Spring images – from Section 1

It’s always amazing the variety one finds in everyone’s gardens – a few spring images from section 1 – please sun come back in full force! We miss you

Edible pea blossom

Biscuit loves maple community gardeners!

Poppy lifecycle – from blossom to seed pod

Johnny Jump up and traditional tobacco seedling

Pruning Euphorbias

 

One of our fellow gardeners was injured last year when sap got in his eye while pruning a Euphorbia during a work party, so some background information is being provided here to help people take proper precautions when handling plants from this family.

There are over 2000 species of Euphorbia including very common houseplants like crown of thorns and poinsettia. Their beauty, hardiness and ease of growing are making a lot of the varieties popular. However, with increased use of these plants, there are more people being exposed to the potential of an allergic reaction.

Euphorbia plants bleed a milky sap or latex which is highly toxic.  This sap is an irritant to the skin, nose, mouth and eyes, and can also cause severe discomfort if eaten.  If you have children of ages where all the world is a “tasting” opportunity, it may be safer not to grow euphorbia.

Many common plants like wisteria, hydrangeas, mums, English ivy, oleander and azaleas are toxic as well, but only if they are eaten. Since it the sap of the euphorbia which is toxic, people are much more likely to come in contact with it.  If you have ever had a poinsettia, you know that even breaking a single leaf off results in the milky sap gushing out from the stem.

 

Here are a few of the most common euphorbias:

Euphorbia Epithymoides      [Wikipedia]

Euphorbia Serrata       [Wikipedia]

Euphorbia Characias          [Salt Spring Gardens]

Safe handling when pruning

  • wear gloves and preferably a long sleeve shirt [the sap can stain clothing, so don’t wear your favourite one!]
  • wear eye protection
  • make sure your pruners are clean and sharp
  • have a rag or paper towel in hand to catch and help stop the flow of the sap, can take 3-4 minutes
  • dispose of the rag/paper towel carefully and quickly
  • the sap leaves a sticky residue, so be sure to clean clothing, gloves and tools thoroughly after pruning

Please treat Euphorbia plants with a healthy respect, and keep the sap away from your skin, eyes, nose and mouth.

 

 

 

European Fire Ants: alert and fact sheet

A quick but urgent reminder that one of the world’s 100 worst invasive species – European Fire Ants [Myrmica rubra] were discovered at VanDusen Garden a few years ago.  Some areas along the Arbutus corridor are already infested. These ants are aggressive and can deliver a painful sting when disturbed, though this rarely leads to allergic reaction needing medical treatment. They establish and spread colonies rapidly, and do not have obvious mounded nests, which makes them difficult to control.

European Fire Ants can be easily transferred through the movement of infested garden material. To help prevent the spread of these ants, avoid sharing soil, mulch or plants with others. Thoroughly check newly purchased plants and soil before introducing them to your garden and if there is any ant activity in it at all, do not put it in your garden.

If you are stung or uncover what may be a European Fire Ant colony in your plot:

– notify the MCG Executive immediately by emailing
– collect some ants in a sealed container, if possible, so the City of Vancouver IPM Coordinator can verify whether they are European Fire Ants and discuss the appropriate next steps with the Executive.

Please take a moment to read this fact sheet produced by VanDusen Botanical Garden, Bloedel Conservatory and Vancouver Parks and Recreation which gives detailed information on how to identify and prevent further spread of European Fire Ants.

MCG Thanks

Spring Easter borders

Maple Community Garden thanks Rosemary for all the beautiful colour around the common garden areas at the Maple Street corner.  She took time last Fall to purchase and plant bulbs and we are all enjoying her efforts – Spring is finally here!  Thank you Rosemary : )

City of Vancouver newsletter – with link to Arbutus Greenway Consultation Summary Report

Photo showing family and children cycling on Arbutus Greenway

Thank you!

In February 2017, we asked you about your vision and values for the Arbutus Greenway. We heard from you through open houses, Pop-Up City Halls, stakeholder meetings, advisory committee meetings and an online survey.

Thank you for taking the time to be part of the conversation. A few key themes emerged during our conversations. These include:

  • Provide a high-quality, accessible public space for walking and cycling.
  • Create a safe, comfortable, and welcoming destination with places for gathering, socializing, and relaxing.
  • Connect to neighbourhoods, parks, and other points of interest along the greenway, as well as the broader transportation network.
  • Keep green spaces: places for tranquility, to reconnect with nature, to grow food, and nurture ecosystems and biodiversity.

The project team will use what we heard to develop a vision for the future Arbutus Greenway, which will guide our design process over the coming months.

To learn more, the full Consultation Summary Report and a video of what we heard are available at vancouver.ca/arbutusgreenway

You can also subscribe to the newsletter by filling out the ‘Get Project Updates’ box at the bottom of their website.

 

Spring is here – it’s AGM time!

joyce 2016

joyce 2016

Spring is just around the corner, and it’s time for our Spring AGM and contract signing.

Sunday February 26th, 2017

9:00 am – noon 

  • 9:00 am – contract signing/annual fee payment [cheque preferred]
  • 9:30 – 9:55 – Seed Swap
  • 10:00 sharp – AGM begins

2229 Maple Street, between 6th/7th Avenue

 

Important:  the only alternate contract signing is

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

9:30 am (½ hour before the first work party)

Winter Gardening with Kids—Wildlife Protection in your Community

When it’s wet and cold out, it’s hard to feel motivated to spend time in the garden. Besides, why head to the garden when hardly anything yummy is growing and the bulbs are safely tucked away beneath the soil?

Many children are full of curiosity about local wildlife. A colder winter provides a great opportunity to model compassion for all creatures, from poorly housed humans to birds and insects looking for safety in this unusual weather, and to learn about what we can do to support animals, birds and insects during these darker months of the year. This article provides five fun ideas that are easy to try out in your neighbourhood, and gives you an excuse to let the morning glory do all the growing in can over the winter.

 

 

Arbutus Greenway: Temporary Path Information Session

As you may be aware, the City of Vancouver is building a temporary path along the Arbutus Greenway.  There is an information session this Saturday if you are interested in attending. Here are the details:

In September, we held five workshops on temporary design options. We’ve also received more than 500 emails, letters and 3-1-1 calls, and presented at four City of Vancouver advisory committees.

Come to a public information session on the Arbutus Greenway temporary path and learn how the public’s input shaped the final design:

  • Saturday, October 15, 10 am – 2 pm,
  • Kitsilano  Neighbourhood House, 2305 West 7th Avenue

These meetings will be drop-in info session format. City staff will be available to answer questions. You can also view the information boards and consultation summary report, which will be posted online and shared with you by email on Friday.

Sincerely,

Arbutus Greenway Project Office, City of Vancouver

| 3-1-1 | vancouver.ca/arbutus-greenway

Arbutus Greenway: Update and Public Consultation

Copied below is a letter from the City of Vancouver regarding public input dates for the pathway that runs along the Arbutus corridor. Asphalt paving was temporarily halted, however there is a strong lobby to complete a 4 meter wide undivided road along the corridor. This is our opportunity to have input about what our neighbourhood needs, and to address safety for children and all who use the corridor.

***********

The Arbutus Greenway is a future north-south transportation corridor that will connect False Creek to the Fraser River.

In the short term, City of Vancouver is building a temporary pathway that everyone can enjoy. We’re looking at several different types of hard-surface materials, especially those that improve safety and accessibility.

Come to a public workshop and share your thoughts on the temporary pathway options:

  • Saturday, September 17, at the False Creek Community Centre between 1-3pm.
  • Wednesday, September 21, at the Coast Vancouver Airport Hotel between 7-9pm.
  • Thursday, September 22, at the Kerrisdale Community Centre between 7-9pm.

These meetings are public but space is limited. If you plan to attend a workshop, please RSVP at arbutus-greenway.eventbrite.ca. The same material will be covered at each session.

A broader public engagement process for the Arbutus Greenway is expected to kick-off in late Fall 2016.

We hope you will continue to follow the project and be part of the process.

Thank you,

Arbutus Greenway Project Office

City of Vancouver

| 3-1-1

vancouver.ca/arbutus-greenway

 

July & August Gardening Hints {courtesy of Rosemary}

  1. Continue watering veggies regularly – every two days or so if it’s hot and dry.  Veggies like tomatoes are heavier water users and need regular fertilizing too.
  2. Fertilize veggies – about once a week with diluted fish fertilizer (approximately 1/2 the recommended dose on label)
  3. Fertilize container plants – every two weeks only until the end of August. You don’t want to encourage new growth that may freeze in the cooler fall/winter temperatures.
  4. Harvest ripe produce often – make sure you get to enjoy the fruits and veggies of your labour!  This also helps reduce rodent and harmful insect activity as well as some plant disease.
  5. Mulch plants around their base with compost, dry grass – to conserve water when the weather gets hot.
  6. Monitor for insects – use organic methods for removal i.e. strong water spray will remove aphids. Learn about the difference between bad and good bugs! Here’s a link to an article we posted earlier in the year that provides some good info on garden allies, as well as do-it-yourself methods to avoid insect damage to your garden.   Important Note:  Please do not use Diatomaceous earth (DE) powder in Maple Community Garden as it is too difficult to control where the powder goes, and DE will also kill bees.    DIY Garden Pest Control
  7. Remove weeds regularly – this keeps soil energy going into your plants instead.
  8. Collect perennial seeds for future use or plant in fall.

SUMMER PLANTING FOR FALL & WINTER HARVESTS

Veggies planted throughout the summer have many advantages. You can tap into the sun’s warmth to help grow strong mature plants which withstand the cold of fall and winter.  Here are some great choices.

Turnips – sow seeds from May- August for harvest through to spring

Kale & Collards – seeds best started early in May so transplants could be used in the summer. Taste improves after a frost, and most Kale and Collards make it through the winter here.

Carrots – sow seeds for “Bolero” or “Royal Chantenay” through July for a late fall harvest

Leeks – choose winter hardy varieties such as “Siegfried Frost”.  Plant mid-June for harvest through to spring.

Swiss Chard – plant mid-June for harvest through to spring

Purple Sprouting Broccoli – gets to be a large plant so don’t start too many! Plant the end of June/early July for harvest the following spring.

Spinach – plant seeds throughout the summer and fall for harvest through to spring.

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