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Dig in to the new season

Preparing your gardening space for the spring season.

Hello again, West Kootenay gardeners. I’m delighted to be with you for the new gardening season as we usher in another spring, filled with the promise of fresh spring fragrance, beautiful blooms and lots of sunshine.

I don’t often think beyond a couple of weeks, but through the last couple of dreary months I’ve been wishing for March to arrive ... and, at last,  here it is.

This spring’s ‘new beginning’ has significant meaning for me as I left the family home and moved into a little house in East Trail over the winter.

I haven’t moved many times in my life so I was very apprehensive.

But trepidation was quickly replaced with optimism and a sense of adventure when I realized my new yard was a blank canvas just waiting to be transformed into a garden the right size for me to enjoy at this stage of life and energy.

Gardening has been a constant source of peace and joy for me through times of transition and will help me move forward again.

Family and friends are being dragged along in my excitement of establishing a new landscape and I thought it might be fun to have readers join me as well. It will provide a refresher course for all of us in the basics of Kootenay gardening.

I’ll keep you posted on how I create the new garden, build healthy soil, design colourful, low-maintenance beds, choose the very best mix of interesting plants and then plant them properly in the ‘right spot’ for best results.

Along with tips on top plant picks and best gardening methods, I hope to include pictures that help bring my vision alive.

My front yard is shady and the majority of the back yard quite sunny, which is perfect. It enables me to move a fabulous variety of treasures from my previous garden. But, this new space is considerably smaller than the last so I’ll only be able to bring about half of my plants.

The first step will be to measure the space, draw out the garden beds and formulate the tentative design.

The finished product will no doubt end up a bit different, but this will help me organize my thoughts and choose the right mix of trees, shrubs and perennials.

I’m also pleased to have my business partner and good friend, Betty Drover, helping with my project and sharing this column. Her energy, enthusiasm and love of gardening are always an inspiration.

I’m blessed to have been given the opportunity to put together a new garden again with a bit more knowledge under my belt. Join me again in April.

By then the earth should have warmed enough for me to dig the beds and move plants. My smile brightens as the snow melts.

Patty Siddall operates a local garden business and shares this space with business partner Betty Drover every other Friday.