This time last week I was still sadly looking at piles of snow and this week I’m wearing flip flops! Albertans are a resilient bunch when it comes to weather changes. We are adaptable and mostly take it in stride when weird weather hits us, and most of us have too many different pairs of shoes to deal with sudden changes and varying situations.
Outdoor space creeps to top of mind right now as the flyers and commercials abound for beautiful furniture and decorative fire pits. My craving for a roasted hot dog is off the charts right now as I await our first burning at the fire pit, it’s going to be wonderful! Sometimes I wish I lived in a more temperate climate where I could invest in outdoor carpets and soft plushy furniture but alas, I live in Alberta and in the country and the weather, wind and our cats would destroy anything nice. I have lovely wicker rocking chairs that they seem to fear so that keeps them off the furniture.
Another thing I envy is those who have the ability to create a beautiful garden oasis outdoors and I envy those who live where summer is a little longer! Last summer I visited my friend in Kelowna and she had these huge, stunning pots of plants and flowers around her pool, they were over six feet tall and she had cedar trees which created a 12 foot tall fence around her property. Breaking this down; a pool is a waste of money where I live, cedar trees die all the time here and our season isn’t long enough to grow anything six feet tall. Sigh, oh well, we have our beauty here too!
So, what is an Albertan to do regarding outdoor spaces? How do we get our spring on when our snow stays around until almost May? I showed a property the other day which had a sunroom attached to the house, this was lovely and warm even on a cool day. Another house had a screened in porch that had removable plexi glass planes which served as a three-season room, it had a vent out of the ceiling connected to a firepit and would be the perfect ‘outdoor’ space in almost any weather. It is also a wonderful feeling to go into a greenhouse at this time of year and smell the warm earth and see the things that have a head start on growing.
Living walls are a wonderful addition to a sunny part of your home. Palettes fixed to a wall are great holders for potted succulents and herbs. These plants will give you beauty and flavour all year round and you can throw in some daffodils and flowering items to give the wall colour and fragrance. Fresh herbs are a wonderful year-round treat to have in your home and will inspire you to create fresh salads, home brewed tea and delicious creations.
We love Alberta, even though we may not always appreciate the weather. Our beloved open skies and mountains give us no end to unpredictable weather and we must get creative with our outdoor spaces to mimic a fairer climate. Enjoy the sunny skies everyone, we have waited long enough for spring to arrive!
Kim Wyse is a Central Alberta freelance designer. Find her on facebook at ‘Kim Wyse Associate Royal Lepage Tamarack Trail Realty’.