Thursday, July 30, 2009

A New Boulevard Garden--Before and After

In early March, grass and stones were removed from the boulevard.

In early April, three boxes were constructed.

Tiny plants and larger ones were already growing in the middle of May. Silver whirly-gigs and bamboo were placed to keep birds and cats away.

A lush veggie garden, complete with a plot of corn, is thriving in mid July.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Dazzling Dill Displays

Gardeners are often creative in changing displays from year to year. This gardener, is one of them, and has planted dill, now in its prime. The front yard has edibles mixed in with other plants--note the sweet peas in the left background.

The dill display is only one small feature of this stunning dry stone front garden that was built in 2008. As in the above garden, a mix of both ornamental and edible plants are grown in this south-facing front yard.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Rhubarb Solution

Everyone likes to see rhubarb emerge in the early spring, predicting warmer days and the promise of more growth in the garden. However, a rhubarb plant takes up quite a bit of prime space, and who has only one plant? More gardeners in the Dunbar and Point Grey area of Vancouver are moving their rhubarb plants out of their back vegetable gardens. The next photo shows rhubarb transplanted in the spring of 2009.

This sunny corner plot appears to have new transplants as well. However, the plants are smaller; perhaps the soil is not as good.

The next two photos show rhubarb as part of attractive boulevard plantings that include mostly flowering plants and bushes.

I've seen numerous rhubarb plants along the lanes--here is one example:

Lastly, the prize for the largest leaves goes to this gardener, who said the secret is lots of coffee grounds from Starbucks!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Mystery Solved!

In 4 previous blogs, (link to Spinach Lovers' Garden in the list of labels), I've had photos of this front yard garden that was growing what I thought might be spinach over the winter and other things in large quantities that I thought were not very practical for a home garden, and yet there was obvious expertise. The mystery is now solved! The garden is part of Kitsilano Farms, a project that converts donated front and back yards into intensive, productive micro-farms. Produce is sold at farmers' markets, sold through CSA programs, given to the land-owners, etc. A similar project on the east side of Vancouver is CityFarmBoy. In Gibsons, there is Backyard Bounty.

Urban Agriculture

The New York Times Magazine of July 5 has an article entitled "Street Farmer" by Elizabeth Royte about Will Allen's inner-city farming project in Milwaukee. I liked these two quotes:

“We need 50 million more people growing food,” Allen told them, “on porches, in pots, in side yards.” The reasons are simple: as oil prices rise, cities expand and housing developments replace farmland, the ability to grow more food in less space becomes ever more important.

Allen predicts that because of high unemployment and the recent food scares, 10 million people will plant gardens for the first time this year. But two million of them will eventually drop out, he said, when the potato bugs arrive or the rain doesn’t cooperate.

This link should work this week: