For many, gardening is the outdoor version of baking. It’s creative, physical, can involve the whole family and end up with some very satisfying results.
Many people get their gardens started on the May long weekend: planting a veggie garden, buying curbside from local garden centres and taking a walk in nature are all activities that residents can enjoy to improve their mood and reduce stress while still maintaining required physical distance.
Here are some outdoor garden-inspired activities and resources you can enjoy this long weekend:
- Start some seeds. Nothing is more life-affirming than checking each morning to see if something spouted. And even little kids can help!
- Plan a vegetable garden. Grow the veggies you love the most so you benefit from your hard work. Read about which varieties to plant from seeds and which ones are better if you purchase plants. Consult garden blogs and books.
- Plan a flower garden. Choose colours and varieties that make you happy. Sunflowers, nasturtiums, zinnias and marigolds are easy to grow from seeds. Local garden centres also have many in pots if you just can’t wait for seeds to grow.
- Plan an herb garden. What herbs do you like to cook with? Which herbs make the best cocktails or tea? If you don’t have in-ground space, herbs are easy to grow in pots on window sills or balconies and decks.
- Take an online class about plants or gardens or watch some YouTube instructional videos. Learn about seed starting, taking cuttings or growing vegetables.
- Pull out the garden or plant books you bought in the past and read them (maybe for the first time?). Review copies with lovely garden photos and be newly inspired.
- Take a walk in a nearby natural area such as Cochrane Ranche or Riverfront Park. Look closely at leaves, bark, mosses and flowers. Notice the number and type of plants that grow well in our area.
- Shop Cochrane! Most local garden centers are offering curbside pickup so you can place your order for plants and other supplies and then pick them up at the store.
- Plan a new group of containers for your deck, porch or patio. Flowers, herbs and vegetables await your creativity. Go for a mix of colour, fragrance and flavour!
- Plant a tree! Research native tree species that will work well in your space (most Cochrane homes are in plant hardiness zones 3a or 3b). Check for the right amount of space and sunlight.
- Redesign the spaces in the front of your house. Research plants that grow well in your area and make a plan for spring renewal.
- Take this time to groom or repot houseplants. Remove dead leaves, refresh the soil and take cuttings of favourites so you can share the wealth with friends (cuttings in small pots make great gifts).
- Create a new indoor display of plants. Make a row of small pots in bloom on your kitchen counter or the windowsill above your sink. Move an unused side table in front of a window, creating a new place for plants.
Check online or phone around to find everything you need to make your garden bloom this year.
Seeds, plants, soil, compost, general garden supplies:
- Chains like Walmart or Canadian Tire have seeds and soil to get you started
- Anything Grows Garden Centre is open and offering online ordering and curbside pickup. They are also following all physical distancing and sanitation guidelines in-store. Staffer Cole Bailey tells us that they are fully stocked with trees, shrubs, plants, seeds and garden supplies.
- Find mulch and soil locally at Top Spray or Cochrane Landscape Supply (CLS).
Outdoor renovations, landscaping:
- Local landscaping companies like On Growing Works, Paul’s Lawn & Garden Care, Cochrane YardTek and Lux Landscaping can all help you plan your garden renovation.
- Home Hardware has a number of hardscaping materials to help complete your outdoor home improvement project like pavers, patio stones and lumber.
- The Plant Place has a wonderful selection of plants, pots, planters, indoor growing supplies, terrariums and other locally handcrafted goods. They also offer delivery in Cochrane.
- Cochrane Landscape Supply has a knowledge centre on their website loaded with great articles and how-to guides to help get you started.