Swaps, Strolls, and the Occasional Succulent

Swaps, Strolls, and the Occasional Succulent

By Kathryn Pankowski

Gardeners, lace up your shoes. There are a lot of garden things to do this month - even before you get to the work in your own garden.

Plant Swap

On Saturday, September7, the James Bay Fall Plant Swap and Sale returns to Irving Park from 10 am to noon. If you have a lot of extra plants – perhaps you’ve been enthusiastically dividing perennials or sowing way too many winter kale – bring a table and sell or swap them. If you’ve got an extra plant or two – perhaps you’ve propagated a house plant – bring it down, wander around, and see if you can trade it for something new and fascinating. And if you’re short of greenery in your life, come down and see what you can find. Or just come along to hang out and talk plants with your neighbours.

The fall swap usually features house plants, perennials, and starts for fall/winter crops but, as experienced plant-swappers know, there’s no telling what will turn up on the day. What’s already in hand, a month before? We’ve got some handsome succulents and a lush looking Christmas cactus, a good selection of tough perennial herbs, and some great flowering perennial plants, including white Siberian iris, masterwort, astilbe, and honeysuckle. If you can’t make it on the day, but have plants or garden tools in good condition that you’d like to donate, get in touch at the email below.

Boulevard Garden Walking Tour

This year, the City of Victoria has chosen James Bay as the neighbourhood to feature in its boulevard garden walking tour, held on Sunday, September 8 at 1 pm. We’ll be meeting outside Discovery Coffee on Menzies, strolling around the northeast quarter of James Bay peering at boulevard and other sidewalk-side gardens, and chatting to some of the makers. This is the perfect event for anyone thinking about gardening on a boulevard, as you’ll see lots of inspiration, hear about ‘the rules’, and get advice from people who are already experienced boulevardiers. The walk will be about 2 hours and be followed by an optional ½ hour discussion, probably over coffee, where you can get advice about your own boulevard project. It’s free, but you need to register at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/james-bay-boulevard-garden-walking-tour-tickets-67343334727

Save Those Seeds

You may have noticed that the boulevard garden on Michigan Street near the corner of Menzies has expanded this spring and summer, with new drought-resistant plantings that now reach right to Menzies Street. You may have also noticed that there’s a funny gap in the middle of the new planting. That’s not because the gardeners got distracted; it’s where an exciting new project is coming this fall. We’re converting an old newspaper vending box into the neighbourhood equivalent of that shoe box stuffed with seeds that lives in the back of the fridge or under the bed. It will work like a Little Free Library, only with seeds instead of books. So be ready to drop off those half-packets of the tomatoes you tried but won’t plant again or seed saved from your own garden. More on this next month, but have a look around your September garden for seeds you’d like to collect and share with your neighbours. (No, not bindweed. That would be mean.)

Garden Matchmaking

The Compost Education Centre has revived Victoria’s land matching program. If your garden is too big for you and you’d like to share part of it with someone, or if you are looking for a place (or more places) to garden, you can register with the Centre, and the staff will try to help you find the garden partner of your dreams. For more information about the program, call Kayla Siefried at 250.386.WORM (9676), Wed – Sat, 10-4.

Kathryn Pankowski is the James Bay Neighbourhood Association Neighbourhood Gardening Advocate: she can be reached at jamesbaygardens@gmail.com. The JBNA would like to acknowledge the financial support of the City of Victoria for this initiative.

Mayor’s Grove in Beacon Hill Park

Mayor’s Grove in Beacon Hill Park

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