My lawn is shaggy and ready for the first haircut of summer. It’s time to pry my creaky garage door open and unearth the old electric mower—the tiny plastic broken-handled mower. I’ll tread back and forth, leaving rows of sub-par lawncare in my wake, then hide the mower for another week or three.
My neighbours will do the same, but not on the same day. Each of us has bought a mower, only to shelve it for 355 days a year. It doesn’t have to be this way. My neighbours and I could pool our money to buy a great mower, twice the width and power of my own. We could take turns using and storing it. Our street would win an award for the city’s best-kept lawns. We’d save some cash and Mother Earth would smile.
Continue reading The beautiful mess of the sharing economy Celebrate Global Sharing Week this June
We all want glorious gardens where pests don’t pester. The unseasonably warm weather has meant our plants are starting to thrive. But healthy plants are attractive to insects and other pests, which can decimate a garden in no time.
Continue reading Pests, be gone! Creating a healthy garden How to keep destructive insects away from plants
Spring is here, and we want to see your bloomin’ great yards! The Front Yards in Bloom program is all about recognizing neighbours who make an effort to beautify their front yards.
Continue reading Edmonton’s Front Yards are in Bloom
Homeowners considering building a separate suite or needing to make essential home repairs can still access city housing grants.
Throughout 2016, funding is available from the city’s Cornerstones II grant program, which includes the Secondary Suites, the HOPE program, and Curb Appeal grant.
Continue reading Housing grants still available for homeowners Funding helps homeowners explore options and generate extra income
Making a budget is hard; following one is even harder. Try creating a budget when you have to guess your income for the year. That’s the position the provincial government is in when it forecasts the price of oil and the US dollar.
Continue reading Bringing the budget home Six lessons to learn from the provincial government
While it never really feels safe to start planting in Alberta, thanks to our unpredictable weather, it’s hard not to be excited with the summer-like weather we’ve had. With the crocus emerged and lilies not far behind, now is a great time to be out in the garden, elbows deep in cool soil.
Continue reading Growing the best garden, up or out Three tips to ensure gardening success
That Bloomin’ Garden Show and Art Sale, which started with a focus on back alleys in 2007, is celebrating its 10 year anniversary this May.
“It started from a revitalization working group,” said Karen Mykietka, the producer of the show. A group of like-minded people sat down 10 years ago and brainstormed a project that brought beatification to back alleys.
Continue reading Garden event’s been Bloomin’ for 10 years An idea to bring community together has blossomed
With spring starting to peek through the winter cold, it will soon be time to plant a spring garden. Before sowing those tiny seeds, tackle a few garden chores to ensure your garden gets off on the right foot and grows the best plants possible.
If your garden has raised beds, now is the time to check for any damage. The soggy soil from rain and snow can strain wooden frames. Repairing bowed or split wood now will save you time and keep plants contained all summer.
Continue reading Preparing and planting a spring garden Great tips for getting the most out of your garden this year
Urban agriculture is on the rise in Edmonton. With tough economic times ahead and food prices steadily increasing, it’s a good time to turn that overgrown patch of lawn into a garden.
Gardening can seem overwhelming, but it is simpler than it sounds. All you need is a few square feet of the great outdoors along with water and time. Even if you don’t have a yard, you can still grow food. Consider container gardening if you have a sunny balcony or patio, or even a herb garden on a bright windowsill. It’s amazing how many tomatoes or peppers can grow out of one pot. Another option is to take advantage of a community garden.
Continue reading Sowing seeds for savings Growing sustainable food from seed to table
It’s no secret that food costs have increased. For some, that jump has barely registered, but for many of us, it has impacted our budgets noticeably. What has caused food prices to soar? Where does that leave those of us with tight finances? Are there alternatives to purchasing expensive fresh fruits and vegetables?
Part of the reason food costs have risen is because of the high price of oil. Large-scale farms require machinery to mechanically harvest products and the cost of transport has also increased. Climate change is another culprit, with floods, droughts, and storms in various areas destroying harvests. The low Canadian dollar is another, more recent factor. Finally, some governments have banned exports of foods, fearing shortages and ensuing political instability. Such bans mean low supply and correspondingly higher prices.
Continue reading Stretching the food budget Creative ways to grow food, save money and stay healthy