It’s that time of year again – Cottonwood Community Garden is holding its annual Open House
, and we invite you to come and celebrate the beauty of art and nature at Cottonwood, our “paradise in the city.” Experience the magic of Cottonwood and help us protect the garden from being paved over!Sunday, July 13, 2014
11 am – 3 pm
Cottonwood Community Garden
Malkin & Raymur Ave (south side of Strathcona Park)
Join us for a day in the garden with live music, art displays, food, garden tours and workshops, honey bee demonstrations, kid’s activities and more. Bring your dancing feet! Learn about the history of the garden and how we are working to protect it. And bring your creativity, as you may want to do some crafting or corsage making.This is a free, community event for all ages. Please invite family, friends, neighbours – all are welcome!
This year’s East Van Garden Tour is on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 15th, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. There will be about a dozen excellent gardens on the tour. Tickets are $12 per person.
Tickets: You can purchase tickets ahead of time in person at Figaro’s Garden Centre (1896 Victoria Drive). Note that it’s cash only for tickets at Figaro’s.
Or you can “register” for tickets ahead of time at Britannia Community Centre (1661 Napier Street, 604-718-5800) either by phone, in person, or online (credit cards okay!). (To register online, go to britanniacentre.org, click on the “Register Online” button, and then enter 65610.303BR in the field where it says “Activity number?”.)
On tour day, there will only be a limited number of tickets (cash only!) available at our “home base”, Figaro’s Garden Centre-advanced ticket purchase is encouraged.
Once you’ve bought your ticket ahead of time or preregistered at Britannia, on the day of the tour you go to Figaro’s to pick up your map showing the locations and descriptions of the gardens on the tour. This year’s gardens are in the Strathcona neighbourhood. Once you get to the starting spot shown on your tour map, the gardens are all within walking distance. We have some splendid gardens lined up for this year.
Note that most gardens are not wheelchair- or stroller-accessible. Children must be either babes-in-arms or over 12. Pets are not allowed. Photos are allowed only with the garden owner’s permission.
Garden sitters Needed: If you have time to do a three-hour shift (10:00–1:00 or 1:00–4:00) as a garden sitter in one of our beautiful gardens this year, you can take the rest of the tour for free! Please let Pat Davitt know if you’re available (604-253-1885).
If you know of any extraordinary East Vancouver gardens you would like to nominate for future tours, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proceeds of the East Van Garden Tour go to support the work of Britannia Neighbours, which these days includes: the ongoing maintenance of the Napier Square Greenway; support for the new Grandview Garden Club, which meets on the third Wednesday of every month at Astorino’s Hall; support for the summer Napier Greenway art fair “Artful Sundays”; sponsorship of a worker to water regularly throughout the summer and of another, from The Kettle, to pick up litter in the Greenway five days a week; and a partnership with Drive Organics to make compost for the Greenway.
The Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC) and Urban Farmer Field School (UFFS) are offering hands on training in sustainable urban agriculture through a series of courses. Please visit their website for more information and details about upcoming classes.
Get garden supplies delivered right to your garden plot:
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See http://www.mygardenbag.com for more information
The theme of SPEC’s April newsletter is “Cultivating Community Resilience”. Click the link below to view the current edition:
SPEC April 2014 Newsletter
Awareness is the first step towards change
Join Knowledge Network, BC’s public broadcaster, every Thursday night in April for a special Earth Month presentation featuring:
- · THE TIPPING POINTS – Six-part series premieres April 3rd, 8pm
- · PEACE OUT – April 3rd, 9pm
- · THE CLEAN BIN PROJECT – April 10th, 9pm
- · SAND WARS – April 17th, 9pm
See the Earth Month Guide below for program details:
Earth Month Program Guide
The Park Board passed a new motion on Monday night to enhance pollinators such as native bees, honey bees, and butterflies in Vancouver parks (see here: http://former.vancouver.ca/parks/board/2014/140331/documents/MOTION_ON_NOTICE_PollinatorProject-2014-03-31.pdf).
Community gardens are great pollinator habitats because of the broad range of flowering plants, open soils, and other structures. We’d like to highlight the value of your gardens for pollinators, as well as look for ways to improve habitat value. There are a few easy steps:
1. Select plants in plots and adjacent areas that are pollinator friendly (see resources below). Often this means including a broader range of flowering species (early and late species), as well as using more native species. The top link is based on research at SFU and includes a mix of native and typical garden plants.
2. Overwintering habitats such as mason bee boxes, bumble bee houses, downed logs, and unvegetated sandy soils can also be created in community gardens. The Xerces Society report on Pollinator Friendly Parks has some excellent examples.
3. Wildflower seed mixes are useful for path edges and other uncultivated areas. We have some Western Pollinator Mix from Applewood Seeds that we can provide for small projects this year (let us know if want some); West Coast Seeds also has some good mixes.
Some resources that you might find valuable are:
Dr. Elizabeth Elle Lab (SFU) – Bee Intro & Plant List: http://www.sfu.ca/biology/faculty/elle/gardening_for_pollinators_E.Elle.pdf
Earthwise Society Plant List: http://www.feedthebees.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Bee-Friendly-Plants-for-Your-Garden-and-Farm1.pdf
Xerces Society – Pollinator Friendly Parks (pdf): http://www.xerces.org/guidelines-pollinator-friendly-parks/
Xerces Society – Pollinator Resources: http://www.xerces.org/pollinator-conservation/
Feed the Bees (resources for cities): http://www.feedthebees.org/resources/cities
Environmental Youth Alliance (EYA) – Bee Resources: http://www.eya.ca/bee-resources.html
And some interesting examples of Bee Hotels: http://www.inspirationgreen.com/insect-habitats.html
Please share with us how your community garden is supporting pollinators – we’d like to hear about your experiences and ideas. Do you have bee lodges and pollinator gardens? What projects do you have planned for this growing season? Send your comments and photos to: PBGreen@vancouver.ca
Victory Gardens will be hosting two events this weekend to give you all the info and supplies you need to help get your garden going. See their website for more details and for upcoming events this season: http://victorygardensvancouver.ca