Sunday, December 28, 2014

Looking Back at 2014 in the Community Garden

2014 was a good year at the Ladner Community Garden. Crops were abundant and with the extended warmth of summer some gardeners were able to harvest two successive crops. We have been spoiled by two hot summers in a row. It makes me rethink my garden plantings for 2015. Will we have the nice weather again? You just never know. Planting to harvest in late September and even October has changed our views on when to plant seeds here on the west coast. Lets take a look at a few of the highlights at the garden in 2014. 

We started our year hosting Ladner Seedy Saturday and Garden Expo 2014 and it drew a bigger crowd than ever. Watch for us again on February 21 and 22 in 2015. Seedy Saturday will be held in a new venue this year. It will be held at the historic Harris barn at Kirkland House, 4140 Arthur Drive in Ladner. For more information on this event click here for the story. 

Our gardeners grow all sorts of crops but this planting of Amaranth took my breath away each time I saw it. This planting was grown by West Coast Seeds. Both the lower growing and tall plants are from the same family. I just want to incorporate this plant into my garden somewhere. The colour is amazing and I am sure the grain produced is as well. Oh so much to learn when it comes to plants!

This was also the first time that we had garden classes at the garden. We partnered with the Corporation of Delta to hold a few sustainable garden classes. Above I was getting ready to teach a class on growing vegetables in containers. The stumps in the children's garden were perfect for seating.

Residents of Delta learned how to transplant vegetables to take home. The best part was the garden classes were all free to residents of Delta.

The grade three class continued garden classes every two weeks. They had fun building a miniature village one day to celebrate the end of school. Children love to be outside and the garden is a wonderful environment in which to learn.

In 2014 we stepped back to see what our garden needed most. Right now we are trying to add some more shrubs and flowers to the garden. They help to attract the bees. Each year the children plant flowers to attract pollinators to the garden.
As we enter the new year we are busy getting ready for Seedy Saturday and planning our new gardens. Its such a time of rebirth and I am anxious like most gardeners to touch the soil once again. Its never to early to plan your vegetable and flower gardens. As seed catalogues arrive, make your seed lists and try something new in 2015.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Ladner Seedy Saturday and Garden Expo 2015 Presents..

The Ladner Seedy Saturday and Garden Expo 2015 is pleased to present our speaker schedule for the event. If you haven't been to Seedy Saturday you won't want to miss it. I am still waiting on topics from some of my speakers and will update as we get closer to the event. Brian Minter spoke at the event last year and brought us up to speed on where the gardening industry was going. Thomas Hobbs needs no introduction. He is well known for his garden design and we are hoping to get a peek into his new garden in the Fraser Valley. His private gardens have been featured in many magazines such as House Beautiful, Better Homes and Gardens and Horticulture. Tom will have us inspired to think out of the box when it comes to designing our gardens. Tom is also the author of Shocking Beauty and the Jewel Box Garden. 
If you live locally, you will have met Robyn Leake at our Ladner Village Market in the summer. She is an amazing designer when it comes to containers. Robyn will be speaking at our event and showing you how to create the container of your dreams. 
Have you noticed the sudden increase in people canning over the last couple of years? Did you know that canning guidelines have changed? Darlene Tanaka works for Bernardin and will be hosting a canning workshop. Bring your canning questions for her to answer. 

On Sunday we have another lineup of speakers. Kim Greenwood will be showing us how to grow vegetables in containers. So many people live in condos and townhouses and containers are all they have room for. With everyone wanting to grow their own food these days, using containers makes it easy for those with little space. 

The Botanus ladies will be coming to speak. They haven't told me the topic yet but I hope it will be summer bulbs. I saw the lilies above when on a tour in Portland. They stand about 7 feet high under the banana plant. I want those lilies, wouldn't you? 
Kim Greenwood is doing a second workshop for families and their children. This is geared to parents with children between the ages of 2-7 as you will be planting something up with your child to take home. 
Our last speaker of the day is Don Bruchet who will be giving us a class on how to get your seeds started. After all that's what Seedy Saturdays are all about. We want you to buy seeds and learn how to use them. We want all of you to be successful gardeners. So come on out and enjoy the weekend with us. It will be a great kickoff to the new garden season. 
For more info you can email me at therivercrest at
We are quickly receiving vendor registrations and tables are booking fast. If you would like to attend our event please contact me for vendor registration. 

Speakers list

Saturday-Feb 21

10:00am- Brian Minter
11:30am-Robyn Leake
12:30pm-Darlene Tanaka-Canning 101
1:30pm- Thomas Hobbs

Sunday Feb 22

10:00am-Kim Greenwood- Growing Vegetables in Containers
11:30am-Botanus- Create a Summer Bulb Spectacular
12:30pm- Kim Greenwood-Gardening with Children workshop
2:00pm- Don Bruchet- Seed Starting 101

Monday, November 3, 2014

More Exciting News about Ladner Seedy Saturday and Garden Expo 2015

Ladner Seedy Saturday and Garden Expo 2015 is starting to shape up. I have been working on the speaker schedule for this two day event. I am please to say that Thomas Hobbs will be speaking at our event as well as Brian Minter. How could you not want to come to our event? As I complete the speakers schedule I will be sending out vendor registration forms. I already have vendors booked but there are still spaces left.
I hope to get a revised poster done near the end of November with a schedule so you can plan your weekend.

Tatiana of Tatiana's Tomatobase will be returning with her seeds this year. She says she has lots of new seeds to show everyone. Its time to start planning next years garden. Before we know it the seed catalogues will be arriving.
We are very happy to announce that West Coast Seeds will be attending as well with a huge selection of organic seeds for your garden.
If you are interesting in learning more about this event, contact me at

Friday, October 24, 2014

Its Clean Up Time at the Garden

To our allotment holders and gardeners; this week we experienced some extreme weather and our community garden was hit pretty hard. It is your responsibility to make sure that all stakes and supports are firmly screwed down to your bed. If you are unable to do this, please remove the stakes and take them home for the winter. 

I went to the community garden the day after the big wind storm and the following photos are what I had to clean up. Each week I am required to do a safety walk as this garden is on public property. Above are empty pots that I rescued from afar. Please take them home.

If you own this cute little guy, he needs a warm place for the winter. He had blown out of the garden. Don't feel bad, my scarecrow is now bald having lost his hat and hair to the wind.

 All trellises must be stored at home unless its been used. In that case they must be firmly attached to resist 80km winds. Treat your community garden like you do your own. Check on it after a storm has passed.

There are also many plants damaged so you should check them out. I know that if it snows these kale plants will be the first to be knocked right to the ground. perhaps it would be good to harvest the kale and freeze it.

Sunflowers if not removed should have their leaves and flower heads removed. We cannot have the plants crossing pathways and creating a tripping hazard.

 Stakes, need I say more? This is an eye poker waiting to happen.

More reasons to remove them for the winter as your stakes and trellises could be damaged and not be usable next season.

 For those allotment holders that have their own composters, please rescue the lids that belong to you. Buy some bungee cord from the dollar store to tie your lids down. I am too old to chase after them in the back field.

This was the most work to date. We need to store the pvc pipes away for the winter so they need to go home. They are too large for the shed.

If you have empty plant pots and trays they will need to be stored at home. I know its dark and wet out and many of us cannot get to the garden during the week. Take this weekend to get your garden tidied up before the next storm. Also, don't forget to make sure that your plants are not going to seed and affecting other gardeners. Please be sure to have a clear path at all times. Weeds come out easily in damp ground. So once again, anything that is not nailed down should be stored away at home. Garden cleanup is due by November 30 unless you are growing winter crops. If you have tender crops in the garden its too cold at night for them now.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Ladner Seedy Saturday and Garden Expo 2015-An Update

The committee for Ladner Seedy Saturday and Garden Expo 2015 has been working hard to bring you one of the best events to date. Its been pretty quiet over here on the blog as I tackle new projects so I apologize for my absence.

So what can we expect at Ladner Seedy Saturday? As you can see we are now partnering with the Corporation of Delta to host the event. They have been kind enough to let us use the historic Harris barn at Kirkland House on Arthur drive. It couldn't be a better venue.
Okay, many don't know this but I lived on this property as a child. I remember running through the hay fields and helping to pick potatoes by hand. Going back to this old homestead makes it surreal for me and full of memories. Yes, I am excited.

Lets get back to the event. We have Brian Minter as one of our keynote speakers. He is the guru of gardening and last year he was met with a room of eager gardeners young and old as he talked about how gardening is changing.

I have also booked a children's garden workshop. In this workshop children between the ages of 2-7 will be able to learn how to plant up a small container garden. Kids love getting into the soil so it should be lots of fun. As we get closer to event time I will send out a registration as we will need to know numbers for this workshop.

We also have Kim Greenwood doing a presentation on how to plant vegetables in containers. With many of our homes being townhouses or condos this is the perfect way to grow your own food.
I have two more key speakers I am waiting to confirm yet.
The downstairs of the Harris barn will be full of vendors selling seeds, plant material and accessories. Our popular seed swap will be back and I hope to have some interesting seeds to share.
Upstairs is where our speakers and garden workshops will be. The venue is accessible with an elevator inside for those who need one.
One more thing, if you would like to be a volunteer at Ladner Seedy Saturday please send me an email at You know the saying, many hands means light work. We are still looking for vendors as well. If you know someone that would be a good fit, please let us know.
Happy Gardening,

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

We are Excited to Announce the Date for Seedy Saturday in Ladner!

The Ladner Community Garden Society is excited to announce the dates for next years Seedy Saturday and Garden Expo. This year we have partnered with the Corporation of Delta to bring you a new two day event full of garden excitement.
If you would like to be a vendor at our event just comment below. We will be sending out vendor registration forms in November.
Don't forget to save your seeds for our popular seed swap. Now is the perfect time to collect seeds before fall rains arrive.
Stay tuned for more info as we organize this event. We hope to bring you an array of talented garden speakers and vendors.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

June Flowers at the Ladner Community Garden

June is here and all of our gardens are planted. Thanks to all of our allotment gardeners for doing such a fine job getting their seedlings in. The gardens are full of vegetables almost ready to harvest. I know I am having lettuce envy over some of the gardeners. Lettuce just won't grow well back in the children's garden. I use the same seed at home and its fine. Lets take a walk through the garden today. 

 The rockery which borders the front of the community garden is full of blooms. The Sweet William or Dianthus barbatus is stunning, isn't it? This plant attracts butterflies and bees to the garden.

 Next to it is Limnanthes douglasii or poached egg flower. This cute as a button flower is easy to grow from seed. Let it self sow to have it year after year in your garden. This flower attracts hoverflies to the garden and they eat aphids.

 The Campanula rambles nicely over the rock wall. This spark of blue in June is a welcome sight.

There are many more blooms to come in our rock wall garden. Did you know this garden is made from four recycled driveways? Now that's recycling for you.

If you are by the garden, please stop and visit to see the unique ways our members are growing vegetables. This allotment gardener is trying out straw bale gardening. Its a tough climate for this here as we get a fair amount of rainfall. In the top of the bale she has added soil and planted a squash plant. Adding a cage to the top, this plant will grow vertically and maximize the space in this garden.

 We also have a children's garden located in the north east corner of the community garden. Here a grade three class comes to learn. All the food grown in this part of the garden is donated to the food bank and other charities. By the looks of the beans and peas we should have a good harvest this year.

 Check out the first of the radishes!  Now there is room for another vegetable to go in. Remember when planting that you always need to think one step ahead. If you are harvesting all your lettuce, what will go in that empty spot?

Our partner, West Coast Seeds, is growing some new crops this year. Welcome Peppermint Swiss Chard with its pretty pink and white stems.
The Ladner Community Garden is located at 6467 Holly Park drive in Ladner, BC. At present the garden is full and we have a short waiting list for next season.
If you have any questions about how to get involved or want to be placed on the wait list please contact us at deltagardener at

Thursday, April 17, 2014

April is Planting Time!

April is here and if you haven't planted your vegetable seeds yet, its time to get busy. Plants such as peas, broad beans, spinach, lettuce, carrots, arugula, potatoes and onion sets should be in the ground. Its still too early for plants such as basil, peppers, beans, cucumbers or squash but getting your seeds chosen is wise while selection lasts. I like to wait until night time temperatures are a steady 9-10C before placing my warm weather crops outside. Don't forget to harden off your new transplants before planting. They need time to adjust from a warm cozy greenhouse to the lower temperatures of the garden. Take them out for an hour each day to get them used to being outside and lengthen the time as you go. This hardening off can take up to a week but your plants will adjust better. 
Thanks to the allotment gardeners that have cultivated their gardens. Try to have your gardens planted by the end of May so you have a successful harvest.  


 Have you seen the rockery flowers yet? The Hyacinths are stunning!

We also have some gardeners growing Tulips in their space.

The Narcissus are so dainty with multiple flowers on each stem.

 The Iberis or candytuft makes me want to run out and buy one for my garden. Its lovely mounding habit makes it perfect for the rock garden.

 The new shrubs are doing well along the fence line. This is the flowering currant planted last summer.

The grade three class planted Muscari under the shrubs last fall.

 The Kale is starting to bloom as it prepares to go to seed. Don't forget to collect seed later on once the pods have formed. The yellow flowers of Kale are a bee magnet so we will be attracting pollinators to the garden.

The Forsythia is just about finished blooming but the yellow and blue look great together.
Thanks goes to Kristian for building some mason bee houses and installing them on the pergola. Please help yourself to soil for your gardens. We will use some of the soil to level the dips in the lawn and to top off flower beds.
Our next meeting for community garden members will be on April 23 at the garden at 7pm. Are you receiving our newsletter as it just went out? If you haven't, please let us know.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Are You Looking for an Allotment Garden?

Are you looking for somewhere to garden and be part of a community of gardeners? We have just the solution. This spring a few beds have opened up in the Ladner Community Garden. Each raised bed is 4' by 10' and 10" high. This size bed will produce enough salad greens for two people all summer long.
The cost of having an allotment at the Ladner Community Garden is $40 per year with our year running from January 1-December 31. You would also be required to obtain a membership for as little as $10 for seniors over the age of 65, $15 for a single membership and $25 for a family membership.
The Ladner Community Garden encourages everyone to help out at work parties during the growing season to keep our garden looking top notch. Having a garden does require commitment as you may have to water often during hot dry weather. It is also a requirement that you harvest in a timely manner to lessen any theft in the garden.

We have community meals in the garden during the summer months followed by a Christmas social in November. What's great about belonging to a community garden is the friendships made, the learning from each other and the wonderful harvest of fresh organic vegetables.
Does this sounds like something you are interested in? If so email me at deltagardener at for more info and to set up an appointment.
The Ladner Community Garden is located at 6467 Holly Park Drive in Ladner.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Ladner Seedy Saturday Was a Huge Success

Ladner Seedy Saturday and Garden Expo 2014 was a huge success. Thanks goes to all our volunteers, vendors and customers for making this event successful. It was a fun  day had by all. After five months of working on this event, it was nice to see it all come together. Let's take a look at a few of the displays. 

Ray Mattei from Tropic to Tropic came with his plants. He had everything from olive trees, avocado trees and citrus. Did you know many of these plants are now hardy here? I came home with Camellia sinensis or Russian tea shrub although I would have loved to have bought way more.

 Distinctive Perennials brought his amazing succulent containers and the mix of colours made it hard to choose which plant to take home. I couldn't resist buying a couple of small plants for my terrariums and will have to get some more soon.

 We also had three speakers and as you can see it was standing room only. Brian Minter, Julia Common and Ian Tait gave wonderful presentations.

After each presentation finished, the gym would fill up with people eager to check out the gardening displays. With winter still hanging on, we needed that boost of green colour to get us thinking spring.

 There was lots to see from plants and seeds to garden accessories and services.

Thank you to all the vendors for the lovely door prizes you donated. Customers loved winning something special to take home.

 Everyone entered our draw for a prize that was given out every half hour.

Doesn't this lush display by J& J Enterprises make you want to start your spring containers?

All Things Organic came to talk to people about worm composting and its benefits.

 It was fun to have Tatiana's Tomatobase back again this year. Their company sells a huge array of tomato and vegetable seeds for the home gardener. They have a seed bank that they maintain which holds up to 4000 different varieties of heirloom seeds. Their seeds are all open pollinated and heirlooms.

The seed swap saw a huge improvement this year and I will be bringing more seeds to swap next year. Gardeners brought in huge quantities of seeds to trade. It was fun talking about all the different seeds that were there.
To see more photos of our event check us out on Facebook.