on this space, you will re­gret it. Think about the ex­po­sure as well. lov­ing day. En­joy sports events, movies, play­ful times with chil­dren, mu­si­cal per­for­mances and a chance to get out and do some­thing that pleases you.

This week: Be­cause your birth­day looms ahead, this means your per­sonal year is com­ing to an end. What bet­ter time to re­flect on the past year and think about how you want your new year to be dif­fer­ent? Stud­ies claim if you set goals, with dead­lines, that your odds of achiev­ing those goals are far greater than if you just mud­dle for­ward in your life, re­act­ing to what­ever hap­pens. Cancer (June 21 — July 22) To­day: This is a spacey day. How­ever, take note: This is a cre­ative day for writ­ers and speak­ers, en­ter­tain­ers and any sit­u­a­tion that re­quires think­ing on your feet. You’re in the zone.

Sun­day: Home and your do­mes­tic life are your fo­cus. A con­ver­sa­tion with a fe­male rel­a­tive could be sig­nif­i­cant. Most likely, you will en­joy co­coon­ing at home and get­ting a chance to “hide.”

This week: Get ready for a pop­u­lar month ahead as your at­ten­tion turns to groups, classes, or­ga­ni­za­tions and con­fer­ences. Friend­ships will be im­por­tant. You might ex­am­ine the role oth­ers play in your life. Not only will you so­cial­ize ex­ten­sively, you will also re­ceive help from oth­ers. The next six weeks are an ex­cel­lent time to think about fu­ture goals.

Leo (July 23 — Aug. 22) To­day: This is a lovely, so­cial day. How­ever, your fo­cus might be on fi­nan­cial mat­ters, cash flow and pos­si­ble pur­chases. If so, be aware of the moon alert above so that you can avoid a bad de­ci­sion or bad pur­chase. It’s a good day to ex­plore un­usual ac­tiv­i­ties.

Sun­day: To­day is filled with busy er­rands and chat­ting to ev­ery­one. Take a short trip if pos­si­ble be­cause you will like this.

This week: For the next six weeks, the sun slowly crosses the top of your chart, act­ing like a spot­light on you and this light is flat­ter­ing! Bosses, par­ents, teach­ers and VIPs will no­tice you more and see you as com­pe­tent and ca­pa­ble. This is why you will be asked to take on in­creased re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. Virgo (Aug. 23 — Sept. 22) To­day: The moon is in your sign, which makes you more emo­tional than usual. How­ever, If your en­ter­tain­ing area is in full sun, you may wish to in­clude a beau­ti­ful screen or ar­bour to give some shel­ter from the heat. If you are in a shady lo­ca­tion a fire­place and lights might en­cour­age use of the space dur­ing those cool Cal­gary evenings.

What are the real traf­fic pat­terns in your land­scape? Form should fol­low func­tion so it might not be worth the bat­tle keep­ing lawn alive where it is con­stantly get­ting tram­pled. Were your path­ways wide enough? Ma­jor pedes­trian walk­ways should be gen­er­ous enough for two people to walk side by side (a min­i­mum of 1.2 me­tres wide). Sec­ondary path­ways used less fre­quently can be nar­rower. Think about light­ing those path­ways as well. If your budget doesn’t al­low for a fullscale light­ing pack­age right now, in­stall con­duit while build­ing your hard­scapes. This will al­low you to in­stall il­lu­mi­na­tion later with­out too much dis­rup­tion.

Keep plant­ing beds gen­er­ous. Even small shrubs grow to at least a me­tre wide so give your plants el­bow room. Well-planned mulched beds re­quire less ir- things will tend to go your way be­cause the uni­verse owes you a favour! Since there is a moon alert for most of the day, just kick back and re­lax.

Sun­day: Money is­sues are your fo­cus. You might also dream up money-mak­ing ideas about how to make money on the side or get a bet­ter job. Some of you will shop. Get a bet­ter pic­ture of your as­sets.

This week: You’ll be ex­cited about life in the com­ing month be­cause travel op­por­tu­ni­ties and chances to get fur­ther ed­u­ca­tion or train­ing will fall in your lap. You’re ac­tu­ally keen to ex­plore new, un­fa­mil­iar sit­u­a­tions be­cause you want to ex­pand your ex­pe­ri­ence of the world. Even a ca­sual en­counter might be fas­ci­nat­ing or prove to be a pos­i­tive learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Do any­thing that stim­u­lates your in­tel­lect.

Li­bra (Sept. 23 — Oct. 22) To­day: This is a great day to schmooze with oth­ers; how­ever, you also feel some­what re­tir­ing be­cause the moon is hid­den in your chart. You can go out and party with oth­ers or you can re­lax at home and be happy.

Sun­day: The Moon is in your sign, which makes you more emo­tional than usual. It can also bring you a bit of ex­tra good luck. This is still a so­cial time for you be­cause you have to an­swer to the de­mands of your pub­lic.

This week: It’s cu­ri­ous, but you don’t re­ally like to talk about money. You like to spend it on nice clothes and beau­ti­ful fur­nish­ings, stemware and linens. Nev­er­the­less, in the next few weeks, you will be fo­cused on debt, taxes and shared property. You want to get out of debt. The upside is that your sex life will be hot! Scor­pio (Oct. 23 — Nov. 21) To­day: This is a so­cial day for Scor­pios. It’s true that your em­pha­sis is on prac­ti­cal ac­tiv­i­ties that help you get bet­ter or­ga­nized. How­ever, other astrologic­al in­flu­ences en­cour­age you to party and have a good time, es­pe­cially with fe­male friends.

Sun­day: You will en­joy quiet, be­hind-the-scenes ac­tiv­i­ties. Be­cause this is a so­cial time for you, you might want to en­ter­tain ca­su­ally.

This week: This week the sun will move op­po­site your sign, which is as far away from you as it gets all year. Since the sun is riga­tion and main­te­nance than man­i­cured lawns, so cel­e­brate your love of plants. Plan to in­cor­po­rate ed­i­bles into your plant­ing schemes, who said veg­eta­bles must be all cor­ralled to­gether?

Hide your prob­lems. Cagey use of trel­lis and liv­ing screens can hide those nec­es­sary evils. Struc­tural bar­ri­ers will also al­low you to ex­plore ver­ti­cal gar­den­ing. Gar­den sheds can be­come lovely fo­cal points, so don’t miss the op­por­tu­nity in the chal­lenge.

If you would like to chat about your land­scape or get more great gar­den­ing tips, stop by the Cal­gary Zoo booth at the Cal­gary Hor­ti­cul­tural So­ci­ety’s Gar­den Show this weekend. We have rid­den the wave of the flood of 2013 so you will have an un­der­stand­ing and knowl­edge­able lis­ten­ing ear.



your source of en­ergy, this means you are go­ing to need more sleep. How­ever, this op­po­si­tion of the sun to you will also draw your fo­cus to part­ner­ships and close friend­ships. Ex­am­ine these re­la­tion­ships. Sagit­tar­ius (Nov. 22 — Dec. 21)

To­day: Do be aware that cer­tain per­sonal de­tails about your pri­vate life might be pub­lic. Mean­while, this is def­i­nitely a great day to en­ter­tain at home. You are also ac­tive with groups.

Sun­day: Con­ver­sa­tions with oth­ers, es­pe­cially fe­male friends, will be en­joy­able. Lucky Sagit­tar­i­ans are trav­el­ling on va­ca­tion be­cause this is your time to party! Oth­ers will en­joy re­dec­o­rat­ing at home or en­ter­tain­ing at home.

This week: You want to turn over a new leaf and re­or­ga­nize your world. This mar­vel­lous spring en­ergy will en­er­gize you to not only clean and sort where you live, but also to ap­ply this same ef­fort to where you work. In fact, by ex­trap­o­la­tion, you will be gung ho to im­prove your health. Capri­corn (Dec. 22 — Jan. 19) To­day: Al­though home and fam­ily are your pri­mary fo­cus right now, you want to do some­thing dif­fer­ent. Any kind of travel or a chance to talk to people from dif­fer­ent back­grounds will in­ter­est you.

Sun­day: Per­sonal de­tails about your pri­vate life might be pub­lic. Con­ver­sa­tions with a fe­male author­ity fig­ure might be sig­nif­i­cant. How­ever, if you have the chance, you will en­joy just re­lax­ing at home.

This week: The place­ment of the sun now has a six-week in­flu­ence that makes you want to party and seek out plea­sure. The month ahead is per­fect for a va­ca­tion. En­joy play­ful times with chil­dren plus sports events. This in­flu­ence will rev up the ro­mance in your life. Ex­ist­ing re­la­tion­ships will be in­vig­o­rated and recharged with fun en­ergy, while new ro­man­tic in­ter­ests might en­ter your world. Aquar­ius (Jan. 20 — Feb. 18) To­day: De­spite your fo­cus on in­her­i­tances, shared property, taxes and in­sur­ance mat­ters, this is a poor day to make im­por­tant de­ci­sions re­gard­ing these is­sues This is a cre­ative day for writ­ers, ed­i­tors and ac­tors.

Sun­day: You want to do some­thing dif­fer­ent. You need a lit­tle ad­ven­ture; plus you would also like to learn some­thing new. You are cu­ri­ous about things that are be­yond your usual sand­box.

This week: Now your at­ten­tion turns to home, fam­ily and your do­mes­tic world. Some will be in­volved with a par­ent; but all of you will fo­cus more on your per­sonal life. You might en­ter­tain at home and be in­volved with fam­ily, or you might want to co­coon at home. Pisces (Feb. 19 — March 20) To­day: The moon is op­po­site your sign, but for most of the day, it is void-of-course, which is the astrologic­al term to de­scribe the moon alert above. It’s a good time to party and a poor time to make im­por­tant de­ci­sions.

Sun­day: You might fo­cus a lit­tle on bank­ing needs plus any­thing to do with shared property, taxes, in­her­i­tances and in­sur­ance mat­ters. Look for ways to save money for that va­ca­tion that the stars are promis­ing you!

This week: The pace of your days ac­cel­er­ates in the next six weeks with er­rands, short trips and schmooz­ing. You might be in­volved with a sib­ling or rel­a­tive more than usual. Many of you will read and write more be­cause your de­sire to en­lighten oth­ers is strong. This is a good time to buy wardrobe good­ies be­cause you like what you see in the mir­ror, plus you’re ea­ger to so­cial­ize.

Feli­cia Es­pos­ito/Cal­gary Herald

Last June’s flood­ing has given gar­den­ers a chance to re-eval­u­ate a space and be­gin again with fresh ideas.

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