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Stories Tagged - No Guff Gardener

News

Feb. 07, 2017 | Donna Balzer

Even plants need a spa day

How to freshen up houseplants in the shower


newDonnawebDo you have a layer of dust on your indoor plants from the pre-Obama era?


As the sun shines on my plants, I can see it's been too long. If I can write my name on the leaves in dust, I know it's time to send my greenery to the shower.


Light levels are so low in February in Calgary that any extra interference, like dust, slows houseplants down and blocks the already limited light. If leaf tips are browning or whole leaves yellowing, the plant is probably cutting its losses by getting rid of the lazy leaves that are too shaded to give back.


In nature, regular rains wash leaves clean, but in your apartment or house, plants need a helping hand.


Whether you believe in gift giving or not this is the time of year to be thankful for your garden and for nature.
News

Dec. 16, 2016 | Donna Balzer

Gifts from your garden

How eco-therapy can warm the soul during the holidays

newDonnawebWhether you believe in gift giving or not this is the time of year to be thankful for your garden and for nature. And the physical benefits gained aren't limited to things we have to buy.
Here is a seasonal selection of garden gifts to ponder:

Winter

Chelsie was at the landfill in late November when she noticed someone else had left large birch branches behind. Knowing these could be striking additions to her seasonal garden containers, she swapped out her waste for someone else's, and happily left with a few striking white branches. Later, she included them in her seasonal outdoor pots and planters.

Anything being pruned selectively is fair game for seasonal decorating. Photo by Donna Balzer/For CREB®Now
News

Dec. 07, 2016 | Donna Balzer

Chill out

Bring nature indoors for low-cost decorating this season

newDonnawebMichelena Bamford loves the scent of natural evergreens such as junipers, pines, blue spruce, white spruce and cedars in her home.

But the owner of Calgary-based Rocky Mountain Wreaths doesn't limit herself to greens. She also gathers local dogwood, birch and wolfwillow twigs to add to her work. Combined, she says it brings nature into her home and brightens up the dark days of December.

"Different plants that we appreciate at different times of year are really important to me," said Bamford.

News

Nov. 19, 2016 | Donna Balzer

A brave new world

Engineered gardening could help expand growing potential

newDonnawebYou likely don't think about light quality or intensity when you're crunching a carrot or raising a radish, so why should you care about Jack Zhang's newly engineered lights?

Because Zhang's new LED lights could help you grow your own super-efficient vertical farm in a kitchen nook, empty bedroom or spare closet.

Zhang, an electric engineer by trade, spoke to me about his newly imagined LED lights when the Lumenari Biosciences co-founder and CEO attended the Canwest Horticulture show in September. At that time, Zhang said his company was, "all about designing energy-efficient lighting systems for the horticulture industry."

News

Sept. 22, 2016 | Donna Balzer

No regrets

Don't make the mistake; plant your bulbs now

newDonnawebIt's simple garden envy, but there is a cure.

And it doesn't matter if your patch is just a tiny spot beside a townhome or a broad sweeping patch in a big country acreage.

If you are in a new garden and don't add bulbs now, you will regret it next spring. There is no shortcut to the blooming beauty we welcome with spring bulbs.

Here are some further tips:
The usual definition of a weed is a plant growing where you don’t want it.   Identifying what's a weed, however, takes a bit more effort. Photo courtesy Donna Balzer/For CREB®Now
News

Aug. 08, 2016 | Donna Balzer

Crazy weeds

When you know it's too good to be true

newDonnaweb"Help! This plant is growing behind my office in Calgary and I can't identify it" tweeted Christene.

Gloria had some "wonderful old flowers" suddenly appear in her Canmore yard, so she sent photos by email. Mehran fell in love with a beautiful plant he saw in a Springbank ditch. He texted me a photo. Pretty and mysterious plants were suddenly on all my media.

"Our office building is about two blocks west of the Bow River. There's always a bunch of interesting plants growing out back behind the warehouse loading dock so I'm always trying to identify them, see if there are any plants I can steal to put in my garden. I had never seen anything like this one before and probably spent a good hour trying to figure out what it was," said Christene by follow-up email. But of course anything this exotic and pretty and springing out of nowhere could only be one thing. Christene and Gloria and Mehran all had or wanted to know more about weeds. Pretty, vigorous weeds.

News

July 30, 2014 | Donna Balzer

Bugs: the good, the bad and the ugly

A look at the beneficial - and not so beneficial - insects in your garden

Aphids are considered bad bugs. They multiply in the garden and are visible on the tips of rose bushes and highly fertilized annuals. The first line of defence against aphids is water. Hose off plants or clip off and throw away aphidcovered growing tips. Another option is to let the good bugs get rid of the bad bugs for you.
News

July 30, 2014 | CREBNow

Bugs: the good, the bad and the ugly

A look at the beneficial - and not so beneficial - insects in your garden

Aphids are considered bad bugs. They multiply in the garden and are visible on the tips of rose bushes and highly fertilized annuals. The first line of defence against aphids is water. Hose off plants or clip off and throw away aphidcovered growing tips. Another option is to let the good bugs get rid of the bad bugs for you.More...
News

July 03, 2014 | Donna Balzer

Grow your own flowers ... and eat them too

Flowers and vegetables that offer some tasty tidbits for your table

So, time to fess up now. Do you ever feel like a bit of a show off?

I might have been showing off a bit when my new Italian friend Josie dropped by last week to see my greenhouse.


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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.


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