Archive for March, 2010

Novice gardeners and spreading plants

I love turning new gardeners onto growing things. Through Freecycle.org, I met Michelle from Delta who has kids and, for the first time, a yard. I loaded her up with lemon balm, strawberries, oregano, lambs ears, pansies, sedum – and red wriggler worms! She doesn’t have a compost bin yet, so I gave her a rubbermaid container I got for free from freecycle last year and suggested she add dried leaves and use it till she gets her bin.

I can’t believe how grateful she was! As any gardener knows, these items have to be culled on a regular basis.

I reflected on what’s so magic about this – I’d say Michelle could easily have afforded to go to a nursery and buy stuff and the staff would have been at least as knowledgeable as I am. But the connection wouldn’t be there. She enjoyed knowing the “lineage” of the plants and I enjoyed sending the babes off to a new location to parent other plants.

I think it’s one of those hard-wired generational things.

I had someone say they needed 2000 worms. At first I thought I don’t have that many but after contacting a worm provider learned that a pound of worms (2000) will fit into a 2-litre milk container (smaller than a bread box), so while I’ve never counted them, I’m betting I gave Michelle close to 2000 – or she will have that many by the time she gets her proper compost bin.

I’m wrestling with the ethical dimensions of giving away periwinkle. I mean, people do buy it, so why not give it away (with a bit of education). On the other hand, perhaps “friends don’t let friends plant periwinkle.” What do you think?

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Busy day on trafifth

Yesterday was the busiest day on this blog since June of last year when I set it up to promote the Car-free day block party. I think this is because of networking with other Kitsilano housing co-ops. I also notice that some people came through searching for “invasive species”.

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Bluebells – a threatened species?

Always the question: Who’s threatened and who’s threatening?

Spanish Bluebells are an invasive species. Threatened only when I see them! :>)  When friends are travelling to a Spanish speaking country, I only half jokingly tell them they can get a long with in communicating with just the terms “me gusta” (I like it) and “no me gusta” (I don’t like it.)

Sorry, Spanish bluebells: No me gusta! Although I’m entirely ok with your hanging out in Spain.

Common bluebell or English bluebell, on the other hand, is the threatened species…. by Spanish bluebell (see above.)

From what I read on Wikipedia, I gather the issue is mainly that if they’re in the same place, they hybridize, but the Spanish blue bell wins the gene war, so the diversity diminishes or disappears over time.

My issue is mainly how slimy their leaves get after blooming. After an intensive bluebell eradication strategy in the past two years, some plants that had gone into hiding are back in bloom.

Now for the periwinkle….

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Invasive Species – Daphne wins!

Spurge Daphne Spurge Daphne

photo from City of Victoria website.

Information below about this and over invasive plants from:

The Greater Vancouver Invasive Plant Council is a non-profit society that works with individuals, organizations and municipalities to better manage invasive plants in our region. By working together to raise awareness of invasives and provide science-based information to control their spread, we hope to reduce the many impacts that invasive plants have on us – directly or indirectly.

Daphne wins the prize for
Most (un)wanted plant of the month:

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Delete Key

What I love about email communication is the delete key. In face-to-face meetings, I wish there was a delete key or at least a remote with “mute” or “volume down“. Actually “fast forward” would be good too.Some people act as if they don’t know it’s there. So here’s a picture. Sometimes it just says “Del”.  Use it.

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Kitsilano Housing Co-ops

Here’s a list of housing co-ops in Kitsilano. Have I missed anyone? Do you know of a website for one of these? Please comment if so.

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Dirt or Soil… FREE!

Buying dirt seems almost as wrong as buying water, in my humble opinion.

I’m digging up (or rather digging down) the area adjacent to the Fifth Avenue building hoping that we’ll have the money to put in drainage gravel and flagstones at some point.

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