Sunday, June 28, 2015

Strathcona & Cottonwood Gardens need help...

Posted for Strathcona Gardeners Joanne Hochu and Sylvia Parusel:

Hello Gardeners,

The City of Vancouver is planning the False Creek Flats future. Its website talks about upcoming planning for the area bounded by Terminal, Clark, Prior and Main Street. Our gardens lie within the planning area and there is consideration for running a major truck arterial road along the bottom of our garden along Malkin Avenue, taking away 30% of Strathcona garden and 70% of Cottonwood Garden.

The city is asking for crucial public feedback. The City describes the False Creek Flats as a major job centre and they're working with the Vancouver Economic Commission to plan transportation throughways, waste management infrastructure, and food distribution and production policies. We have to be heard about the importance of not dismantling Strathcona Community Gardens.
As we told them last Thursday at a planning workshop, the Gardens provide citizens with so many benefits that it doesn't make sense to have it destroyed in any way.

To insure the viability and sustainability of our gardens, we need all gardeners to go to the city website as soon as possible and take the survey on the upcoming plans for this area. Please give the city the feedback that gardeners do not want a truck route along Malkin Avenue and ask your friends to go to the website and state the same. By rejecting the widening of Malkin Avenue, that does not mean that traffic will increase on Prior Street. There is hope and consideration that National Avenue, and not Malkin, will be the widened traffic route for traffic.

The link to the survey is:
and look for the blue Flats Feedback  'take the survey' about halfway down the page. This is important and a simple thing to do!  Please take a few moments to do this to help preserve the gardens.

Thank you,
Strathcona Gardeners,
Joanne Hochu and Sylvia Parusel

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Our July Meeting, Thursday, July 9th! And new venue in September!

At our July Grandview Garden Club meeting (July 9th, the Hall at 1739 Venables, formerly known as Astorino’s), we’re going to have a few tables with experts talking about different gardening topics. 

If you would be willing to host a table — on any Grandview-relevant gardening topic of your choice — just let us know!

People who attend can move from table to table, following their interests. It’ll be a bit like speed-dating.

Note that membership is $20 a year, but now that the year’s more than half over, we have reduced the 2015 rate to $15.

We will not be having an August meeting, and, starting in September, our meetings will take place in the Learning Resources Centre (LRC) under the library at Britannia. Our meetings will continue to take place on the second Thursday of the month.


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Vancouver Trees on the App Store on iTunes

Vancouver Trees is a new mobile app, developed at UBC, that describes commonly cultivated deciduous and evergreen trees in the Metro Vancouver area.
Click on the link for more details. Proceeds from the sale of the app go to the UBC Botanical Garden. 

A few clever tips for summer gardening!

At our June meeting we asked people to write down a gardening tip to share with the rest of us. Here's a compilation of the tips we received:

Look at your summer garden. If you see a bald spot, go to the nursery and buy a plant immediately. If you wait, you will forget.

Water early in the morning. If you water at night, the plants will sweat.

Use pipe insulators on drip hoses to keep water off places you don't need to irrigate, like paths between beds, etc.

Plant native plants. Some of them are adapted to wet winters and arid summers — for example, columbine, shooting star, lewisia, penstemon.

When planting things out in your veggie garden, don’t just think about height – that is, putting the tallest plants in the back and shortest in the front – think also about access you’ll want later. Put the things you will need to get to frequently over the summer (peas, beans, lettuces, kale, parsley) in the front, and things you don’t need access to until you do a major harvest (such as potatoes, garlic, etc.) in the back. It’s hard to envision how big things will get and it looks easy to get to things when you plant seedlings, but it’s a rude awakening when the plants reach their true sizes!

Planting rue in your garden may help if the neighbourhood cats are using your garden as a litter box. Rue has a strong smell that cats do not enjoy.

Here are a few plants that like this dry weather: Russian sage, coreopsis, cotoneaster, santolina, lavender, rock rose, sedum, and yarrow.

Don't use fertilizer if your soil has become very dry, as mine is right now. You increase the chance of "burning" the plants with the fertilizer.

Prune your clematis Montana and tree peonies now, rather than later, to yield the most flowers next year.

To prevent late blight with your tomatoes, just water the ground around the plants and try not to get the leaves wet.

Make or buy a chickadee box to encourage birds in your garden. Small birds love to eat the bugs off your plants.

In June, cut your asters down by half; they will be a more manageable height in the fall when they flower, and will not need staking.

Buy a water barrel from the City to use next year. Call 3-1-1.

Plant alyssum to encourage beneficial insects that will keep aphids in check.

Deadhead often to extend the blooming season. Take off not just the spent petals, but also the seed pods behind them.

Water grass deeply only once a week; grass will recover from being brown when the fall rains comes.

For perennial gardens, water deeply twice a week, and let the plants dry out in between waterings (except for specific plants that droop and telly they need more water, such as hydrangeas, maidenhair ferns, astilbe).

Annuals may need daily watering in unforgiving heat. Hanging baskets might need watering twice a day!

If you are going away over the summer for more than a week, cut back your perennials before you go. You will be surprised at how much new growth happens while you are away. Your plants will be all ready to bloom when you get home.

Mix one part urine with 20 parts water to make a free fertilizer for your garden. Watch your plants bloom! Urine is also useful as a soil enhancer, compost accelerator, weed killer, and fungus fighter.

You should have done all the hard work in your garden by now! Get a friend and a couple of cups of tea and sit in your garden. Enjoy.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Next Meeting, Thursday, June 11th, 1739 Venables, 7:00!

Hello Happy Grandview Gardeners,

We have an exciting meeting coming up on Thursday! First of all, we’ll have a talk given by Robert Wilmott and Hayne Wai about their work documenting the Pruning at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden. With photographs and notes, they have been recording the pruning of the garden, undertaken by the Park Board gardeners and supervised by retired gardener and Penjing (bonsai) master, Pin Lee. They are still working on this project and, in conjunction with their work to date, Hayne has produced a PowerPoint presentation. Their talk will be about 40 minutes.

After that, and its Q&A period, we are asking YOU to participate!

We are going to compile a set of Summer Gardening Tips, and we’d like you to think of one clever Tip. Write it out on a piece of paper that you can leave with us, but then we’ll open up the floor and ask you to share your Tip with the group. Weed control? Helping climbers? Attracting hummingbirds?  Protecting carrots from carrot fly? Anything special that works for you. If everyone contributes just one Tip, we’ll have quite a collection. We’ll read them all and post them on our website.

And, as usual, clip a little sprig of something in your garden that looks just spectacular this week and bring it for our display!

And we’ll have a door prize !

See you all at the meeting! Bring your friends! And if you haven’t renewed your membership for 2015, please do! $20/year or $4 to drop in to a single meeting.


And don’t forget: