Spring has sprung and gardening plans are all the rage. You’ve got the seeds, you’ve got visions of a bountiful harvest … now it’s just a matter of finding enough room for all those plants.

For those of us without backyard and full-size gardens, it can seem tricky to figure out where to squeeze in those hydrangeas and fresh herbs. But, with a little creativity, that won’t be a problem. Check out some of these ideas for a vertical garden!

Vertical gardens come in many different shapes, sizes and prices but are becoming increasingly popular. As the name suggests, they are multi-tiered gardens that have an upright format and can be put either indoors or outdoors, depending on the plants.

The benefit is that the gardens take up much less space than a traditional garden because they go up, instead of spreading out! Vertical gardens can be a beautiful feature to add to any living space and there are countless different ways to do-it-yourself as well as purchasing pre-made structures.

Traditional Vertical Garden
Some people hang their vertical gardens on a wall whereas others have them as freestanding structures. The most traditional way is to have a simple shelving unit to hold the various plants.

Hanging Planters
If you have lots of dead space in a room, a hanging planter may be the way to go. These plants can be hung up at any height from the ceiling to showcase a vast array of colours. Keep in mind that you will need to have relatively easy access in order to water the plants.

Floating Shelves
This is a great option if you have an empty wall that needs sprucing up. The shelves get fixed to the wall in a spaced-out fashion and gives a very clean, modern look to household plants.

Wire Garden
For plants that naturally tend to grow upwards, a wire garden is perfect. When you lay the seedlings, plop in some wires or cages – the plant will creep up the wire as it grows.

Tin Can Fence Garden
Spray recycled tin cans and hang them on a side of your fence with some seeds – an adorable and affordable way of doing it! Don’t forget to punch a hole at the bottom of the can for drainage.

Canvas Wall Pocket Garden
In it’s most basic form, a wall pocket garden essentially looks like a hanging shoe organizer – a large piece of fabric with various pockets where, instead of shoes, you put soil and seeds. Just make sure that the surface behind the canvas doesn’t get damaged from moisture.

Let the type of sun exposure determine what kinds of plants you grow and, if you want to get really sophisticated, set up a drip system for irrigation. Vertical gardens are a great way to maximize space!

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Earlier in the spring, some of the top banking regulators in Canada had proposed raising the mortgage stress test level which will make it harder for hopeful homebuyers to qualify for a mortgage.

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) has confirmed that it will be applying those tighter rules, effective June 1, 2021.

The new qualifying rate for an uninsured mortgage – where borrowers have at least a 20 per cent down payment – will rise to either the mortgage contract rate plus 200 basis points or 5.25 per cent, whichever is higher.

That’s compared to the previous average mortgage stress test rate which was 4.79 per cent at Canada's biggest lenders. Would-be buyers wishing to borrow money to purchase a home now need to prove that they can pay the loan at a higher interest rate – regardless of the rate they actually get with their mortgage.

The difference in rates may seem small on paper but it can add up on practice – in some cases, reducing how much a household can borrow by more than $100,000.

Let’s say, for example, a homeowner currently has a 25-year mortgage of $300,000 at two per cent (the rate they may actually get from the bank) – their monthly payment is $1,270 a month.

At 4.79 per cent (where the big bank posted rates already are), that same monthly payment jumps up to $1,709. At 5.25 per cent (the new proposed stress test rate), the monthly payment would jump to $1,788 a month. So, the difference between what someone may be paying monthly versus what they need to qualify for with the stress test is significant – more than $500 a month.

If the borrower can’t prove that they could financially withstand the rate hike, the bank can’t lend them the money.

The first iteration of the stress test was introduced in early 2018 as a way to “cool down” the housing market by making it harder to qualify for a home loan and thus shrinking the pool of qualified borrowers.

The current proposal for a higher stress test is not completely unexpected. There had been talk of the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) raising the rate before COVID-19 but the pandemic paused those plans.

The qualifying rate will be reviewed at least once a year, in December. The OSFI says that timing allows regulators to adjust the regulatory conditions ahead of the busy spring selling season.

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I have listed a new property at 3028 108 ST in Edmonton.
BEAUTIFULLY REMOLDELED from top to bottom. 4 level split TOWNHOME with private attached garage. SPECTACULAR KITCHEN with HIGH END STAINLESS STEEL appliances, large EATING BAR. BUILT IN DESK is great for working from home. Private BALCONY off the Kitchen which is great for entertaining or enjoying the tranquil view. Spacious Living room boasts a 2 STOREY electric FIREPLACE feature and double FRENCH DOORS leading to your backyard. Upstairs you will find 3 sizeable bedrooms and a 5 piece bathroom complete with in-suite LAUNDRY and ample amounts of storage. HUGE flat fenced backyard perfect for relaxing. Fantastic location close to schools, shopping, parks, public transportation and more.
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I have listed a new property at 5631 201 ST in Edmonton.
Spacious 2,165 SF custom built Daytona 4 bedroom, 3 bath family home located in the Hamptons. Great floor plan has a flex room off the front entrance - ideal for home office or formal dining room. Open concept design features a functional kitchen with raised eating bar, corner pantry and Stainless steel appliances. Spacious living room with cozy fireplace, huge mantel area nestled between 4 windows overlooking the back yard. Dining area leads to a newer composite deck and private fully fenced yard. Main floor laundry, 2 piece bath and mudroom to double attached garage. Upstairs you’ll find a bonus room, family bath, and four generous bedrooms including the master suite with huge jetted tub, separate shower and walk-in closet. New Central Air, New Tankless Hot Water, Multi Camera Security, Nest Thermostat and beautiful Hardwoods. Well located close schools, shopping, bike and walking trails around multiple ponds, easy access to Anthony Henday and Whitemud...a perfect family home!!!
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I have listed a new property at 9924 184 ST in Edmonton.
STUNNING HOME & PROPERTY!!! AN ENTERTAINER'S DREAM!!!! Custom Built 2480 Sq Ft BUNGALOW on a SECLUDED PIE SHAPED LOT. Full BRICK exterior with CLAY TILE roof, OVERSIZED driveway. Walk up to your inviting entrance with front covered VERANDA. Interior features almost 5000 Sq Ft of living space. Solid OAK throughout, cabinets, doors, trim & mouldings. MAIN FLOOR boasts a total of 4 BEDROOMS, 2 FULL BATHROOMS including a Large PRIMARY BEDROOMS with a 5 piece ENSUITE with separate soaking tub. EXPANSIVE Kitchen with STAINLESS STEEL appliances, GRANITE countertops, raised eating bar adjacent to a breakfast nook. DOUBLE SIDED wood burning FIREPLACE. SUNKEN Family Room & Living Room. BASEMENT has a MASSIVE Rec Room with WET BAR, 2 additional Bedrooms, 1 Bathroom and ample amounts of storage. PRIVATE backyard complete with a partially covered DECK, MATURE TREES, FIRE PIT & SHED. Close to parks, schools, shopping, walking paths and so much more. ONE OF A KIND! You won't see another house like this!
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I have listed a new property at 503 10518 113 ST in Edmonton.
Welcome to MAXX Urban Living...this well maintained and upgraded condo offers 2 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms. Located on the 5th floor this unit features an open floor plan with a very spacious dining area and living area. The spacious kitchen boasts granite countertops and is fully equipped with stainless steel appliances and breakfast bar at the island. The Master bedroom includes plenty of closet space along with a full ensuite. Step outside of the living room and enjoy your private sunny, east facing covered balcony with a clear view of the downtown skyline and bonus BBQ gas line. In-suite laundry, plenty of storage, fresh neutral paint tones, upgraded flooring and secured, heated underground parking stall. This California style building is located just a short walk to the Brewery District, Grant MacEwan and plenty of transportation options including a short walking distance to future LRT. Tons of value in this unit, fantastic location and low condo fees which include heat and water.
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I have listed a new property at 3028 108 ST in Edmonton.
BEAUTIFULLY REMOLDELED from top to bottom. 4 level split TOWNHOME with private attached garage. SPECTACULAR KITCHEN with HIGH END STAINLESS STEEL appliances, large EATING BAR. BUILT IN DESK is great for working from home. Private BALCONY off the Kitchen which is great for entertaining or enjoying the tranquil view. Spacious Living room boasts a 2 STOREY electric FIREPLACE feature and double FRENCH DOORS leading to your backyard. Upstairs you will find 3 sizeable bedrooms and a 5 piece bathroom complete with in-suite LAUNDRY and ample amounts of storage. HUGE flat fenced backyard perfect for relaxing. Fantastic location close to schools, shopping, parks, public transportation and more.
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I have listed a new property at 11638 90 ST in Edmonton.
Perfect starter or investment property on a MAJESTIC tree lined street in Alberta Avenue. This 2 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom bungalow has a spacious living room with a period electric fireplace mantle, newer laminate flooring on both levels, ceramic tile, freshly painted, eat in kitchen. Fully finished basement with oversized familyroom and 4pc rough in bath with toilet & vanity. Private fenced yard with patio and large single garage. Close to schools, shopping, parks and public transportation.
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