Hi there, Thought I'd make the leap, log in for the first time, and introduce myself. I haven't joined a new forum for so long, and also, I tend not to be very good at these introductions!
For those of you who know Alberta, Canada at all, I'm just a tad north of Stettler, Alberta, and that also makes me a wee bit more - south of Camrose Alberta. For those not in Alberta, I'm on the map between Edmonton and Calgary. The area I'm in is very close to the Battle River Valley, and our weather I'm certain is quite influenced by these lovely coulees. ( these coulees are very, very interesting when it comes to plants as well, many cacti and dryland plants, I very much enjoy tramping around these areas whenever I can ) Any forecasts for long, longed for rain, never seem to reach us when it is forecast to, but we'll get it often when no one else does! ( thinking of last year anyway, when we finally got rain, after so many years of drought ) The soil here is quite good, mostly loamy/sand, and a lot of good old black for farming purposes.
I love to garden, obviously, and have been - I think! - working my way up the gardening chain, so to speak, after starting out as a petunia balcony gardener in Edmonton in the 80's. I'm afraid I wasn't very imaginative in those day, but I still enjoyed my small assortment of container plants. I'm not too big on petunias these days, except for a pot of white and purples that I love to have each year for the good smells! From balcony gardening in Edmonton, I went on to a lush planting spree when I moved to Southern Ontario ( Ridgeway, Ontario, almost " across the street " from Buffalo, NY ) More container gardening, and raised beds with still! a lot of annuals, begonias, ferns, and at last, a start at perennials. Oh, to be able to almost literally watch things grow in that heat and humidity. I still wasn't quite at a fanatic stage, oh, no. But I did love the fancy gardening magazines, which now I'm afraid don't do too much for me. But, the pictures sure were pretty! and it kept sending me on my way to more and more gardening, so no experience is wasted.... I only wish I had planted some grapes while I was there, that would have been fun had I only known, since it is an area very close to a lot of the Niagara vinyards. After several years in Ridgeway, my mom passed on, and we moved back here to Alberta, and moved to a tiny village not too far from where I am now. I continued with the gardening, having a very large yard, I dug up many, many beds in the yard, and dug in. Shrubs and perennials were my thing. Not too much from seed yet, except for a few self sowers. But I learned so much from those years there. And I learned a great deal the hard way, of course. I had been squishing so many plants close together, in order to fill my new beds, never thinking I could maybe, just maybe put in a few annuals to tide me over. No, everything was stuffed in including shrubs, which of course, had to be moved in a couple of years. But I loved it. In 2003, after my dad too passed on, we moved back here to the homestead farm, now a quarter section. I came back full circle - and I love it here. And - so much room for gardens! It was here that I started in earnest with growing from seed, after seeing and hearing about so many fascinating plants that simply were- and are not available around here. And the wonderful areas for gardens, and rock gardens. At last, some alpines and tiny treasures, along with shrubs, trees, peonies and lilies! Along the way, for many years, I had been ordering from Gardens North, and had some success but hadn't tried all that many seeds/plants that I considered a tad difficult. But at last I acquired some patience - meaning I could wait until something finally grew out to maturity in all it's glory. And that patience had been lacking for a lot of my gardening years. Now, most fun of all, is to order the seeds, after much thinking, dreaming, and planning, and get them in the soil to do what they do, ( or not! all too many times, in which case, I try again, ... occasionally I have to say the heck with it, but I don't give up very easily ... ) Some of my favorite plants now include many dryland plants that seem to thrive once they get going, this is course evolved during the years of drought. I simply couldn't baby many plants that needed a lot of watering, we have a very slow drilled well here, and only a very few select plants can be given plenty to drink, in times of no rain. So, that's been yet another learning experience, but it's been fascinating too.
I'm afraid I've written far too much, but I think I'll leave this as is! Cohen, I don't know if you would be the closest Nargs "person" to me on here, there are probably others closer by? Anyway, I know your general area reasonably well, having been out to Rocky many times, but of course I don't know the nooks and crannies of plants you have around very well. But it is beautiful country, I know that much.
I look forward to reading more and more on here, and getting to know everyone. It's probably not likely that I'll get to many, if any chapter meetings but I know I'll learn a lot from this forum, and I look forward to the seeds exchange next year....