Saturday, June 27, 2009

Two Boulevard Gardens on Collingwood Street

On June 14, I visited two boulevard gardens on Collingwood Street, which runs north and south in the Dunbar area of Vancouver. What surprised me are the different growing conditions in these two gardens only 20 short blocks apart. The first garden is high on one of the rocky ridges running through the area. The second garden is in the "valley". Both gardens are west-facing, and enjoyed hot sun on this warm day.

The first garden, high on the ridge, is growing tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, rhubarb, garlic, and lovage (the tall plant with parsley-like leaves), and more. The red plastic "tomato craters" from Lee Valley will give the tomatoes a boost.

The garden has a artful border constructed from natural materials.

Here is a similar view of the garden, a photo taken in the fall of 2008. The blueberry bushes were a decorative red.

Going down the hill to the second garden reminded me of traveling down to the Jordan River after being in the deserts of Jordan--suddenly it was tropical! Along with the usual fruits, this lush garden has a healthy banana tree. Due to the heat, the rhubarb has gone to seed (seen to the left of the banana tree). Corn is another crop successfully growing in this location. This large boulevard garden is bordered on the street-side by boxwood and on the sidewalk side by a simple bamboo fence. However, there is no sidewalk here.

In addition to the temperature difference, the soil is clay, unlike the sandy soil on the ridge. Hopefully, you can detect it on this next photo. The gardener has added compost, but the clay remains prominent, and although it is more difficult to handle than a sandy soil, it is capable of being quite fertile. At least the rogue fennel think so!

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