Floods brought change
Nature has given opportunity for a renewed garden
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.
HANNAH IS THE HORTICULTURIST
OF THE INFORMATION ABOUT THE
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.
Last June’s flooding has given gardeners a chance to re-evaluate a space and begin again with fresh ideas.