Gardening in Cold Weather Climates

Gardening in Cold Weather Climates is definitely challenging!  Here’s a little update on how things are growing in my Alberta garden!

Gardening season is almost here, and I’m over the moon about it! So I thought it would be fun to show you what’s happening in my garden right now.

I think I’ve made mention on more than one occasion, that the climate where I live can be harsh. It’s not a gardeners dream that’s for sure.  According to the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Plant Hardiness Zones chart, we are in Zone 3a.  Which realistically means that we have maybe 4 months for growing anything, and really our summers are only 2 months long.  Buuuuuuuuummer.

Gardening in Cold Weather Climates

And to make things even more complicated, because of our proximity to the Rocky Mountains, the zones can even change from one end of our city to another!  So as far as gardening goes, we don’t have a lot of time to get it all in.  Which is why we see greenhouses opening up here earlier and earlier every year, even as snow falls.  We just need our garden fix, and be damned what’s falling from the sky!  I’m right there along with a lot of people, scooping up plants, and babying them until we can plant them in the ground weeks later.  What can you do when you have not a lot of garden time?!

Gardening in Cold Weather Climates

I admit that I did start planting waaaay early this year…I don’t know if it is because of the mild winter we had or what, but I’ve got some plants into the ground already!  Granted that they are pansies and about the only plant that can withstand snow, rain, frost and sunshine! But they are a beautiful reminder of summer!

Gardening in Cold Weather Climates

I also went along with a friend to a greenhouse planter course a couple of weekends ago, and put together 2 front porch planters.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m lazy (ok, that’s probably it), or I have faith that these plants are hardy enough to withstand our weather, but I haven’t covered them or brought them into the garage. 

Speaking of my front porch…stay tuned for a spring/summer porch post coming soon!

Gardening in Cold Weather Climates

So far so good…they seem to be managing and even flourishing!

Update:  If you want to see what these pots look like in the fall, click over to see my Fall Porch.  They are so rustic and amazing!

Gardening in Cold Weather Climates

Next week I’m tackling my vegetable/herb garden with an Organic Gardening class at our local university with one of my friends, so I’m super excited about that!  I have planted veggies for the past 3 years without much success.  I consider myself a fairly educated garden person, so I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong!  I’m hoping this class with clue me in!

Gardening in Cold Weather Climates

Here are some of my perennials sloooooooly coming to life.  Growing perennials here is tricky business with our chinooks which can be quite damaging to both perennials and our trees.  You never know from year to year what will survive our winters, but all you can do is cross your fingers and hope for the best.  If they make it through the winter, they usually get hardier with each season!

Gardening in Cold Weather Climates

So far it looks like everything in my yard survived. I can’t wait until my lilacs & peonies bloom!

Thanks for coming along on my little tour of what’s going on in my yard right now! I’m going to update my garden in blog posts throughout the season, so it will be fun to see how things grow this year!

How is your garden growing? Are you one of the lucky ones with gardens in full bloom right now? Or are you still waiting patiently like I am?

Happy gardening to you all!

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  1. I’m really getting a sense for how crazy different all of our gardening climates really are. Where we moved to is about a month ahead of what I’m used to, but I’m still seeing photos of gardens in the South that look like they’re in late July! And your planters are stunning no matter what the climate!

  2. I am a fellow Canadian on the other side of the country and our gardens are looking very similar. It makes me feel better that other parts of this beautiful nation have to wait a little longer for things to grow.. but when they do it is well worth the wait.

    1. Hello fellow Canadian! I always feel so proud when I know that Canadians have read something I’ve written!! So thank you so much for stopping by!

      I have seen so many garden posts from people all over N. America, and it is amazing how different the weather is! I’m so jealous of all the big beautiful green and flower filled gardens! But wait I must, and when my garden finally looks like that, it’s SO worth the wait!

  3. I feel your pain, I can never wait to garden since the growing season isn’t very long here either. I haven’t done much yet this year though. I do hope to go and get some flowers tomorrow afternoon…I’m praying for sun 🙂