What a summer we have had – after such a looong and cool spring the summer arrived with a bang with incredible lushness not to mention the heat! We are very fortunate in urban Vancouver that we haven’t had to deal with the chaos being experienced in BC Interior communities – but did get a taste of the challenges that some communities face with a compromised air quality – a true dystopian feel and look in our fair City. The recent rain was welcome that cleared things up! A few images from our garden.
Category Archives: Maple Garden News
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
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: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.
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.
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 : )
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:
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.
You can also subscribe to the newsletter by filling out the ‘Get Project Updates’ box at the bottom of their website.
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)
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.
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.
Arbutus Greenway Project Office, City of Vancouver
| 3-1-1 | vancouver.ca/arbutus-greenway
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.
Arbutus Greenway Project Office
City of Vancouver