Sunday, April 4, 2010


Way back in september of 2009 i either got a camera or borrowed a friends to take photos, i think i borrowed my friends. Those photos i forgot to post on this website. So far today i have updated the page titled Plot #19 i included the photos of my plot from september 2009.  I have left out a lot of tagging it would take far to long and the photos were re-downloaded from facebook making them tiny. I may next weekend look on my computer for them and re-upload them in the superior quality that makes the picture giant then i will list of plant names.

Tomorrow i am going to finish updating my garden plot page and then try to get some work done on the one of random photos of cottonwood community gardens.

Friday, April 2, 2010

I recently realized that blogspot has the separate pages option for the blogs. I will now spend a few days dividing up the information in to categories for separate pages.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Early season garden management.

If you are new to garden you should know that if you pay attention to whats going on in your garden you will learn a lot. You will in a couple years very likely learn which species you do not want in your garden and how they look in different stages of growth.  At this time of year anything problematically invasive will likely be starting to come up. Examples would be Gout weed, butter cup, grape hyacinth, garlic, evening primrose, oregano, dandelion, herb robert, chives and so on. It is a good time to begin looking out for them and either removing them or transplanting them.

My garlic is naturalized in my plot, and has been spreading to other unassigned areas. I enjoy garlic and eat a lot of it. Therefore i have learned a technique for growing more in less space. Bulb depth. At this time of year I remove a lot of the garlic and space it vertically and horizontally from each other in its allotted area. I only grow a couple garlic plants to seed the rest of them i cut off and eat the garlic scapes later in the season. I recommend trying them in soup. Garlic can be grown fairly deep so plants with really shallow roots can be planted on the ground around them, also tap roots can be grown in between them. Garlic does not need to be grown in full sun.

 Rhubarb is another that is growing at this time of year. If you have not divided it in a long time it is safe to do so at this time of season as the soil is moist enough that a decent if not poor dividing job will survive. Rhubarb is one of those hearty plants that if you grow in more shade the longer it grows before it goes to flower, if it even does, depends on how deep in the shade you plant it. Rhubarb is harmful to ingest once gone to flower.

I believe carrots are starting to come up. Im not really sure as 2 years ago was my first year growing them and i let the two that made it passed seed stage grow for 2 years so that they go to see. I then allowed the seeds to mature and left bent the plant over so that the seeds would fall off in the area i wanted them to sprout this year. so i think they are sprouting, not sure yet. Carrots are a good plant to grow in containers in succession planting.

Strawberries native to B.C. which are in full sun are starting to flower. If you didnt a week or two ago i would check your strawberry patch and the area around it for any tiny strawberry plant runners that are still attached to the little umbilical or that have fallen off of them and may be sitting on the soil. You ought to make sure that the strawberry plant roots are in the ground as passed this month it wont be so wet as to keep it wet enough if not in the ground. Sometimes over the winter soil compaction will happen this can also lead to some of the strawberry plant roots showing on the surface.

I have calendula and love in the mist both naturalized in my plot at this time of year they are sprouting. A lot of the calendula seeds will be on the surface i push them in the depth of my first knuckle from the tip of my finger. 

There are succulents in my garden which some of previous years have died and the new ones are migrated out of the patch. I pull them out of the pathway and put them back in the bed.

There is a lot of morning glory coming up right is a good time to get it out before there are plants with spatulated thin roots that will break growing amongst the morning glory roots. Gently fallow the fleshy white root if it brakes off that new end is where a new plant will grow likewise if you break a piece off even if its an inch long the two ends will both grow tops.

When removing gout weed under normal conditions it is only 6 or so inches down. Dig your digging fork under the surface and find the average place the roots stop, go a bit deeper. If you get the digging fork underneath the roots you can then shake it while its under ground and shake the dirt out liftin the roots to be easily pulled out. If its a thick grown in mat and you dont mind getting in it then i recommend: digging in with the fork getting down with your hands and shaking the while lfting the mass of dirt and roots, then once the dirt is ou or partially out roll the mass over top of itsself away from you. This way you can peel off the top layer with out leaving lots of broken ends. DO NOT put mulching down. I did three areas last year, the only area that is not coming back with a vengeance is the are that i allowed to become sun scorched, its not ideal but it works and its only for one season i even planted some stuff in. The areas that i mulched are coing back much much worse, every little root was provide tons of warmth throughout the winter, moisture and nutrients. I think would chips are even acidic which the believe the gout weed prefers. DO NOT put down news paper, a tarp and then wood chips. About three years ago a couple took on the plot next to mine. Instead of weeding it the threw down newspaper, tarp and in the pathways wood chips, they then built boxes and filled them with two feet of dirt. The plot which they are no longer in has so much gout weed and buttercups in it. They are coming up very strong healthy deeply rooted plants in the beds. While weeding my assigned area which is connected to this plot i learned that the gout weed roots had grown all through out the newspaper which was compacted, and had grown through the layers of the tarp also all throughout the tarp. I estimate that in a year or two from now they will have a situation about 5 to 10 times worse then they had in the first place. As i said earlier two of the areas i worked on last year we news papered and wood chipped, it only made it much worse and its only the first month of growth in the fallowing year.

Human power landscaping.

Last year I put a lot of effort into removing gout weed from three areas in cotton woods community gardens. The first area I weeded very well accept the one place i could not get under the large rock.  Somewhere inbetween a week and two ago i decided to weed under the rock. Of course i couldnt move the rock so i had to come up with a way that i could move it on my own.

I dug a little under then used the leverage of the large log to lift the rock high enough to slide rocks under.

I dug down a bit on the side tha ti wanted to move the rock. This made it easier but only because it didnt matter where it ended up. Remember its easier to get it up that first bit onto the compact dirt then it is to roll it in a hole and back out. I also had to weed in this area before i rolled the rock onto it.

Eventually Nazrala a man who works in this area with me came by and helped. He does not speak much english, hello, how are you for the most part. I was hoping he would take a photo of me with my head down digging. of course he didnt understand and went for what most people would expect the person standing still, so i stood still for a second and then moved to try to get an action shot.

Eventually we propped it up then filled in the hole.

Here is the final shot. I planted Grape hyacinth and another bulb that blooms mid/late spring along the rock border..

And that is the culprit. Best to get them (blackberry roots) before they get really large, i only had to dig about 2.5 feet down, i was lucky.

Next week at the work party i will try to get photos of how to roll logs using ropes and leverage logs. Heres a hint wrap the rope once around over the log to pull it towards you and once around under to pull it away from you. I know sounds weird, pull something away as opposed to push, but thats what it is.

I do not know what this is. It is very tiny. i dont think most people would have seen this unless they were 4 inches tall or have a keen eye for detail. The flower was about 2 millimeters across.

 I must figure out what this is, it smelled so good throughout march.

Many more photos to come. Of end of march and beginning of April.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

urban thicket feb 2010

Facing north this is the right side of the garden. Those were unbleached coffee filters, i cold composted a lot on this plot because im trying to increase moisture, amount of soil and soil quality because it has all been stripped. The bottom right of the picture is dianthus. bottom left is trailing archangel, there is blue irises, herb robert, fox glove, in the majesty palm fronds is jacobs ladder, in the clay pot is a plant i cant remember the name of (i took a tiny baby out of the garden from the a and w on hasting near victoria), in the back is a plant that is similar to iris but is orange and has many flowers along the stem its another one that i knew the naem of last year but forgot over winter,  on the top left in the container is grape hyacinth, next to that is more herb robert, the vine at the top right I do not know the name of, though there is a tag next to it so i will look it up.



Still on the right side of the plot.


 Ive been growing snap dragons in here for years and finally this year theres a new one coming up from the seeds. It is possible that i got bored of waiting fo rthe seeds to come up and took a cutting, but this garden was starved of water last year so i dont know how likely it would be for one to have survived unless i did it around fall.





This picture make me dizzy, its over looking the balcony, its about a thirty foot drop and the thicket hangs about ten feet of it. The person who lives there is moving so i dont know if im goin gto be trimming it back or not, though it needs it as that is the undeground parkade entrance and after this year i estimate it will be dragging on the tops of cars.


I did a poor job of prunning, this is my first unsupervised pruning and ainc ei thought theat the maple tree is so vigorous it could handle something that didnt fallow guidelines. I was wrong, pruning has some clear guidelines taht can be played in. when you dont things happen, as you can see in this and the next picture the tree has a disease/fungus, i dont know what it is, the orange stuff at the badly positioned cut.

There is so many rose switches in this area becaues i was training the rose bush around the maple, i was attmepting to slow down the growth of the maple becasue it probably shouldnt be in this small contained plot with as it takes up to much resources, while also increasing smell and beauty, it does look really great when in flower.

This is a bit south of the last picture, it is a dangling water group of rose switches. Now its grown a lot and looks really nice, but should be removed as when the wind picks up it swings over to where the owner sits to smoke. 

This vine is reaching about 2 feet above the highest part of the maple and rose. This is the same vine that starts in the first picture. supposively it fruits but this is a north facing balcony.

  tulips and poppies starting in a box.


Ive planted herb robert along the wooden boarder.
trailing archangel on the left and spearmint on the right, didnt get much water last year so they are stunted.

My garden in febraury 2010.

The plant in the pot is feverfew, behind it is where my chocolate mint grows. My chocolate mint is meant to be temporaraly there as it doesnt get very much sun. I intentionalyldid that so it wouldnt spread as bad through out my garden while i store it there for a couple years.

 The leaf at the top of the page is sage, i do not know the name of the variety, though commonly it is referred to as culinary sage. The photo is of the two snail shells which i almost buried when filling in the whole that i dug jerusalem artichokes out of. Keen eye to detail is a highly revered trait of a gardener, taking the time to really look at things strengthens this. Looking at the world like im looking for a photo is a way to really exercise this.

This photo is of day lillys, which i have not yet been brave enough to eat a flower but will commit myself to it this year. In the background along the base of the logs is valerian, which i harvest for its sleep benefits.

Garlic at the bottom. Rhubarb in the second tier. A variegated plant(?) around the rock. Bachelor buttons next to the rock.

This is a picture of the same space as the previous one. above the rhubarb next to the variegated plant is a teasel which i grow a few of every year.

Kale that over wintered.

This is the area that i grow calendula for food and i make extract the oil. I do not know what this is growing here, i remember removing it then learning what it was and putting it back in. It starts growing early enough and dies early enough that it doesnt interfere with anything else that i want to grow in this space, maybe find more plants with similar earlyness and fill out this area in spring.

This is a hanging basket i have at my garden that i grow lemon balm in, i like it when it blows in the wind and smells the place up but i also use it to rub inbetween my hands before i wash them or drink out of them, adds a nice flavor to the water. I do not know the flowering plant that is also in there, though last year i had figured it out, so may be i will find it in my bookmarks and update this information.

 I do not know the name of the large plant in the front center of this picture, it has radish like flowers early summer.

Lambs ear, kale, blue irises (maybe tulips also, pictures to small to see) in the bottom right corner.

The area in the front is where i removed lambs ear from. The large plant is broccoli from last year.beneath it is lambs ear and tulips.Holly hock and a tiny tulip beside it.

 My cloning/intermediary transplant box. Spearmint dangling. Mullein. Garlic chives, kale, herb robert.

chocolate mint rhizomes, or runners that i pulled form my garden. They should be going into someone elses garden but i have no contracts.

on the left of the containers is bachelor buttons. In side is honeysuckle, there is also likely valerian and variegated feverfew and mugwort.

I do not know the name of this plant, its a nice landscaping plant. surprised it hasnt been stolen like my other nice landscaping plants and plant pots. It hasnt grown vary much because its only in full sun as long as the other plants that grow around it (usually a variety of flowers) are not there to shade it.

 The bucket load of jerusalem artichokes or sun chokes i pulled from my plot. To remove these i had to dig about two feet down.

Some of the chokes, the larger ones. The one on the bottom left is the size of two of my fists side by side.

 The lettuce (butter crunch (?) that survived winter. A week later it was quit a bit larger.

Vining archangel taken from my urban thicket project. I am watching it closely to make sure it doesnt spread.

This is a stray lettuce, (i believe). It is not in my plot but off to where the old weed pile was before the gardens expaned. I was there a few weeks after this photo was taken and there is also swiss chard about two feet away.

When facing south on the path this is the right side of my plot. By the bucket is where i pulled jerusalem artichokes from. There is also in the vicinity garlic chives.

This is a climbing hydrengea on the east side of the shed of cottonwood community gardens.