Bookshelf: Regional Gardens (Canada) - Prairie:

The Calgary Gardener: The Essential Guide To Gardening In Alberta's Chinook Country
by The Calgary Horticultural Society
Every novice, professional or want to be gardener should be given a copy of this book to get them acquainted with the City. Here they will find the most suitable varieties to start with. It is a wonderful book to read, not only from the standpoint of being in a challenged climate, but it also gives you information in a very easy to understand way, explaining things like when to do chores during the gardening year. Do you need a permit for hard landscaping? Container plating and raised bed planting are discussed in detail. What types of trees grow here? Outdoor lighting, xeriscaping and native plant gardens, alpines, water gardens - how deep should your pond be and what is legal.

Then you have chapters on individual areas like roses and for the novice this book is great at telling you what a problem looks like i.e. "powdery mildew makes leaves look like they have been dusted with icing sugar". All plants are listed with their common and botanical names to make the correct choice when out shopping. They tell you where to plant and if fragrant. There is a huge list of perennials, all having their own bloomcharts, then it lists grasses, ferns, hardy bulbs, tender bulbs, and annuals are listed giving a cut flower chart and who likes shade and most important, when to start them and how to start them. There is also an area on how to start seed indoors going through everything you need to know.

Vegetables are also discussed - what to grow, and there is also a section on herbs. There are excellent chapters on soil - the backbone of any good garden. If your soil is not prepared for gardening, then you could find yourself wonderfing why it isn't producing as it should. Fertilizers are discussed along with a calendar to tell you when to apply.

Watering - when and how to water and the benefits of using rain barrels. Composting- the different types are discussed with diagrams on bins. In my humble opinion, soil preparation and composting are the basics of gardening and this book really helps you understand how to accomplish this. Then on to lawns, weeding, pest and disease control, pruning (another important area, which can greatly damage if not done correctly).

Gardening is all about growing. Not just growing plants, but growing in the knowledge of the area that you live. The Calgary Horticultural Society has done an excellent job of giving us what we need to grow. I have missed a lot more of what the book tells us, but you will have to find that out for yourself! After you have read this book, you will have the basics you need to grow a beautiful garden and the next step is to join the CHS where you will meet like minded, enthusiastic people, who can continue to help you grow in the beautiful City of Calgary...

ISBN 1-895618-67-3

Fifth House Ltd

#9 - 6125- 11 St. S.E., Calgary, Alberta, T2H 2L6



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