REALTORS® serving Calgary and area


CREB Now Logo

Calgary's trusted source of real estate news, advice and statistics since 1983.


Stories Tagged - Home & garden

Summer home maintenance tips

July 04, 2024 | CREB

Home maintenance tips for the summer

The summer season is an excellent opportunity to take care of home maintenance. If you don’t know where to start, we have a list of tasks to prepare it for the rest of the season and the chilly months that follow. 

Love It or List It Vancouver’s Todd Talbot draws heavily on his own homebuying experiences during his Calgary Home and Garden Show presentation on “right sizing.” According to Talbot, right-sizing requires homeowners to do an honest audit of what is important to them when it comes to their living space. 
Courtesy Reformation PR

Feb. 28, 2018 | Barb Livingstone

The road to right-sizing

HGTV star Todd Talbot shares advice from 20 years in real estate at the Calgary Home and Garden Show

At the age of 22, Vancouver actor Todd Talbot bought his first home, paying his mortgage with the help of a rent-paying friend.

It was a unique occurrence among his theatre colleagues.

"(As an actor) you don't make a ton of money and you are pretty transient," said Talbot, who, as a teenager, appeared on the Hillside TV series with fellow Vancouverite and current Hollywood heavyweight Ryan Reynolds.

However, it was this initial foray into real estate – $190,000 for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo two blocks from Kitsilano Beach – that sparked Talbot's second career as an entrepreneur, leveraging one piece of property for another, and then another, and eventually leading to ownership of several real estate companies.

Getty Images

Aug. 02, 2017 | Donna Balzer

August in the garden

Gardening tips as summer winds down

August in the garden means the harvest is underway, but everything in the garden isn't ready in the same way or on the same day. Here is a primer for garden work this month:
A shelterbelt will prevent strong winds from battering your rural home, yard and garden.
Donna Balzer / For CREB®Now

July 13, 2017 | Donna Balzer

Gimme shelter

Shelterbelts provide a variety of benefits for country homeowners

The phrase "eat dirt" probably came from a country dweller without a shelterbelt.

When people move to the country, the first problem they often encounter is wind. Thankfully, a shelterbelt can solve that.

Outside the shelterbelt's protective boundary, it's the Wild West. But inside, the shelterbelt provides a cozy spot where flowerpots don't blow away and dust doesn't find its way into your eyes and mouth. The benefits don't stop there either. With a well-planned shelterbelt, falling snow will pile up on your lawn, instead of in the middle of your driveway.

With an overhanging roof for seating and barbecuing, a simple shed was transformed into a comfortable back yard retreat. Donna Balzer / For CREB®Now

May 18, 2017 | Donna Balzer

Back garden oasis

There is no need to leave town with a garden retreat in your back yard

Together with her husband Bruce, Linda converted a back yard shed into a retreat – a cabin retreat.

"You gotta have a cabin in the back yard," said Linda, my neighbour.

Naturally black in colour, and high in carbon, biochar is charcoal used as a soil amendment. Increases soil fertility of acidic soils. It also aids in soil retention of nutrients, which stay in the soil instead of leaching back into the ground, causing pollution. Photo by Donna Balzer / For CREB®Now

March 16, 2017 | Donna Balzer

From oil to soil

Boost your soil, save your back and protect the environment this spring with biochar

Al Chomica, formerly from Calgary, is explaining to me over the phone how biochar, a new garden product he is testing, holds both minerals and soil life firmly. He has been making biochar for years, but this spring he is excited to try a new commercial source.

Biochar, a natural long-lasting form of soil humus, is created from burning organic matter in a low-oxygen environment. It is not wood ash. It is the hard part left over after the fire. Chomica says it stockpiles food in the soil, saves your back and will improve the world.

Getty Images

March 01, 2017 | Donna Balzer

Grass for Roscoe

Even our feline friends enjoy the taste of freshly grown greens

"Hey guess what Anne? I grew some cat grass for Roscoe!"

I was calling my friend ahead of my flight to Calgary and was just so excited. In just five days the cat grass seeds I'd planted had sprouted in their little four-inch pot and were now ready to eat. It was a special treat I was hoping my friend's cat would enjoy.

Once picked, tomatoes don't tend to last long, unless you've got the right variety.

Feb. 16, 2017 | Donna Balzer

How much would you pay for a home grown tomato?

Hamlet tomatoes don't come cheap, but store well

My daughter was the first to notice I paid $12.95 for Hamlet tomato seeds.

And as she looked over my shoulder at the price, I was embarrassed. I admitted I ordered them without price checking and I wondered: would these seeds really be worth three times the price of every other seed?

The Skydrop Smart Watering Sprinkler Controller monitors local weather in real time via Wi-Fi and delivers water only when and where needed.

Aug. 22, 2016 | Miles Durie

Summer tech

Cool backyard tools that turn up the heat this season

A6Ahh, summer in the city. What a great time to be a homeowner, right? Step out your door and survey your domain, listen to the birds, smell the flowers and greenery — then plan your evening barbecue.

But wait. There's a flipside to all that. Did you water the lawn and garden? Does it need mowing before you can enjoy it? Better get it done, because tonight you're going to have to hover over the grill to make sure your steaks are done to perfection, while your friends and family enjoy the results of your backyard labour.

Well, we all know technology can't solve every problem, but it can certainly help reduce the stress and time you devote to looking after your outdoor living space.

Homes and gardens alike require updating.  Donna Balzer, guest columnist offers  advice on keeping the garden relevant to the modern home.

March 24, 2016 | Donna Balzer

What is your garden style?

Not everything is timeless when it comes to outdoor design
Do you have a high-end ultra-modern home with striking features that looks like it came out of a recent copy of Architectural Digest?

What about your yard? Does it look like it came from a Home and Garden magazine circa 1985?

This jarring contrast of cottage-style garden with modern home seems hard to understand until you think of the process. Homeowners do not design homes – builders and architects do. Yet homeowners are the ones often design their own gardens.

Connect With Us

Contact CREB®

300 Manning Road N.E.
Calgary, Alberta
T2E 8K4, Canada


CREB® acknowledges that its office is located, and that its REALTOR® members serve, on the traditional territories of the peoples of the Treaty 7 region and Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3. We honour and acknowledge the members of the Métis community and specifically, the Métis Nation Region 3. In the spirit of reconciliation and because we are all treaty people, we also acknowledge all Calgarians who make our homes in the traditional Treaty 7 territory of Southern Alberta.

© CREB®  |  All rights reserved