Anyone else out there getting a little bummed out by the rain? I really try not to complain about the weather normally – it’s not worth fretting about what is completely out of my control – but as this wet June has worn on, I’ve been increasingly frustrated. Last night, at a community gardening meeting, I heard from several people that they have been really struggling with their gardens this year due to the wet weather. Lucky for me, this hasn’t been the case (if you don’t count the things which have died from the cold), and I think that is partly to do with the raised beds and the fact the soil is just warmer in them. My parsley in the box is doing ten times better than the parsley I planted in the ground – and warmer soil is the only thing that really explains that.
Unfortunately, raised beds like mine also dry out faster, so come real summer they will require a lot more watering.
Last night saw the launch of a community gardening project for which we received a grant last month: Boulevards Alive! Over the past week we’ve been flyering our neighbour’s houses about this plot to tear up the boulevards and plant them with native and edible plants, and were pleasantly surprised last night when more than 15 people showed up at the meeting to discuss. So far we have about twenty households spread over nine blocks who have indicated interest in both helping to build the boulevard gardens as well as maintaining one in front of their home – so now that we’ve got the participants we just need to sort out the logistics!
The conversation last night was really great though, lots of talk about sharing and community building and building beyond this single project into other things. Fortunately we’ve got both our neighbourhood group as well as the Hastings-Sunrise Village projects that we can bring people into if the boulevard gardening project turns out to be a positive experience for everyone. After the meeting, we hung out in the garden for awhile and people said nice things about how mine was looking – which made for a little extra personal satisfaction at the end of the day!
B. was saying last night that for the first time ever he feels like he’s living in a neighbourhood where we have a shot at building a real sense of community with folks – and I have to agree. It’s partly because it’s east van and it’s partly the times – but we are definitely noting that there is a hunger for connecting on a very tangible level – and also that we have some super rad neighbours to get to know better.
Having said all of that I’m eager to be out working the garden some more – heading to GardenWorks tomorrow morning for a few cucumber plants since I killed all of mine by putting them out while it was still too wet. I’ve got some sorry looking pepper plants at the moment too (the ones in the cold frame are fine, it’s the ones I planted out that are none too happy). Here’s to hoping the rain stays away for a bit so the plants can get on with growing!