Sunday, May 29, 2011

3 new plots on 11th

West 11th Avenue in the Point Grey area of Vancouver is rife with front yard vegetable gardens. This one may be inspired by the next door neighbour's front yard vegetable garden of many years, which you can see bits of in the background on the left. It appears that plants are from another gardener or a store, rather than from seed. Some land is left to plant the warm weather plants when the weather gets better.

This new boulevard garden looks as if will prove quite successful. I like the design of the angled corners at the centre because they give the gardener more space to move about, and they simply look great. The brick path is a nice touch as well.

Why waste a south-facing garage door that is not being used? These folks built a trellis and a box and planted peas.

Monday, May 9, 2011

6 on 6th

On Sunday, May 8, I took a walk along West 6th Avenue, in "Kits", looking for front-yard veggie gardens. I spotted six, two of which I'd seen before. They are neighbours to each other. The garden on the right is still bare. You can see a leafy green from last year that has gone to seed with a bright yellow flower. These flowers are often wonderfully fragrant, and leaving the plant there is good for birds and for lazy gardeners who then can have many such plants the next year without lifting a finger!
It is interesting to see a photo of the same garden taken in March 2010, when there was a successful winter cover crop.
Between the two houses are three young flowering fruit trees, along with colorful spring bulbs.

The garden on the left has slightly-raised beds, using bricks and wood. Note the hoops on the bed with the garlic and the leeks and on the bed in the rear. It looks like the kit of wire hoops and plastic that I purchased this spring from Lee Valley. The nights are warmer, even if we complain about the cold days, so the plastic may not be needed anymore, but it's there just-in-case.
In the bed in the rear, there is a good specimen of over-wintering Lacinto kale. Behind it, peas are emerging. The daffs are finished!
It is astounding to compare this year to last year. The gardener grew Lacinto kale in 2009/2010, and in this photo taken early March 2010 it had already gone to seed! The daffs are flowering in the background. Brian Minter of Minter Gardens remarked on CBC recently that we are 3 weeks behind this year. Maybe more??
The third garden is newly-constructed. I could not see what is planted under the plastic. The four raised beds are cleverly placed near the front sidewalk for maximum sun on this north-facing lot.
In contrast, the fourth garden is an older and established garden, and I could only get an unsatisfactory peak at it. I liked the trellis and saw what looked like actual grapes, but that seems impossible. Also facing north, this garden's trellis is a good idea because it gets plants up out of shade.

The rocking chair drew my attention to the fifth garden. The gardener must have decided that he/she has no time to sit and rock, hence the plant on the seat and the missing rockers. The plot to the right of the entrance looks well-established, but the one to the left, with the spade ready for use, appears to be in transition, perhaps due to the construction site next door.

The sixth garden is new this year and must have taken considerable time and money to design and construct. It is unlike any I've seen, but it follows a number of excellent principles. Due to the usual space constraints of Vancouver's city lots, it had to be quite small. Being right next to the public sidewalk, the fencing around it provides security from roaming dogs and unauthorized harvesters. It also slows down the wind, yet lets adequate air and light flow through. The back wall of solid wood provides privacy for the owner's front yard, and it allows for the sun to reflect back onto the plants. It will be a good support for climbing plants, such as the peas which are growing there. A few pots of veggies on the top ledge catch the sunlight; the trellis provides useful vertical possibilities as well. Note the square-foot gardening approach.

Unpaid political announcement: there were lots of NDP signs on this street!