Friday, February 25, 2011

Fire at Glendale

 Photo from Glendale Gardens website.

Not sure how I missed this, but there was a fire at Glendale Gardens last week. The Times-Colonist story is here and Nourish Bistro's take is here. Glad nobody was hurt and good luck to all with the clean up. Even more reason to visit the Doris Page winter garden and show your support.

-Fiona Gilsenan

Love Tools?

 These lovely old pruners belong to Mathew Augustus

The Victoria Horticultural Society's monthly meeting takes place next Tuesday, March 1 @ 7:30. As always, it's help at the Garth Homer Centre in Saanich. They've have Ann Roy and Lynne van der Have talking about the yummy tools you can get from Lee Valley. I've always had a soft spot for Lee Valley because they are a Canadian-based company and because they sell these marvellous watchmaker's cases that are so handy for many things.

For VHS members, there's also free entry to the Doris Page Winter garden at Glendale Gardens next week. And as it actually is winter at the moment, it might be worth a visit.

-Fiona Gilsenan

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Can you Grow a Row?

There's more than one row in this picture.

The Fairfield Community Garden gang (aka Jessica, Fiona, and Paula) had a great time at Seedy Saturday. We chatted with all kinds of people from the gardening and green community in Victoria. Everyone is very excited and supportive of our efforts to make a community garden happen in Fairfield. Hooray!

We heard about a few local events that Fairfield gardeners might want to check out. One of them is happening tonight (snow and ice willing) at the Fairfield Community Centre. It's the launch of the Grow a Row program, sponsored by the Compost Education Centre. Tonight at 6 pm in the Out of School Care Room there will be a meet-and-greet, then the official launch, followed by a workshop. You can read more about the program here. If the workshop tonight is full, they will offer another one next week. That's accommodating.

On Saturday, Feb. 26th, there will be a seed swap at the Compost Education Centre. Please call (250) 386-9676 or email if you are interested in attending or volunteering at any of these events.

-Fiona Gilsenan

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Seedy Saturday is here!

We're off to Seedy Saturday to mingle with gardeners, buy some seeds, and find out what's new and exciting in the gardening world. Oh yes, and we'll be talking to people about the proposed Fairfield Community Gardens as well!

There are some interesting speakers at the event. Carolyn Herriot will be talking about the Zero Mile Diet, Dr. Michelle Gorman will tell us how to outsmart pests, and Lynda Dowling from Happy Valley Herbs is going to talk about --what else? herbs. There's a full list of speakers here. See you there!

-Fiona Gilsenan

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Park Tour of Fairfield

Video by Augustus Productions.

We decided to do a little tour of the neighbourhood to look at all the available land in Fairfield that could possibly be used for community gardening. There isn't much! Here we walk through all the park spaces and comment on their suitability, uses, size, and more. Join us!

-Fiona Gilsenan

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Looking for Green Happenings?

Want to learn a new skill this month? (iStock photo)

A great resource for gardeners and lovers of things green in Victoria is the EcoNews Green Diary, hosted by For instance, just this month in Victoria you could

  • remove invasive species from native habitat
  • join an organic farming work party
  • learn about composting
  • take your kids on a slug walk
  • go to an Ancient Forest Fundraiser
  • see a multi-media presentation on bullfrogs
  • find out more about beekeeping

Plenty to do, see, and learn! There's even a handy pdf you can download and put on your bulletin board at the beginning of each month.

-Fiona Gilsenan

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Children's Show on Allotments

Photo of Mr. Bloom and talking veg from

Can you imagine a 26-part children's show about not just gardening, but about allotments? Well, if you could watch the BBC's children's channel CBeebies, you'd see one. Matthew Appleby writes about the new show.

The 26-part children's show features an allotment looked after Mr Bloom filled with talking vegetables: a shy cabbage, mischievous radishes, a comedy runner bean and a singing aubergine.
Garden writer Dawn Isaacs has given horticultural advice to the live action and puppet series.
Set in a colourful, fertile allotment run by the green-fingered Mr Bloom (Ben Faulks), Mr Bloom's Nursery, aims to show how young children can learn from the experience of nurturing plants and vegetables.
In each episode, a team of young helpers, or "tiddlers", come to the allotment to help Mr Bloom tend his plants and produce. But when they add leaves and clippings to his homemade "compostarium", a group of lively young vegetable puppets spring to life who the children play with, teach and care for.
Children will learn a variety of important lessons including the importance of drinking water when it is hot and sunny to understanding that growing takes time as well as simple vegetable-growing tips.

Perhaps the show will be available on dvd. Perhaps the CBC would like to do a show like this? Maybe First Lady Michelle Obama? What are the chances? You can read more about it at the BBC website.

-Fiona Gilsenan

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mushrooms 101

Photo courtesy of Cannor Nurseries.

Cannor Nursery in Royal Oak has what sounds like a good event this weekend. On Sun. Feb. 6th @ 10:30, Gary Hagel will be talking about growing and harvesting mushrooms. There were so many mushrooms in the woods this winter and I found myself wishing I knew more about them. So here's a chance to learn a bit more.

He will demonstrate the use of a mushroom kit and discuss some the local mushrooms found in Victoria and around the rest of British Columbia!
They say to call 250.658.5415 or e-mail to register. The event is at 4660 Elk Lake Drive.

update: Here's a great overview of the workshop by Rhona McAdam's wonderful blog, Really Random Garden.

-Fiona Gilsenan