Other Publications

Prairie Gardening Books We Recommend

These books authored by prairie gardeners can help you master your gardening challenges. Most are available at local book stores or online.

Perfect Perennials for the Prairie Gardener

By Dawn Vaessen

In this book you'll find a treasure trove of drought-tolerant, shade-loving, sun-seeking, frost-hardy, and hail-resistant perennials that are easy to grow and look great in the prairie garden. With everything the newbie and weekend gardener needs to start planting a backyard Eden in between work and kids' soccer games, the book includes information on what to do before plants are purchased, how to establish and maintain perennials, ways in which to avert possible gardening disasters, and much more.

Edible Plants for Prairie Gardens: The Best Fruits, Vegetables and Herbs

By June Flanagan

Written especially for gardeners in the Canadian prairies and the American plains, June gives detailed instructions on when, where and how to plant and care for each crop, with tips for harvesting, serving and preserving your homegrown produce. The book contains the best plant varieties and environmentally sound gardening practices to be successful in a challenging climate and short growing season.

 

The Prairie Gardeners' Sourcebook  

By June Flanagan and Donna Fremont´╗┐

The key to a beautiful prairie garden is knowing where to find the best plants, products, and information to meet the challenges of short-season, cold climate gardening. Experienced gardeners June Flanagan and Donna Fremont make it easy for expert and novice gardeners alike with this comprehensive and annotated sourcebook. The book covers garden centre and mail order listings, magazines, books, societies, gardening courses, frost dates and more.

Perfect Partners Prairie Gardens

By Liesbeth Leatherbarrow and Lesley Reynolds  

Choosing the right plants for prairie gardens is challenging and getting to know what looks good and grows well together takes time.Perfect Partnerstakes the guesswork out of garden design, providing 170 stunning plant combinations. The authors include colour photos and information on why the combinations work well, with size, soil, light requirements and growing tips.

101 Best Plants for the Prairies

By Liesbeth Leatherbarrow and Lesley Reynolds 

Take the guesswork out of gardening on the prairies with this collection of the very best perennials, annuals, bulbs, shrubs, and trees for the region. Filled with detailed growing information, colour and bloom charts, companion planting suggestions and beautiful colour photographs,101 Best Plants for the Prairiesis a must-have for all prairie gardeners.

Best Bulbs For the Prairies

By Liesbeth Leatherbarrow and Lesley Reynolds 

From the delicate snowdrops and statuesque tulips of spring to the tropical elegance of summer's lilies and the welcome surprise of autumn crocus and colchicum,Best Bulbs for the Prairieshelps you add colour, texture and interest to your prairie garden throughout the growing season. Filled with colour photographs, illustrations, and detailed growing information.

The Prairie Rock Garden

By Donna Balzer 

InThe Prairie Rock Gardenlocal horticulturist and broadcaster Donna Balzer takes the mystery out of building and maintaining rock gardens, alpine beds and troughs. From design and construction to soil, plant choices and maintenance, and with 100 full-colour photos and diagrams, this book has all you need to create a garden style that's a natural for Calgary's climate

Perennials for the Prairies

By Sara Williams 

With a little planning, perennials can signal the arrival of spring and provide your prairie garden with vibrant flowers throughout the warmer months. You'll find everything you need to know about planning your garden, soil and site preparation, fertilizers, transplanting, as well as descriptions of more than 190 species suited to the prairie climate.

Creating the Prairie Xeriscape

By Sara Williams 

Xeriscaping is a water-wise approach to gardening that also conserves time, money and the environment.Creating the Prairie Xeriscapeexplains how to create a beautiful landscape with less watering, weeding and fertilizer.

The Prairie Water Garden

By Paul Harris and Terry Warke 

The Prairie Water Gardenincludes everything you need to know about the design, construction and maintenance of preformed, concrete and flexible liner ponds and container water gardens, incorporating waterfalls, streams, fountains and fish.  It includes a comprehensive list of water garden plants suitable for this area with over 100 colour photos and illustrations.

Gardening Magazines we Recommend

Gardens West Magazine

Fun and informative, Gardens West nurtures the novice gardener while challenging the horticulturist. This magazine shares time-honoured gardening techniques, keeping up with what's hot in the plant world in an easy-to-read, practical and colourful guide.

The Gardener for the Prairies

The Gardener for the Prairies is a quarterly gardening magazine that provides current, in-depth information tailored specifically to prairie growing conditions: a shorter growing season with less precipitation and cold winters, conditions that are largely ignored by the national gardening magazines

 

 

 

Canadian Zone Map

Click to view the Zone Map from Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada. It ranks Calgary as zone 3A, but different areas of the city and different microclimates created in your garden may mean you are gardening in everything from zone 2b to zone 4 or even zone 5.  With mulches and other protective devices, "pushing the limit" is quite possible but take into account the damaging effect of chinooks, especially on trees and other large plant materials that are more difficult to protect.