Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dunbar Street Front Yard Vegetable Garden

Situated on busy Dunbar Street, this front yard garden has been here for some years, protected behind a charming fence and gate.

Red dandelion (chicory) plants were probably transplanted, as seen in this orderly array in late August, for fall or winter consumption.

In early October, the Swiss chard showed evidence of being cut for eating, along with the red dandelions.

The south side had zucchini, basil, and parsley still thriving in mid October, next to the nicely edged walkway.

The owners do a marvelous job of keeping the garden tidy, and in January, it looks empty but neatly kept. This is the same view of the south side, where the zucchini was. In the foreground, you might see one of those dandelion greens struggling to grow, but the Swiss chard must have all frozen during the cold spells in November and December. The second photo shows some winter ground cover and is getting cheery, with snowdrops just on the verge of flowering (on January 10!). Unfortunately, the day was so dark that I had to use flash.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Chafer Beetle Has Crawled Across Dunbar Street: You Can Now Have an Edible Front Lawn with No Effort!

Unfortunately, the damage from chafer beetles, first seen in Greater Vancouver in New Westminster in 2001 and now commonly seen in many lawns in east Vancouver, is occurring on the west side. This is a January 10 view of a lawn on the west side of Dunbar Street, a few blocks from 41st Avenue.

A close-up view shows the extensive damage begun by skunks and raccoons and continued by crows, as they hunt for the tasty chafer grubs. You may not have an affinity for these grubs, but the local wildlife finds your front lawn edible.

This Dunbar Street lawn is near 33rd Avenue, as seen on January 10.

In October 2009, I saw this damage on W. 37th Avenue, east of Dunbar Street. A common pattern is damage beginning at the edge of a sidewalk and spreading from there.

Right next door to this house on a block east of Dunbar, there is extensive damage from the chafer beetle, so these owners are being proactive and removing the grass themselves! Maybe there will be a veggie garden?

Alas, this morning I opened the window blinds and looked with horror at my back yard, dug up overnight...