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Getting Started in the Garden

by Stephen - 1 Comment(s)

This year I’ve decided to get serious about gardening. Usually I just plant a random assortment of nice looking flowers and then pretend that the results were intentional. Most years those results are... unfortunate. So before I break ground I’ll be spending the month of May educating myself with some of the useful resources the Calgary Public Library has to offer.

Before I even check out a book, I’m going to head to the E-Library’s Gale Courses to enroll in one of their many instructor-led online courses called Start Your Own Edible Garden. This course focuses on selecting climate-appropriate crops and cultivating them in a garden which suits my available time, amount of sunshine and vegetable needs.

The first book I’ll be borrowing is Jim Fox’s How to Buy the Right Plants, Tools & Garden Supplies. This book helps readers navigate the garden store, ensuring that you buy quality tools and the right-sized plants while offering advice about where to start when you get all that stuff home.

I live in a small house wiPlantifulth very limited garden space, so thankfully there’s Urban Gardening for Dummies which provides a comprehensive guide to growing plants in the tightest of living conditions. Whether it’s on your rooftop, your balcony, or your windowsill this guide will help you make the best use of the space you have. It also includes tips on gardening in basement apartments!

Finally, I want to make sure that the plants I buy will survive our umm…. very unique… Canadian weather so I’ll make sure to check out both the Canadian Encyclopedia of Gardening and the Great Canadian Plant Guide before I plant anything in the garden. I wonder which plants like hail?

To keep myself inspired I’ll also be checking out Jane Goodall’s Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder from the World of Plants. In this volume Goodall travels the planet to explore the critical role plants play in both our survival and that of the natural world as a whole. She also pays a visit to the Millennium Seed Bank which contains over a billion seeds!

If after all of this my garden ends up well… like it usually does, I can always pay a visit to one of the many community gardens in the city, including those found at the Forest Lawn and Southwood libraries!

Yoga at the Library

by Lorrie - 1 Comment(s)

I started a yoga class a year ago because I was tired of having all those little aches and pains from sitting at my desk all day. I was pretty nervous - I really knew nothing about yoga and I was worried I would look like an idiot. Would the other participants be young and flexible ? Would they be able to hold poses for hours and still look good? At the beginning every pose I held made my arms and legs shake and I realized how out of shape I was. So I set a goal for myself: get through a yoga class without shaking. I achieved my goal by doing some extra work at home. I found the yoga DVDs from the library were just what I needed to do yoga at home.

When you practice at home it can be tough to keep the kids from crawling on you and the dog from licking your face. Finding a quiet space to focus on practicing more challenging poses before the next class gave me a chance to build upper body strength.

My frugal side appreciated the use of free yoga DVDs from the public library for home practice since those yoga classes can be expensive. The DVDs helped me keep pace with the rest of the class. I developed more core strength so I wasn’t always collapsing into a heap on my mat after every pose.

Yoga DVDs were the right choice for me but not everyone's cup of tea. I found lots of library DVDs for other activities to keep my family active in in the winter months, focusing on pilates, kickboxing, drills for hockey skills. There is no excuse for not staying active at the Library!