Chocolate Mint

The chocolate mint in the metal container is doing so marvellously well, I’d really like it if you–yes, you!–would come by and cut/pinch some for your tea or a garnish on ice cream or such.

It will spread more if you do this. And it looks so entirely happy I plan to devote the entire container to just chocolate mint over time as it spreads. (maybe with a few spring bulbs mixed in for early spring colour.)

Here’s a link for some ideas.

Would you like your own plant of chocolate mint? No problem. All you do is: (from link above)

Regrow from cuttings
With mint, you definitely get your money’s worth. Chocolate mint will grow from cuttings from your original plant. Just snip off a stem and set the cutting in a pot of soil to regrow. (These regrown chocolate mint plans make sweet gifts.)



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It’s Neighbour Season

As (some of) the days are nicer and we’re out gardening and walking, there’s a dramatic increase in neighbour-to-neighbour connections.

I’m surprised at the number of people I’m seeing that I feel I haven’t seen since fall struck. Could it just be that we all have our heads down, with rain hoods and umbrellas shielding our eyes and just getting home after errands asap.

Anyhow after a couple of days puttering at the co-op and also at my traffic circle garden, I’ve been seeing a lot of familiar faces. i’ve met two new neighbours from old neighbours and started to say: Hello! Block Party!

I’ve dug out some of the compost and started a new little (tiny) veggie patch for (old) seeds of radishes and lettuce–let’s see if they sproout.

The grape hyacinths have of course done very well, but I prefer things I can eat. (Do you need some grape hyacinths? Just dig a patch up–they’re yours).

Gardener chat after a long winter includes: How did your rosemary fare? I lost all 3 plants in the roundabout – and also the one in a pot a neighbour gave me. Now perhaps she was disappointed I hadn’t planted it so took it back, or someone thought it was up for grabs, as I sometimes pot up things that have spread. Anyhow–gone! gone! gone!

I think the huge, old (6′ plus) rosemary near the building on a south facing wall died too. R.I.P. very sad.

At least one lavender, sage and the bay tree are all in good form. And the flowering currant, fiebeis, is absolutely lovely.

So, we’ll see what happens next with some of the scruffies: curry plant, tall lavender, etc.

Presumably the mints will return as per usual.

See you round the ‘hood.

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Still time to collect milk jugs from the recycle bins before Hallowe’en

Oh, my! I’ve been finding so many videos and images for using milk jugs for Hallowe’en. I made a skeleton three years ago and am doing a workshop to show others on Tuesday October 25. As we only have an hour and a half, I’ve been looking around for how to just do a skull and have found all sorts of ideas.

Here are some videos and images you might enjoy too.

This one involves a plaster skull and a heat gun.

Here’s a very easy approach.



Simpler still…

I love this one I found on Pinterest, but haven’t been able to find the youtube video the pinner says is out there.

Gallon Jug Sugar Skull Craft. Dia de los Muertos. We used sharpies for the decoration. There is a tutorial for the skull on YouTube - (Upcycled, DIY, Homemade, Reused, Recycled, Plastic, Milk Jug, Water Jug):


Milk Jug Ghosts

If you search for “dia de los muertos milk jug sugar skull” you’ll find lots more ideas. Good luck with it!


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Highest Density of Little Free Libraries?

At the Merry-go-Round-about Garden today a new friend Kinga introduced herself and said she’d just put in

  1. a new little free library on 6th just west of the garden.
  2. AND the other night I noticed there’s a new “official” LFL on 6th just east of the garden.
  3. Ours is at 5th & Trafalgar.
  4. Mel and Barb’s near Tatlow Park
  5. 2nd and Trafalgar with the cute bench and prayer flags.
  6. The one at Arbutus Coffee
  7. Kits House has two very large bookshelves, so full they’re not accepting any books for a while.
  8. MLA David Eby’s office at 2909 West Broadway–ditto! come and take books!

I’ll bet there are another 2 within walking distance of trafifth. If you know of one, send me a note to and I’ll add to the list!

Here’s the facebook page I set up so people could post about their libraries.


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Garlic (“Chinese”) Chives is hereby announced as “herb of the month”

I’m not very disciplined about posting an herb of the month but after Charlett remarked on the remarkable white blossoms on my patch of garlic chives, I thought I should give them the spotlight for September.

Here’s more information about them from wikipedia.

Once again after arranging to meet Sarah Tea Lady in the garden, two other neighbours came by for a nice chat.

Sarah loved the fennel seeds and will be harvesting a lot of the pineapple mint for her tea party at Kits House this Sunday.


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Mathom Exchange

Did you know that Bilbo Baggins’ birthday is coming? September 21!

It’s a Hobbit tradition to give away “mathoms” on your own birthday so I’m planning some “mathom mashup” parties. Bring what you no longer need and take what you like – maybe return next year!

In Kits if you just put something out with the label “FREE” your mathom will be gone in short order. So if you can’t find a mathom party, just try that!

I’ve also recently discovered – started by Nic who lives in Vancouver’s West Side – designed to help us share more.  I’ve posted some of my mathoms there.


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The garden changes daily…

The garden at 5th & Trafalgar seems to change daily. Yesterday I noticed some California poppies come into bloom. Some of the large irises have bloomed and for some reason bent over. Of course long gone are snowdrops and more recently grape hyacinths.

Now it’s almost wilted entirely I finally googled “spring garden shrub yellow pom pom” and found that it’s Kerria Japonica.

I’ve planted potatoes in bags, a variety of greens and am trying to start from cuttings “kale trees”.

Yup. They’re a thing.

Oh, and the grass and weeds of course need attention regularly.

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