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<div style="text-align:center;"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/flower.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="flower"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/carrot.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="carrot"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/flower.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="flower"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/broc1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Broccoli">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/flower.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="flower"></div>
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I am planning on doing some vegetable and flower gardening again this year, and was wondering if there are others in the area who would like to share ideas, tips, and tricks in a thread here.<br><br>
I know that it's still a bit brrzy out there, <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/cold.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Cold">:, but I'm already getting worked up about seeds, containers, and compost!<br><br>
If the Diggin in the Earth Forum is a better location for this thread, please let me know!<br><br><div style="text-align:center;"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/flower.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="flower"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/carrot.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="carrot"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/flower.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="flower"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/broc1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Broccoli">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/flower.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="flower"></div>
 

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I love all the icons! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
I should start thinking about this. I just have a porch garden, and it's gotten a bit out of hand, with lots of different little things that don't add up very well. I want to simplify it, and a friend told me that she once had evergreen clematis and climbing roses on her porch... so I'm thinking of investing in some new containers and doing that!
 

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brilliant! i'm in...i have a tiny deck, but may be gardening in a community plot as well. i want to grow things to <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Eat">: with the odd flower too.<br><br>
where do you folks buy your seeds? i've collected organic ones here and there...<br><br>
i am considering finally getting a worm compost for my deck, if i can find one small enough. it is so sad to throw out perfectly good organic scraps!<br><br>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/biggrinbounce.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bgbounce"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/flowersforyou.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Flowersforyou">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/flower.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="flower"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/shamrocksmile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shamrock"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/flower.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="flower">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/flowersforyou.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Flowersforyou">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/biggrinbounce.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bgbounce"><br><br>
Count me in!!!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><br><br>
Balcony gardens can be fantastic!!! I've seen many that are stunning.<br><br>
I have a background in ornamental gardening and horticulture from an organic perspective and love to compost! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> I hope to learn more about food growing this year, as I've only dabbled so far, with varying amounts of harvest success!<br><br>
Now is the perfect time to brouse the seed catalogues that arrive in the mail or online. Spending time now in the planning stages, walking your garden or the site where you plan to have it, can all help to give you a sense of understanding and begin a relationship to your space to use as a jumping off point.<br><br>
Yesterday we spread out hoses around our new yard, creating imaginary moveable "lines" to visualize how new beds will look before actually putting spade to lawn! Such fun to dream!
 

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Yes - I have been wondering about where to get seeds.<br><br>
I'm quite interested in getting heirloom seeds this year. Do any of you have a favourite spot to get them?<br><br>
Yesterday I went out and emptied the finished material from my composter and got lots of beautiful soil from it! And we have begun collecting kitchen scraps for it, which feels pretty good - reducing garbage and contributing to future tasty veggies!<br><br>
I checked an interesting book out of the library called "Gardening in Vancouver" by Judy Newton. It seems to be a good reference for our particular area and the unique challenges and benefits to gardening in Vancouver.<br><br>
I'm interested to know if others have had success growing tomatoes here.
 

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Subbing too.<br><br>
I have herbs growing in my <a href="http://www.aerogrow.com/" target="_blank">aerogarden</a> at home (the Pro 100 series), they are about a week old now and most have sprouted. I think I need to buy a new lavender bush as mine looks like it didn't survive winter, and I'm worried that my bulbs might have gotten wreaked with abit of excessive water puddling in the beds.
 

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<b>Seeds/Heirloom seeds:</b><br><br>
We buy lots from West Coast Seeds. Friendly and very knowledgeable. In past years Mary, the owner, has run a picture of my DS1 in her seed catalogue taken back when they had an organic demonstration garden at their warehouse and office in Ladner. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> We went every week for veggies we got to pick and they were inexpensive as they were all new/heirloom trials and not destined for the farmer's markets! then she sold that portion of her land to an organic blueberry grower.<br><br>
So, I definitely recommend them. You can order a catalogue to arrive in the mail or head to Ladner (just down the road from OWL Rescue) off of Hwy 17. Easy to get to, say ten minutes past the tunnel...I have to finish this post, but Google them and you'll get their website and address...<br><br>
You could also brouse the garden centers, like Figaro's or David Hunter (your neck of the woods, artparent) or any others that have a large seed display. The seeds are well-stocked now!!! Gardenworks is usually well stocked!!<br><br>
I saw some threads in the Diggin' in the Earth forum too, that listed some non GMO/organic seed suppliers from elsewhere around the US and maybe Canada, but personally IMO it's better to find seeds that have been tested for growing conditions close to home, as your chances for success are greater. So we get ours from West Coast Seeds, organic and heirloom varieties, all well-tested and researched. Just my .02 though, brouse, order have fun!!!<br><br>
niki, I'd wait longer to see if your lavender madeit. They want their roots in soil that isn't too soggy over winter (usually wet roots all winter will do them in before the cold will...) but once we hit March 15, scrape the bark a tiny bit with a sharp clean knife or your pruners and if it's green, you're good to go! The new growth would break shortly after that, at which point you can cut it back to 1/2 or 1/3 its' original size. Bulbs should be okay as long as they're not spending weeks at a time in pools of water...Mine have always survived the wet winters here...<br><br>
Judy Newton is fabulous! She contributes a ton of research work to UBC Botanical Gardens and used to apperar on a gardening show with David Tarrant from UBC, also an expert on growing in the area.<br><br>
Great thread idea!!
 

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Tee hee! It's working!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> My plot to pick the brains of you more experienced gardeners is WORKING!!!<br><br>
Thanks for the West Coast Seeds info. It sounds like a fun place to go.<br><br>
Another cool thread in the Diggin in the Earth forum is the Square Foot Gardening thread from last year (<a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=594448" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=594448</a><br><br>
I like this idea, as a renter, because it's compact and portable. I don't actually have any yard area to garden in so will have to do pots/boxes for everything. Have any of you tried this method of gardening?
 

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got out yesterday to finally plant my garlic. I hope it's not too late.<br>
Big garden plans for this year.<br>
I've bought from WCS before and like them. they have new owners since last year.<br>
I've also been eying <a href="http://www.stellarseeds.com" target="_blank">stellar seeds</a> and <a href="http://www.earthfuture.com/gardenpath/Seeds_Catalogue.htm" target="_blank">seeds of victoria</a>.<br><br>
I've got a fair stash of seeds i won't get to; anyone up to the idea of a seed exchange?
 

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art parent. I have a small bin like <a href="http://homepage.mac.com/cityfarmer/PhotoAlbum23.html" target="_blank">this one</a> (but all black). we don't use it. it's yours if you want it.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>tooticky</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10279719"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Tee hee! It's working!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> My plot to pick the brains of you more experienced gardeners is WORKING!!!<br><br>
Thanks for the West Coast Seeds info. It sounds like a fun place to go.<br><br>
Another cool thread in the Diggin in the Earth forum is the Square Foot Gardening thread from last year (<a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=594448" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=594448</a><br><br>
I like this idea, as a renter, because it's compact and portable. I don't actually have any yard area to garden in so will have to do pots/boxes for everything. Have any of you tried this method of gardening?</div>
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Yes, and it really shows that you can have a brimming food garden with little space, with some thought and creativity with structures to provide height for your climbing crops etc.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mellifluousmama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10279733"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">got out yesterday to finally plant my garlic. I hope it's not too late.<br>
Big garden plans for this year.<br>
I've bought from WCS before and like them. they have new owners since last year.<br>
I've also been eying <a href="http://www.stellarseeds.com" target="_blank">stellar seeds</a> and <a href="http://www.earthfuture.com/gardenpath/Seeds_Catalogue.htm" target="_blank">seeds of victoria</a>.<br><br>
I've got a fair stash of seeds i won't get to; anyone up to the idea of a seed exchange?</div>
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We plant garlic in the spring when we forget in Ocober, you will just have smaller bulbs that don't size up as well...<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/huh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="huh"> I had no idea Mary sold her company <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> We'll sure miss her! I hope the change is a harmonious one...<br><br><b>Tomatoes:</b> In my experience, growing great tomatoes has alot to do with the season, and taking preventative measures to keep excess rain off of the leaves to prevent blight from attacking them. It's a disease common to tomatoes, and especially common out here on the Coast due to our often soggy summers. Since spraying (for most I assume...) isn't an option, good watering practises like watering in the early morning so that the sun will evaporate the excess on leaves, will help to ensure they survive this.<br><br>
It's also helpful and less disappointing to grow varieties <i>specifically</i> tested for our region. Finding varieties that will set fruit and ripen during our shorter, milder summers is key! That's where Mary's expertise at West Coast Seeds was soooo valuable! Their catalogue <i>used to</i> include very in depth growing information aimed at even the most novice grower, on each type of veggie and flower...let's hope that hasn't changed!!! I used the catalogue for planting info, soil info, all of the specifics for growing through to harvest, it was pretty dirty and torn up by September, LOL!!!
 

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oo, melli thank you! i'll pm you. so exciting!!<br><br>
hurrah, autumn, you can mentor us!<br><br>
i've grown as much as possible on my deck the last three years, but the last two i've been away at a critical time. i'm hoping that the shared plot i will do will mean others can take over if i'm away!<br><br>
west coast seeds it is...i heard about them through cedarmama, i think!<br>
i have three planter boxes, about 4' x 1', and 3 hanging baskets...odd pots. that's the extent of it! we get summer sun from late morning through evening, otherwise it is a bit brief...northwest corner.<br><br>
my mother grows tomatoes, last year wasn't so good for them, but sometimes she gets tons! she uses her own compost, and does them in containers on her east facing deck that gets sun most of the day. it is very hot for them..lots of work. i know she gets them started pretty early in the solarium.<br><br><br>
*?*<br>
would you completely empty a planter for gardening in the spring, or would you just turn it all...add some more compost? i am never sure how to proceed. i have been taking bulbs out and popping them all together in a big pot once they are nearly finished, so i can plant some other things...when they are completely finish i store til autumn. sound alright?<br><br>
*
 

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OH OH count me in too!!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/biggrinbounce.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bgbounce"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/biggrinbounce.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bgbounce"> My dad just built the perfect containers for square foot gardening and I am ready to learn!<br><br>
Once I have the seeds....when to start planting everything? I'm sure it depends on what the veggie is....off to read my square foot book!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>artparent</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10280101"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">hurrah, autumn, you can mentor us!<br><br><br><br>
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Awww, that's sweet to say! I'm laughing too, because I think the longer I garden, the <i>less</i> I actually know, IYKWIM? There is just an infinite amount of knowledge, some general and widely adapable to different situations, and some that is so specific to certain situations and conditions. So, the more I learn the more that there is to *learn*. Clear as tomato soup, right. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>artparent</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10280101"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">i have three planter boxes, about 4' x 1', and 3 hanging baskets...odd pots. that's the extent of it! we get summer sun from late morning through evening, otherwise it is a bit brief...northwest corner.<br><br><br>
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You can do quite a bit I'm sure in that amount of space, just<br>
keep in mind you may need to water more frequently and provide some extra organic (or not if that's your way) nutrition, compost teas, fish emulsions, gentle fertilizing to keep them growing optimally...there are undoutbedly some great books on small-space container growing for vegetables. There's such a strong trend towards smaller yards and yet, folks are getting it that they need to be gardening to help provide their families with diverse and nutrient rich food.<br><br>
Tomatoes (cherry types) and strawberries can hang in containers, too. Quite pretty!<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Cedarmama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10280231"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">OH OH count me in too!!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/biggrinbounce.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bgbounce"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/biggrinbounce.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bgbounce"> My dad just built the perfect containers for square foot gardening and I am ready to learn!<br><br>
Once I have the seeds....when to start planting everything? I'm sure it depends on what the veggie is....off to read my square foot book!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"></div>
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See if your book has a section on cool season crops, that would help with the earliest things to plant. As a general rule of thumb, it is simply too wet and cold to get much started now outdoors. The seeds would freeze and die. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/cold.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Cold">: Some early things that I know of to start the earliest (though probably not til February...) are: radishes, spinach, pole beans or fava beans (I forget which), peas if you're in Vancouver (it tends to be milder than say, where I am now). Let us know what you find out there!!!<br><br>
I can't say enough about the West Coast Seeds catalogue; Mary also includes a chart for all veggies, when the plant outdoors time is or the seed indoors time is, and at a glance you can do some initial planning. It is reaaly well laid out.<br><br>
BTW, I just got off of the phone with her, and she's still a very strong presence there <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> She needed more time with her grandbabies and family in general, and due to the organic growing indusrty soaring, she needed some help to steward the company. Yayyy!! and Phewww!!!<br><br><br>
She said "hi Matthew's Mom. He's in the new catalogue again." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
So I'm turning off my computer, or else my kids won't see me all day <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> This thread is far too exciting!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>artparent</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10280101"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><br><br>
*?*<br>
would you completely empty a planter for gardening in the spring, or would you just turn it all...add some more compost? i am never sure how to proceed. i have been taking bulbs out and popping them all together in a big pot once they are nearly finished, so i can plant some other things...when they are completely finish i store til autumn. sound alright?<br><br>
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Okay one last thing I forgot to respond to:<br><br>
With my planters I check to see if anything from previous season was diseased looking, and if not I scoop out about 1/3 to 1/2 of the existing container soil and dispose of it by composting, or digging it into the garden beds. If plants were diseased, I bag the whole thing up and leave it for garbage P/U. The green recycling doesn't take it to prevent the spread of disease (in Richmond anyways when I was there...)<br><br>
I only replaced the soil once when my tomatoes got blight and powdery mildew the previous year. It may be enough to just scoop out the top, though. I wanted to be cautious...<br><br>
Then, I topdress the containers with whatever healthy new container soil (you can buy it or make your own for fun if you need alot) I have on hand plus generour scoops of compost or well rotted and aged manures or a mix...maybe I'll add some 6*8*6 organic fertilizer to get the plants/seeds off and running. The new soil looks so purty too, all black and rich looking! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
Bulb treatment sounds spot on!!! The best thing to do for them is leave them in place while they are dying back, because this is their window for building up their strength to store nutrients to flower again next year. Bulbs are really quite bullet-proof, some of them originate from the most seemingly unlikely places to survive like high mountain regions with extreme weather conditions. Mighty little things they are!
 

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Great thread, Erin! Thanks!<br><br>
I volunteer for the Edible Garden Project: <a href="http://www.ediblegardenproject.com" target="_blank">www.ediblegardenproject.com</a><br>
We'll be doing most of our gardening through them this year, because we are renovating our garden! That's this year's gardening plan.<br><br>
Erin, we don't have enough light for tomatoes in our semi-shade yard, although I have not yet tried them in hanging planters on our top deck. The problem is the watering up there...I forget. I love fast-growing small varieties. Also did the zebra tomatoes from Seeds of Victoria when we lived in our old apartment, and they were fun. They are green and yellow striped.<br><br>
Just put away the West Coast Seeds catalogue. MUST NOT GET TEMPTED.<br><br>
Anyway, we have a little yard that is fairly shady. One side has a Japanese maple and lots of ferns. I kind of collect ferns. And a sandbox, and a rhodo, and an inside-out flower and Solomon's Seal and hmmm....what's that one that looks like a shamrock and has white flowers and is somewhat native to the west coast? Drawing a blank.<br><br>
The plan is to elevate one side of the garden so that we have 1 long bed, then put a tiny fence around it and hang netting over it so silly cats can't do things in my veggies.<br><br>
We grow various greens, including Asian greens, some beans, kohlrabi is fun, various kinds of interesting onions, garlic, blueberry bushes, thinking of espaliering 2 apple trees if we ever get to the apple festival...and I want a grape vine going over the fence and the back wall.<br><br>
We also have raspberries in the front yard and I want to get more high-sun fruits in there.<br><br>
Oh, and we are making a nook for Lauren where one part of our garden is. I made her a bench last summer and a fairy garden. We are also going to dig up our concrete blocks and put in creeping thyme, moss, low-growing mint and oregano around flat rocks. Yeah, I know mint spreads. I want it to spread there, just not in my garden...<br><br>
By the way, the Vancouver Permaculture Network is very interesting and I have a lot of permaculture books! Robin from Edible Landscapes on the Sunshine Coast has some interesting plants too. Must find link.
 

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Oh, and North Shore Recycling has some great, free spring gardening workshops (call early!) and a natural garden tour (fall). The Edible Garden Project also holds workshops. The Ecology Centre is having a seed-starting workshop in February.<br><br>
And the Environmental Youth Alliance does great fruit tree workshops along with Tree City. I went to one on apple tree pruning last year.
 

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great information, widemouth. you have awesome plans. now you've set me to brooding about my own big garden <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"><br><br>
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