LEAF – Spring 2014 Update

Well there is still snow on the ground as I write this letter.  Eventually green grass will emerge and we can look forward to the arrival of warmer weather and beautiful spring color.   When the ground dries up you will see The City of Calgary Parks crews engaged in their annual spring clean up of the medians, parks and green spaces.

A Long Hard Winter for Plants

LEAFLast year Hawkwood Boulevard’s grass medians struggled to revive after the excessive “salt pickle“ the City Roads Department sprayed on the roads to prevent icy snow accumulations. We are anticipating seeing the spotted areas of dead grass along the medians again this year.  In an attempt to diminish the salt concentrations in the soil the Parks Department will try again to flush the worst of the salt away by saturating the soil using the water trucks.  Hopefully we won’t have the same issues this spring, but I have a feeling that this winter will be worse than the last.

Before the arrival of the Roads Department’s Street Sweeping Program (estimated date:  3rd week of May), we encourage all residents to sweep their own sidewalks free of gravel.

Due to the icy conditions of the past winter the sidewalks are especially messy with road gravel dispersed everywhere.  I’m even noticing gravel shoveled onto the grass beside driveways and medians so don’t hesitate to rake off or sweep the gravel onto the road so the City crews can haul it away.  The gravel and salt mixture will kill the grass and surrounding trees.

Please keep this strategy in mind if you have grass bordering your own driveways and have shoveled a lot of road salt onto it.   Soaking the area with a water hose will help to flush some of that salt out of the soil.

As for the flowers, we can expect them within the first few weeks of June pending good weather and warm conditions.

New Year, New Flower Designs

We look forward to beautiful display of color.   Over the past 10 years we have learned which plants will grow in Hawkwood and which species struggle.   Our formula is pretty standard.   In an attempt to “shake up the monotony of similar planters this year you will see a few changes in the center pieces and cascading flowers.  We are trying out some smaller cypress trees and grass in a few of the planters to add a little more interest along the boulevards.  There will be 6 different planter designs.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In addition we’re trying out a new species of “Baccopa” called “Giant Snowflake” in the planters.  We are going to see how “Biddens” fair in our unique climate this summer.   And we are trying out a new petunia called “Supertunias”.  You will also see some new varieties of Potato Vine incorporated in the flowerbeds and planters.  And the Nose Hill entrance on Hawkstone Drive will have a new plant in the center called the “Cardoon” (just in case you were wondering).  Let’s cross our fingers all works out well this year for weather and growing.  We hope that you find some gardening inspiration and appreciate the little changes we made this year.

We are also looking forward to seeing some other additions this year.  The Hawkcliff Park flower bed and the entrance feature across the street from the library will be getting some “Carl Forester Grasses” and Pine Trees for some more year round interest.

If you have any questions or concerns about a certain site that you feel could use a little extra love and attention, please don’t hesitate to send us an email and let us know.  We encourage everyone to take pride in the community and get involved in keeping Hawkwood beautiful.

Contact the LEAF Director (LEAF@hawkwoodca.com)