Friday, April 29, 2011

A Cold Spring in Seattle, WA

There is a curious cul-de-sac in Seattle probably dating from the 1920's, designed along a sidewalk instead of a street. Access for vehicles is limited to the lanes at the rear of the houses. So, perhaps this front-yard garden does not strictly qualify as a "front-yard" garden because there is no adjacent street. Although it is an unusual treat to walk on the public sidewalk and not have vehicular traffic next to you, this is not an upscale neighbourhood, and a rooster is often heard crowing several plots away. In mid March, the owner of this creative array of raised beds facing south had over-wintering kale growing, but little else.

During a walk up the sidewalk in mid April I found the garden's tulips nearly finished, the two blueberry bushes blooming (between the veggie plot and the sidewalk), and the kale larger. But we have had a delayed spring here in the Northwest, including cold nights, and the gardener has taken a precaution and covered the veggie garden with floating Remay cloth for protection. Probably it has been seeded with early vegetables.
Note the trellises in the background, ready for peas or beans.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Cold Snap Protection

These photos are not that beautiful, but I hope you can see the resourcefulness of a front-yard gardener in the Point Grey area of Vancouver on West 11th Avenue. With the Federal election coming up soon, followed by a provincial bye-election for this area, we hear how this is one of the wealthiest districts in all of Canada. However, instead of spending money at a garden supply store, this gardener has used found objects and his or her ingenuity to protect two rows of peas from the cold. Cement blocks, lengths of wood, and a few other things support the plastic covers that appear to be attached to light wooden frames, an inexpensive do-it-yourself way to provide removable protection, expand the season, or deal with unexpected cold nights. These last few nights of near-freezing temperatures probably rival the elections in terms of grabbing the attention of gardeners.