Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pat asked me to read and forward (giving me her okay to change anything I thought needed changing ... and the only thing I changed was her dates, which she had wrong (close, but wrong, all of them...).
Anyway: The next work party is Sunday May 2nd -- sorry I won’t be there; I’ll be in Portland -- and the following one is Sunday May 9th, where we will discuss the New and Improved Greenway!! Both Sundays, 3:00-4:30!!
Cheers, Penny

Begin forwarded message:

Below is the report on gardening Sunday in the greenway, and my very modest proposal for rehabbing it. There is a short form for people who are very busy or who have short attention spans, and a longer, more expositional account for people who like to read War and Peace. Whichever, or both. Cheers, Pat

Hiya Brit Neighbours -- Next work party: Sunday, May 2nd at 3 p.m. to 4:30 -- just a few more weeds to remove, and a garden to re-evaluate *

A small report on weekend gardening, and a greater vision for Napier Square: Part One: The Proposal (short form): Aim: to make Napier Square Greenway a stunning, extraordinarily beautiful garden (the tour buses are already lining up in anticipation).

*Informal, individual walk-throughs of the greenway (over the next ten days) when you all have time and inclination, thinking about what might be improved

*Sunday, May 9th, a walk-about to begin to form ideas about how to spruce up the various garden areas -- from 3-4:30 p.m.

*A small garden planning committee forms -- to co-ordinate the ideas and make a schedule, a garden map/blueprint and identify good plants, access to extra soil, pavers, whatever

*Followed by a bunch of us digging and piling up soil, and moving rocks, and planting new plants and debating about where things should go, etc
Should keep us engaged for the next decade, eh?

Part Two: The Proposal (long form):

1. Takako and Pat, for the most part, were the happy gardeners on Sunday, although Ann D. came later and would have thrown herself into whatever, except that we were in the process of quitting. Takako and I had cleared out some of the weeds behind the blue screen on the Sweet Cherubim side and planted the flat of golden marjoram that we received at the Greenways party in the fall. The plants look very beautiful; they are a bright yellow-green and match the feverfew also growing in that area. An unintended consequence but lovely nonetheless. So when Ann arrived, the three of us sat around and talked a bit about the garden and how it might be improved (an interesting event, since we usually don’t have time to do that).

2. It’s not that it isn’t a beautiful garden: it is. But we could see several ways that it could be made outstanding, and now is the time to start thinking and planning to upgrade from good to better to best.

3. Ann made the point that it would be more interesting if there were some changes in grade, and we agreed. She mentioned that North Van recycling centre (I think that was it, or was it the dump?) sells regular garden soil and compost for $31 a yard, and also sells augmenters for soil (maybe at the same price?). I immediately thought about the Drive Organics side of the greenway, with its underlying hard-pan (about 6 inches down), and realized that we could bring in more soil (both Ann and Wayne have trucks), build that side up, contour the ground and have much better possibilities for growing and showing off the plants. This would necessitate lifting plants and resettling them after the soil is mounded, but that wouldn’t be all that difficult (and we usually do have enough hands to make the work light).

4. Then on my way home, I thought about maybe scheduling a walk-about to seriously consider how we could make each of the beds more engaging -- thinking about the different seasons, the amount of light available, contoured landscapes, and a larger array of plant material. This wouldn’t be done all at once, obviously, but I think it’s time we had an overall plan for making Napier Square spectacular, or at least the start of one!!! And yes, I think we can do it!

5. So, I am proposing that we schedule a time to look and get ideas, perhaps the weekend after next (Sunday, May 9th) in our regular Sunday time slot at 3 p.m. for anyone who wants to take part in the discussion and the planning, or who just wants to be there, weeding and listening.
(People are encouraged to walk through the greenway before May 9th and think about how it might be improved, it’s called getting a head start!) Then maybe one or two of us could translate the ideas generated into a planting plan and schedule (since we’d have to plan first on getting more soil -- maybe the City could help us with that), perhaps buying some new plants/shrubs this year, certainly getting more bulbs to put in this fall, and etc. It could be as much as a three to five year plan, to make it more do-able.

6. I know this sounds a bit over-the-top, but I was amazed at how neat and tidy the greenway actually is already, especially because we have started earlier this year, and I really think that it’s time to envision where we are going with it, and defining where we want to go -- and then, going for it! Creating a jewel in the heart of East Vancouver. What could be wrong with that?

7. All comments and responses cheerfully accepted; whaddya think? There it is, kids. Let’s put on a show!

Cheers, Pat


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