Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Winter in November

I'd been intending to do a blog on winter gardens, but I expected a greener more alive scene. La Niña struck the west coast with an early snow cover for Vancouver. The tomatillo plant in my boulevard garden was just beginning to drop ripe fruit, and now this...

The zucchini still had 1-inch zucchinis; it's now over for them. The kale will probably be OK despite temperatures not going above freezing for days.

The parsley is nowhere to be seen, so it's good to have the little marker for it!

The weather is a bit backward; as you can see, the snow came before the leaves fell.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Blenheim Street Garden

When you see the two planter boxes of corn bordering the front sidewalk to a house, you know something more is going on in the front yard. I seem to remember seeing these boxes (only one of which is pictured here) on display at the "Backyard Bounty Market" (see my blog of October 2) held in September as part of the Dunbar Harvest Festival, but the corn plants were greener and more attractive then.

The front yard garden is not easily seen from the sidewalk, so my apologies for the inadequate photo. However, the garden is still thriving in late October; there is a keen gardener here.

At least some of the raised beds appear to built from recycled wood, especially the one in the left corner, perhaps from a drawer or a shelf unit? This is certainly fine to do (I've done it myself), and since we gardeners often change our minds about the design of our gardens, it is practical since little cost is involved. In order to be extra safe growing food, things to avoid are lead paints/varnishes, particle board, laminated wood from Ikea cast-offs, "treated" lumber, creosote finishes, maybe more. Our throw-away culture results in many items discarded in the lanes, and all the demolitions produce even more potential finds. We see this too often in our Dunbar neighbourhood:

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Raised Beds on Corner Lot

As a rule of thumb, if you see a picket fence, look for a veggie garden. The house is on a corner, so this veggie garden may not qualify as a "front" yard garden, but the raised beds are right out there for everyone walking on the sidewalk along the avenue to see. The first two photos are from October 2009; the third one from October 2010. To do justice to this garden, I would prefer to have photos from the height of the growing season, but even at this marginal time of year, you can see the variety of things that are being successfully grown in the two raised beds on the south side of this house and the change from one year to the next. What are those strings for?