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Stories Tagged - flowers

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July 02, 2020 | Tyler Difley

Six easy ways to spruce up your backyard for summer

Despite the gradual reopening of businesses and other public spaces as part of Alberta's relaunch strategy, COVID-19 still loom large in our daily lives several months into the pandemic. As a result, the humble backyard might be where many Calgarians spend much of their time outdoors this summer – whether they're seeking sanctuary or a place for small, physically distanced gatherings with friends and family.

So, there's no time like the present to make the most of that space. Here are six easy ways to spruce up your yard and create the outdoor oasis you've always wanted.
Courtesy Donna Balzer

July 31, 2019 | Donna Balzer

August in the garden: Stretch out summer with late-blooming flowers

If your garden party is usually over after the irises, peonies, plums and lilacs fade, add late-blooming flowers to really stretch your summer this season. Making way for late bloomers means the joy of summer continues past your escape to the lake and well into back-to-school season.

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July 17, 2019 | Donna Balzer

July in the garden: Summer watering tips for flowers

I arrived home one day in November to find my irrigation system was spraying my snowy lawn.

Hardy perennials like Rudbeckia might hang onto their petals into November.
Donna Balzer / For CREB®Now

Oct. 12, 2017 | Donna Balzer

October in the garden

Preparing for the winter ahead

It's October and it's time to get serious about the fall garden. Plant bulbs, rake apples, empty compost and clean out plant pots before the sleet and snow freezes everything solid like a jellied salad.
If your yard is a bar, mushrooms are not just furniture. They are the patrons and the servers in your yard bar. They drink in the sugars and pass around the snacks.  Photo by Donna Balzer/For CREB®Now

Oct. 18, 2016 | Donna Balzer

Can I take your order?

If your yard is a bar, mushrooms are the patrons and the wait staff

newDonnawebThe phone call came during my regular CBC radio phone-in show.

The caller had heard Dr. Scholl's foot powder was a fungicide. She knew lawn mushrooms were a type of fungus, so she wondered if she could kill her lawn mushrooms with foot powder – active ingredient Tolfanate, a synthetic thiocarbamate.

"No, definitely not," I exclaimed.

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:
Deadheading involves cutting flowers off after they fade to encourage more flowers. Photo by Donna Balzer/For CREB®Now

Aug. 26, 2016 | Donna Balzer

Deadheading boosts blooms

But beware of Calgary's famous hail belt

newDonnawebWhat's with crazy gardening terms like "deadheading?" It sounds like something done in a dark alley, in private, after midnight.

Patrick Horner, a reader and fairly new gardener, wasn't sure at first, but he figured out from an online search that it meant cutting flowers off after they fade to encourage more flowers. He sent me an email: "If I am deadheading [my dianthus], what do I remove?"

Horner's plant in question is a perennial dianthus – a hardy dwarf relative of the common-cut flower the carnation. If he deadheads it, it may bloom again a bit this season, and will certainly bloom more heavily next year because it won't use up its energy making seeds this year.

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

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.

Donna flowers

Nov. 13, 2015 | Donna Balzer

Fool the eye

Create a natural focal point this fall to view from the inside looking out

newDonnawebI had a single dahlia plant left in my garden. It was battered into the ground by heavy winds and rain. The flowers on the plant, already lying on the ground, had aphids, spiders and slugs living in them. But from a distance, they looked shabby chic beautiful.

Studies show views of nature improve our mood and relax our minds. Improving the view of nature from your window, even if you live on the 10th floor of a high-rise building, might seem impossible this late in the season. But as long as you have a balcony or small patio, improving the view is simple. Just add flowers, dead or alive.

Instead of cutting my dahlias and dumping them, or bringing dahlia blooms with bugs into my home, I clipped the best blooms from my plant and placed them in a large, shallow, water-filled salad bowl. Then, I left the bowl outdoors on my patio table, where I enjoy them from my dining room.

June 03, 2015 | CREBNow

Living with lovely landscaping

How making some adjustments to your yard can spur home sales

They say you can't judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to buying a new home, curb appeal is often everything.

Dandelion décor and weathered wood decks won't work in your favour to draw buyers to your property, said Donna Balzer the gardener, speaker and TV personality behind www.gardenguru.net. Balzer cited a seller in Scarboro who contacted her after potential buyer's commented on his home's outdoor esthetics.

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