Saturday, June 26, 2010


Here is a picture done by Ayrie at our Design-o-Rama last month!

Check out the garden ideas!

Community Input

Here are the suggestions and concerns we have received from our Community Consultations to date.

Ideas and Visions:

• permaculture principles incorporated into the design of the gardens
• getting schools involved; having a children’s garden area; garden as an educational tool; involvement of local youth and children
• cob: shed (although storage facilities are available with the Community Centre, bench, combine art with garden needs
• creative fencing ideas; trellises as fences; artwork in gardens
• rain catchment barrels
• compost area, suitable for workshops
• vegetables; common veggies patch
• herb garden section (specific pants mentioned: nettles, hops, lavender…)
• native plants mixed with edibles
• miniature varieties
• Fruiting plants: kiwi, goji, korean pinenuts (2),cherries, apples, pear, blueberries, mulberries, black cap raspberries, trailing blackberries, salal, peach
• Nut trees: edible chestnuts, hazelnut, walnut


• maintenance/upkeep
• who owns what? Who takes car of tools?
• is there enough space for allotments?
• protecting and promoting the native ecosystem
• Garry Oak restoration areas
• the park is a potential site for blue bird nesting, although none have done so yet
• the park is a dog walking/running park, neighbours expressed concerns regarding being able to continue running their dogs up and down the park.
• public park used for private means; allotments on park lands
• shallow soil in some areas of the park
• use of park by school children
• vandalism by youth in hang out in the area
• deer and dogs
• aesthetic of the gardens
• access to water


Letters of Support!

We are looking for people to write letters of support. If you support this project please send us a quick email or comment on the blog with your name and address and what you can do to support this initiative.


Below is an example of a letter of support:


To whom it may concern,

As a Fairfield resident I would like to express my support for the initiative led by the Street Life Committee of the Fairfield Gonzales Community Association to establish a community garden in Robert Porter Park.

I currently reside in the Fairfield Gonzales neighborhood and believe that the gardens will be a great asset to the community at large. I believe the gardens will not only offer the community a beautiful landscape and vibrant meeting place, but also an opportunity for education and learning for community members about gardening and food security. The plans for planting trees are especially exciting as this type of food source would offer more long-term food security for the neighborhood.

Additionally I would like to offer my support for the allotments in the gardens as I understand they will provide sustainability for the commons component of the gardens.

As a resident of Fairfield I encourage the City of Victoria to support this initiative to set up a community garden in Robert Porter Park.



Friday, June 25, 2010

Design for Community Gardens

Here are some of the ideas that were discussed at the design session for the community gardens. Above is a site plan for the area we're looking at in the park:

• permaculture planting along Thurlow St.: fill in the tree line with a row of nut trees, followed by a row of smaller fruit trees, followed by a layer of bushes and a ground layer.
• neighbour's sight lines can be respected by pruning the tree limbs high.
• commons would create a 'sun trap' for the allotments
• allotments would be placed in the centre of that portion of the park
• 6-10 allotments, with the possibility of expanding the number
• fencing is still under discussion; there is a possibility of some boundaries being established by food-bearing plants and some area that will be fenced
• seating and meeting area(s) will be incorporated in the design

Moss Street Market booth for June

Keep an eye out for the garden group at the Moss Street Market this Saturday between 10 and 2. The group will be giving out info and collecting letters of support for the garden project.

Come check us out!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Potential Ideas!

Community members and garden enthusiasts met last Wednesday to take a walk around the proposed site in Robert Porter Park and look at design ideas. The group discussed a commons area complete with nut trees, dwarf fruit trees, shrubs, and herbs, as well as an allotment area. We discussed creating meeting spaces with cob benches and tables, and well as native berries located on the edge of the garden transitioning from the gardens to the nearby Garry Oak ecosystem.

The site we looked at is where the Halloween Bonfire is current held. Putting in the gardens in this area would require re-locating the bonfire or looking at how the Place wants to run this event.

The design consultation process will be ongoing. Any ideas, interest or concerns can be directed to

Big thanks to Geoff Johnson for leading the group, and James Pratt for facilitating.
Thanks to all those who showed up!