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The Bird-Friendly Backyard12The Bird-Friendly Backyard Bird-Friendly Backyard<div class="ExternalClass510692496C9A4DC983D1B86F79F6D7EB"><p> <em>How to turn your green space into a healthy avian habitat</em></p><div style="margin:5px;width:310px;float:right;"> <img src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/AmericanGoldfinch.jpg" alt="" /> </div><p>Autumn is a fascinating time for bird-watchers in our region. A wide variety of resident and over-wintering birds are regularly observed in Metro Vancouver throughout fall and winter.  At places like Boundary Bay Regional Park and other seashore locations, immense numbers of waterfowl and shorebirds stop over on their way south. One thing is common to them all. They need food to survive the winter.</p><p>With just a few simple steps you can help all those species survive the winter, or fuel their journeys to warmer locales. Here's how to make your yard or green space a welcoming place for our feathered friends.</p><p> <span style="font-size:0.9em;"> <em>Photo: Adult male American Goldfinches are a distinctive bright yellow in the spring, changing to muted yellow-brown in the winter (pictured here).<br>Attribution: Trevor Clark </em></span></p> <br style="clear:both;"> <h3>Provide the Basics</h3><p>Food, shelter, water. These are the key ingredients for a bird-friendly backyard.</p><div style="margin:5px;width:310px;vertical-align:auto;float:left;"> <img src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/AnnasHummingbird.jpg" alt="" /> </div><h5> <strong>Food</strong></h5><p>Birds may seem to love bread crusts and leftover buns, but these kinds of foods aren't healthy for them. Instead, sunflower seeds, millet, Peanuts, niger seed, suet, and hulled sunflower seeds are examples of suitable choices with plenty of fat content to help them survive the cold of winter. It's also important to keep the feeder clean to avoid the spread of diseases and make sure the feeder location is situated so that cats and other predators can't make a meal of visiting birds. Hummingbird feeders with a sugar water solution are also a good idea over the winter, helping our local Anna's hummingbirds weather the cold season.</p><p>Our natural environment shouldn't be overlooked. Leave some seedheads and old berries on the plants in your yard and don't be too tidy with that fall cleanup. A diverse garden habitat along with some leafy debris and plant material on the ground provides nourishment for insects, which in turn can feed birds. To help you find the right choices for your yard, the Grow Green Guide offers over <a href="" target="_blank">40 plants that support birds</a>.</p><p> <em><span style="font-size:0.9em;">Photo: Anna’s hummingbirds can be seen throughout the year, often relying on feeders to see them through the winter.<br>Attribution: Trevor Clark</span></em></p> <br style="clear:both;"> <div style="margin:5px;width:310px;vertical-align:auto;float:right;"> <img src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/NestBox.jpg" alt="" /> </div><h5> <strong>Shelter</strong></h5><p>A mix of shrubs, trees, and vegetation is best for providing habitat, but nest boxes are another solution. Be sure to space them at least 20 metres apart if you plan on having more than one and put them on isolated trees or poles, to reduce predation. Don’t forget to clean it after breeding season and before winter, when it may be used for shelter, to reduce the risk of diseases being transmitted. Snags (dead trees) and downed wood also provide food, nesting, and perching locations. Consider leaving them up if it’s safe to do so.</p><p> <em><span style="font-size:0.9em;">Attribution: Trevor Clark</span></em></p> <br style="clear:both;"> <div style="margin:5px;width:410px;vertical-align:auto;float:left;"> <img src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/NorthernFlickerFeeder.jpg" alt="" /> </div><h5> <strong>Water</strong></h5><p>While there is generally plenty of water in Metro Vancouver during the fall and winter, a small dish of water near your bird feeder location is a good idea. Keep it fresh and refill regularly, especially once the temperature drops and liquid water is harder for wild animals to find. As with feeders, location is important. Make sure your water supply isn't in a place where predators could make a meal of a thirsty bird.</p><p>A bird-friendly green space at your home is a great way to support wildlife that doesn't take a lot of work. For even more tips and techniques to make your yard welcoming for winged creatures visit Grow Green's resource page <a href="/resources/gardening-tips"></a> and look for the 'Creating Habitat for Birds and Pollinators' section.</p><p> <em><span style="font-size:0.9em;">Photo: Northern flickers are a type of woodpecker that are commonly seen in backyards.<br>Attribution: Trevor Clark</span></em></p> <br style="clear:both;"> <h3>Useful Links</h3><p> <a href="" target="_blank">Metro Vancouver Fall Winter Activity Guide (birding activities from now till February)</a></p><p> <a href="" target="_blank">Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP)</a></p><p> <a href="" target="_blank">City of Vancouver – Bird Friendly Landscape Operation Guidelines</a></p><p> <a href="" target="_blank">The Wildlife Value of a Messy Garden</a></p><p> <a href="" target="_blank">Burke Mountain Naturalists – birding checklists and nest box guides </a></p><p> <a href="" target="_blank">Feeding Wild Birds</a></p><p> <a href="" target="_blank">Cats and Birds</a></p><p> <a href="" target="_blank">Keeping Rodents Out – The Backyard Naturalist</a></p></div>Grow Greengrowgreen@metrovancouver.org2018-10-19T07:00:00Z
Popularity of Lawn Alternatives Keeps Growing11Popularity of Lawn Alternatives Keeps Growing of Lawn Alternatives Keeps Growing<div class="ExternalClass0D793C083BF44BA98A3D3321BD5D67C3"><p class="ExternalClass796159ED54F341A1A33011DF6EABB07E">​<em>The traditional turf lawn has been a mainstay of landscaping for many years. But lawn alternatives are catching on; for their ease of maintenance, low water requirements, and pest resistance.</em></p><h3 class="ExternalClass796159ED54F341A1A33011DF6EABB07E">Popularity of Lawn Alternatives Keeps Growing</h3><p class="ExternalClass796159ED54F341A1A33011DF6EABB07E">A well-manicured, traditional turf lawn is a wonderful thing to behold. But that beauty comes at a cost. Plenty of water, time, and expense are needed to attain the coveted billiard green uniformity. Egan Davis, Principal Instructor of the Horticulture Training Program at the UBC Botanical Gardens says the trend toward garden spaces and lawn alternatives is an eco-friendly choice.</p><blockquote class="ExternalClass796159ED54F341A1A33011DF6EABB07E" dir="ltr" style="margin-right:0px;"><p> <em>I like the trend of moving away from grass and toward varied plantings. I think having success with a garden also means fostering biodiversity, and things like food for pollinators. There's a limit to what turf can provide, but a garden has layers of ecological benefits.</em></p></blockquote><p class="ExternalClass796159ED54F341A1A33011DF6EABB07E">Another reason for the increasing popularity of lawn alternatives is the reality that despite the big commitment of resources needed for great turf, a plague of bugs like the chafer beetle could still leave your green space looking like a moonscape. Karin England knows. She's a professional landscape architect and Park Planner for Metro Vancouver, but even her expertise was no match for this ravenous insect.</p><div class="small-12 medium-6 columns end"><div class="flex-video vimeo widescreen"><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-embedcode ms-rte-embedil ms-rtestate-notify s4-wpActive" unselectable="on"> <iframe src="" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div></div></div><div class="ExternalClass796159ED54F341A1A33011DF6EABB07E"> <br style="clear:both;"> </div><h3 class="ExternalClass796159ED54F341A1A33011DF6EABB07E">Pest Resistant and Low Maintenance</h3><div class="ExternalClass796159ED54F341A1A33011DF6EABB07E"><div style="margin:5px;width:410px;vertical-align:auto;float:right;"> <img src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/thyme-lawn.jpg" alt="" /> <br> </div></div><p class="ExternalClass796159ED54F341A1A33011DF6EABB07E">Karin decided on thyme as an alternative. Thyme lawns are not attractive to chafer beetles and other pests, require a fraction of the water of grass, and require almost no maintenance.<br><br><span style="font-size:0.9em;"><em>Caption: Karin's thyme lawn</em></span> </p><p class="ExternalClass796159ED54F341A1A33011DF6EABB07E" style="clear:both;"> </p><div class="small-12 medium-6 columns end"><div class="flex-video vimeo widescreen"><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-embedcode ms-rte-embedil ms-rtestate-notify"> <iframe src="" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div></div></div><div class="ExternalClass796159ED54F341A1A33011DF6EABB07E"> <br style="clear:both;"> </div><h3 class="ExternalClass796159ED54F341A1A33011DF6EABB07E">Stay On The Grass</h3><p class="ExternalClass796159ED54F341A1A33011DF6EABB07E">There’s no need to tear up all your turf however. A judicious approach to the lawn can deliver the comforts of a grassy space without as big an impact on the environment or your time. Davis sees lawn space as a hard-wearing staple of a well-planned space.</p><blockquote class="ExternalClass796159ED54F341A1A33011DF6EABB07E" dir="ltr" style="margin-right:0px;"><p> <em>The big thing turf does is traffic tolerance and resilience. There are all kinds of natural ground covers, but when it comes to foot traffic tolerance there is no plant that is quite as resilient and no really good alternatives for that function.</em></p></blockquote><div class="ExternalClass796159ED54F341A1A33011DF6EABB07E"><div style="margin:5px;width:410px;vertical-align:auto;float:right;"> <img src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/Bugleweed.jpg" alt="" /> </div></div><p class="ExternalClass796159ED54F341A1A33011DF6EABB07E">Davis points to high traffic and kids’ play areas as natural spots for grass. He also thinks new combination seeds such as those incorporating micro-clover and tall fescue are a great solution, especially considering their higher resistance to chafer beetles. Some other alternatives to consider are Blue Star Creeper and Ajuga or ‘bugleweed’ where a low growing mat of flowers creates an attractive ground cover.<br><br><span style="font-size:0.9em;"><em>Caption: Ajuga or “bugleweed”<br>Attribution: © <a href="" target="_blank">Forest and Kim Starr</a> / <a href="" target="_blank">flickr</a> / (<a href="" target="_blank">CC BY 2.0</a>)</em></span> </p><p class="ExternalClass796159ED54F341A1A33011DF6EABB07E" style="clear:both;"> </p><p class="ExternalClass796159ED54F341A1A33011DF6EABB07E">Both Davis and England like the Grow Green Guide for the direction it can offer gardeners wanting a healthy garden attuned to local conditions and contributing to biodiversity in our region.</p><p class="ExternalClass796159ED54F341A1A33011DF6EABB07E">“The Grow Green resources are great for coming up with ideas for plantings,” says Davis. “If you don’t have experience, consider hiring a landscape professional to help you with the decisions and the layout.”</p><p class="ExternalClass796159ED54F341A1A33011DF6EABB07E"> </p><div class="small-12 medium-6 columns end"><div class="flex-video vimeo widescreen"><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-embedcode ms-rte-embedil ms-rtestate-notify"> <iframe src="" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div></div></div> <br style="clear:both;"> <p>Take a look at our '<a href="/Lawns">Lush Lawns</a>' section for more information and to find lawn plans suited to your space.<br style="clear:both;"> </p></div>Grow Greengrowgreen@metrovancouver.org2018-08-20T07:00:00Z
How Metro Vancouver Residents Can Protect Gardens and Lawns from New Invasive Species10How Metro Vancouver Residents Can Protect Gardens and Lawns from New Invasive Species Metro Vancouver Residents Can Protect Gardens and Lawns from New Invasive Species<div class="ExternalClass8268F1E089514FC39B8F72F840E6832D"><p> </p><div style="margin:5px;width:410px;vertical-align:auto;float:right;"><img src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/japanese-beetle-01.jpg" alt="" /> <br> </div> You’ve seen lawns around the region destroyed by animals and birds searching for a juicy chafer beetle snack. Now there’s a new beetle in town. And it’s even worse! The Japanese beetle is threatening lawns, gardens, and landscaped areas in Vancouver. In response, steps are being taken by local and federal authorities to prevent this invasive species from spreading throughout the rest of the region. But anyone who cares for a garden or lawn can also play a role. Here’s some of the things to look out for, and some steps you can take. <br> <br> <span style="font-size:0.9em;"><em>Photo: Beautiful, but deadly to local plants, the Japanese beetle has been found in Vancouver</em><br> <em>by David Cappaert,</em></span> <p style="clear:both;"> </p><h5><strong>What is the Japanese beetle?</strong></h5><div style="margin:5px;width:410px;vertical-align:auto;float:left;"><img src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/japanese-beetle-larvae.jpg" alt="" /></div> The Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica) is a small bug approximately 15 mm long and 10mm wide, with iridescent copper and green colouring. The larvae feed on the roots of grass and just like the chafer beetle, crows, skunks, and raccoons will tear up lawns to eat the beetle larvae. <br> <br> <span style="font-size:0.9em;"> <em>Photo: Japanese beetle larvae</em><br> <em>by Jim Baker, North Carolina State University,</em></span> <p style="clear:both;"> </p><h5><strong>What does it do?</strong></h5><div style="margin:5px;width:410px;vertical-align:auto;float:right;"><img src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/japanese-beetle-lawn-damage.jpg" alt="" /></div> Damage. And lots of it. More destructive than the chafer beetle, the Japanese beetle doesn’t just attack lawns. Over <a href="" target="_blank">250 species of plants</a> are food for the adult beetle, whose voracious appetite includes roses, perennials, fruit trees, and countless other landscape and food plants.<br> <br> <span style="font-size:0.9em;"><em>Photo: Lawn damage due to animals feeding on Japanese beetle larvae</em><br> <em>by M.G. Klein, USDA Agricultural Research Service, </em></span> <p style="clear:both;"> </p><h5> <strong>When did the problem start?</strong></h5><div style="margin:5px;width:410px;vertical-align:auto;float:left;"> <img src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/Japanese-beetle-eating-leaves.jpg" alt="" /> </div> The beetles were first spotted in a trap in the False Creek area in August 2017 – the first time it has been found in BC. However, it has been in North America since the early part of the 20th century, probably arriving with shipments of iris bulbs from Japan, before commodity inspections were a standard protocol in the US (1912). It began showing up in Northeastern Oregon residential and agricultural lands circa 2016. Over 900 beetles were trapped in the False Creek area in 2017. This year over 100 were caught by the end of June. <br> <br> <span style="font-size:0.9em;"><em>Photo: Adults Japanese beetles feed on the upper surface of foliage, leaving behind the skeletonized remains of the leaf</em><br> <em>by Bruce Watt, University of Maine,</em></span> <p style="clear:both;"> </p><h5><strong>How are authorities addressing its spread?</strong></h5><div style="margin:5px;width:410px;vertical-align:auto;float:right;"><img src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/Area-affected-by-CFIA-Japanese-beetle-soil-quarantine.jpg" alt="" /></div> The response to the arrival of Popillia japonica has been swift. A coordinated approach to eradicate the Japanese beetle in Vancouver is already underway. The federal government has ordered that plants and soil can’t be moved out of a quarantined area bounded by Burrard Street in the west, from English Bay up to West 12th Avenue, along 12th from Burrard to Clark Drive, and in the east along Clark Drive from East 12th to Burrard Inlet. <br> <br> <span style="font-size:0.9em;"><em>Photo: Area affected by the federal plant and soil quarantine. Affected area may change, click <a href="" target="_blank">here</a> for an up to date quarantine area map.</em></span> <p style="clear:both;"> </p><div style="margin:5px;width:410px;vertical-align:auto;float:left;"> <img src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/Acelepryn-spraying-areas-City-of-Vancouver-.jpg" alt="" /> </div> The City of Vancouver and the provincial government are also working together to stop the Japanese beetle. In June, a larvicide called Acelepryn was applied to boulevards, medians, and lawns on public property. Nine parks were also treated: David Lam Park, George Wainborne Park, Coopers’ Park, Charleson Park, Sutcliffe Park, Emery Barnes Park, May & Lorne Brown Park, Crab (at Portside) Park and Thornton Park. The larvicide is not harmful to humans, pets, other animals, or pollinators like bees and butterflies. You can learn more about scheduled treatment dates and the City of Vancouver’s plans regarding the Japanese beetle on their website: <a href="" target="_blank"></a><br> <br> <span style="font-size:0.9em;"><em>Photo: Acelepryn treatment areas - City of Vancouver. Treatment areas may change, click <a href="" target="_blank">here</a> for up to date treatment areas and dates.</em></span>  <p style="clear:both;"> </p><h5> <strong>How can you help?</strong></h5><div style="margin:5px;width:410px;vertical-align:auto;float:right;"> <img src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/Japanese-Beetle-trap.jpg" alt="" /> </div> If you live in the quarantined area, the most important thing you can do is abide by its restrictions. That means until further notice the movement of rooted plants and soil out of the quarantined area is prohibited year round to avoid spreading the larvae. The movement of above-ground plant parts such as grass, leaves and branches out of the quarantined area is prohibited between June 15 and October 15, which is the flight period of the adult beetles. You should continue to put yard clippings in your green bin. If you need to dispose of excess yard waste, or materials mixed with soil such as root balls and sod, you should do so at the City of Vancouver’s temporary transfer station at 301 West 1st Ave. Complete information for this facility, including open hours and materials accepted, can be found here:<a href="" target="_blank"></a> <p> </p><p>If you see what looks like a Japanese beetle anywhere in our region, please call 1-800-442-2342 to report it, or log your sighting online with the federal government at: <a href="/resources/news/Lists/News" target="_blank"></a></p><p>Don’t disturb or remove any Japanese beetle traps you may see over the coming months.<br> <br> <span style="font-size:0.9em;"> <em>Photo: Traps use a flower-scented lure and a pheromone to attract and collect Japanese beetles</em></span></p><p style="clear:both;"> </p><h5> <strong>Immediate Action Protects Local Agriculture and Ecology</strong></h5><div style="margin:5px;width:410px;vertical-align:auto;float:left;"> <img src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/japanese-beetle-on-flower.jpg" alt="" /> </div> Invasive species can do real damage to local crops and ecosystems. Beyond the ugly plant damage and inconvenience for gardeners, invasive species like the Japanese beetle could cost local farmers millions of dollars and threaten local food security. Left unchecked, the beetles could also spread further into parks and other natural spaces, ultimately impacting the ability of those areas to provide the clean water, fresh air, and recreational opportunities upon which we depend. However, with continued cooperation between governments and support from the public, the Japanese beetle can be managed and its impacts minimized.<br> <br> <span style="font-size:0.9em;"><em>Photo: Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, </em></span> <p style="clear:both;"> </p><h5> <strong>Additional Resources</strong></h5><p>Canadian Food Inspection Agency - <a href="" target="_blank">Japanese Beetle Fact Sheet</a><br> City of Vancouver - <a href="" target="_blank">Japanese Beetle information page</a><br> Metro Vancouver - <a href="" target="_blank">Invasive Species in Metro Vancouver</a></p></div> Grow Greengrowgreen@metrovancouver.org2018-07-13T07:00:00Z
The Low Down on Invasive Plants9The Low Down on Invasive Plants Low Down on Invasive Plants<div class="ExternalClass8F8E123F3D07483EB6DDAA15DD2F2AB4"><p>​English ivy, English holly, periwinkle, lamium, and daphne/spurge laurel are common plants in gardens and disturbed areas throughout the region. However, many people are surprised to learn that these plants are invasive, which means they can harm local ecosystems, human health, and the economy! Invasive plants are non-native plants that can spread rapidly to new areas because predators or diseases from their native homelands are not present to keep them in check. </p><p>For example, knotweeds have strong root systems that can grow through concrete and asphalt, damage building foundations, pavement, and bridges, leading to costly repairs. Giant hogweed’s toxic sap can cause severe blistering of skin, scarring and eye damage. English ivy can displace native plants on the forest floor, as well as climb up and smother trees.</p><p> <strong>DID YOU KNOW?</strong><br>In 2016, municipalities in the Metro Vancouver region spent over $1.4 million controlling a half dozen invasive species within parks and other public property. Invasive plants can spread from adjacent private land and some people discard unwanted potted plants in parks without understanding the potential impacts.</p><h3>How can you help?</h3><p> <strong>Don’t buy invasive plants. <br></strong>Most invasive plants are spread by human activities and unfortunately, some are still available at your local garden centre or community plant sales. To avoid future headaches, it’s important not to plant them in your garden. </p><p> <strong>Invasive plants in your backyard? <br></strong>Here are some tips and tricks to tackle them: </p><ul><li>For knotweeds, giant hogweed, and daphne/spurge laurel – To protect yourself, your family and reduce the risk of further spread, these plants are best controlled by trained professionals who will confirm their identity, remove or treat them while using protective gear, and transport the material safely to an appropriate disposal facility. Note: Due to concerns about worker safety, Metro Vancouver Transfer Stations do not accept giant hogweed or daphne/spurge laurel. These species must be double-bagged and transported directly to the Vancouver landfill.</li><li>For other invasive plants – Most other invasive plants can be removed by hand pulling or digging up the roots. Some spread by seed, so it is best to remove them before they flower. Regular tending for several seasons may be necessary to completely eradicate them from your yard. Please dispose of the leaves, stems and roots in your municipal green waste or garbage bin.</li><li>DO NOT compost invasive plants in your backyard composter – The seeds and roots of these plants will not be destroyed at such low composting temperatures and they will spread throughout your garden if the compost is used.</li></ul><p> <strong>Replace invasive plants with a Grow Green alternative! <br></strong>Many similar non-invasive plants are available in the Metro Vancouver region. Here’s some suggestions:</p><p> </p><table class="plant-table" cellspacing="0" style="width:85% !important;"><thead><tr><th style="width:50%;text-align:center;"> <strong>Invasive Plant​</strong> </th><th style="width:50%;text-align:center;"> <strong>Grow Green Alternative</strong> </th></tr></thead><tbody><tr><td style="width:50%;"><p> <a href="" target="_blank">Knotweeds</a> (Japanese, bohemian, giant and Himalayan)</p><p> <img alt="Knotweeds" src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/Knotweeds.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /> </p></td><td style="width:50%;"><ul><li> <a href="/plants/goats-beard">Goat's beard</a></li><li> <a href="/plants/saskatoon">Saskatoon/western service berry</a></li><li>Heavenly bamboos – <a href="/plants/heavenly-bamboo-gulf-stream"> gulf stream</a> and harbour dwarf (Heavenly bamboo is the common name of this plant; it is not related to plants in the invasive bamboo family)</li></ul></td></tr><tr><td style="width:50%;"><p> <a href="" target="_blank">Giant hogweed</a></p> <img alt="Hogweed" src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/Hogweed.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /> <br> <div class="credit">Credit: City of North Vancouver</div></td><td style="width:50%;"><ul><li> <a href="/plants/finger-leaf-rodgersia">Finger-leaf rodgersia</a></li><li> <a href="/plants/leopard-plant">Leopard plant</a></li></ul></td></tr><tr><td style="width:50%;"><p> <a href="" target="_blank">Daphne/Spurge laurel</a></p> <img alt="Spurge Laurel" src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/DaphneSpurgeLaurel.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /> </td><td style="width:50%;"><ul><li> <a href="/plants/skimmia">Skimmia</a></li><li> <a href="/plants/evergreen-huckleberry">Evergreen huckleberry</a></li><li> <a href="/plants/oregon-grape">Oregon grape</a></li><li> <a href="/plants/dwarf-sweetbox">Dwarf sweetbox</a></li><li>Rhododendrons – <a href="/plants/catawba-album-rhododendron">Catawba album</a>, <a href="/plants/hybrid-rhododendron-capistrano">Capistrano</a>, <a href="/plants/rhododendron-odee-wright">Odee wright</a>, <a href="/plants/rhododendron-lemon-dream">Lemon dream</a>, <a href="/plants/rhododendron-pjm">PJM</a>, <a href="/plants/rhododendron-cunninghams-white">Cunningham's white</a>, <a href="/plants/rhododendron-holdens-solar-flare">Holden's solar flare</a></li></ul></td></tr><tr><td style="width:50%;"><p> <a href="" target="_blank">Himalayan blackberry</a></p> <img alt="Blackberry" src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/HimalayanBlackberry.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /> </td><td style="width:50%;"><ul><li> <a href="/plants/blueberry-blueberry-gaze">"Blueberry Gaze" Blueberry</a></li><li> <a href="/plants/blueberry-jelly-bean">"Jelly Bean" Blueberry </a></li><li> Thimbleberry</li><li> Nootka rose</li></ul></td></tr><tr><td style="width:50%;"><p> <a href="" target="_blank">Scotch broom</a></p> <img alt="Scotch Broom" src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/ScotchBroom.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /><br> <div class="credit">Credit: J. Leekie</div></td><td style="width:50%;"><ul><li> <a href="/plants/azalea-golden-light"> Golden lights deciduous azalea</a></li><li> <a href="/plants/white-forsythia"> Forsythia</a></li><li> <a href="/plants/tall-oregon-grape"> Tall mahonia</a></li></ul></td></tr><tr><td style="width:50%;"><p> <a href="" target="_blank">English holly</a></p> <img alt="English Holly" src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/EnglishHolly.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /> <br> <div class="credit">Credit: D. Polster</div></td><td style="width:50%;"><ul><li> <a href="/plants/pacific-crab-apple"> Pacific crab apple</a></li><li> <a href="/plants/tall-oregon-grape"> Tall mahonia</a></li><li> <a href="/plants/oregon-grape"> Oregon grape</a></li><li> <a href="/plants/strawberry-tree"> Strawberry tree</a></li></ul></td></tr><tr><td style="width:50%;"><p> <a href="" target="_blank">English ivy </a></p> <img alt="English Ivy" src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/EnglishIvy.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /> </td><td style="width:50%;"><ul><li> <a href="/plants/frohnleiten-barrenwort">Barrenwort</a></li><li> <a href="/plants/deer-fern"> Deer fern</a></li><li> <a href="/plants/salal"> Salal</a></li><li> <a href="/plants/piggy-back-plant"> Piggy-back plant</a></li></ul></td></tr><tr><td style="width:50%;"><p> <a href="" target="_blank">Common periwinkle</a></p> <img alt="Perwinkle" src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/CommonPeriwinkle.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /><br> <div class="credit">Credit: J. Leekie</div></td><td style="width:50%;"><ul><li> <a href="/plants/kinnikinnick"> Kinnikinnick</a></li><li> <a href="/plants/false-lily-of-the-valley"> False lily of the valley</a></li><li> <a href="/plants/piggy-back-plant"> Piggy-back plant</a></li><li> <a href="/plants/evergreen-redwood-sorrel"> Redwood sorrel</a></li></ul></td></tr><tr><td style="width:50%;"><p> <a href="" target="_blank">Lamium/Yellow archangel</a></p> <img alt="Lamium" src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/Lamium.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /><br> <div class="credit">Credit: J. Leekie</div></td><td style="width:50%;"><ul><li> <a href="/plants/foam-flower">Foam flower</a></li><li> <a href="/plants/frohnleiten-barrenwort">Barrenwort</a></li><li> <a href="/plants/evergreen-redwood-sorrel">Redwood sorrel</a></li><li>Hostas – <a href="/plants/hosta-fragrant"> Fragrant</a>, <a href="/plants/hosta-minuteman"> Minuteman</a>, <a href="/plants/hosta-sieboldiana"> Seersucker</a>, <a href="/plants/hosta-sagae"> Sagae</a>, <a href="/plants/hosta-lemon-lime"> Lemon lime</a>, <a href="/plants/hosta-red-october"> Red October</a></li><li> <a href="/plants/false-lily-of-the-valley">False lily of the valley</a></li></ul></td></tr><tr><td style="width:50%;"><p> <a href="" target="_blank">Butterfly bush</a></p> <img alt="ButterflyBush" src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/ButterflyBush.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /><br> <div class="credit">Credit: S. Brunel</div></td><td style="width:50%;"><ul><li> <a href="/plants/red-flowering-currant">Red flowering currant</a></li><li> <a href="/plants/rose-of-sharon">Rose of Sharon</a></li><li> Sterile butterfly bush (ask your garden centre for the sterile/non-invasive variety of butterfly bush!)</li></ul></td></tr></tbody></table><p> </p><p>For more information about invasive plants:</p><p> <a href="" target="_blank">Invasive Species Council of British Columbia</a></p><p> <a href="" target="_blank">Invasive Species Council of Metro Vancouver</a></p><p> </p><p> </p></div>Grow Greengrowgreen@metrovancouver.org2018-06-22T07:00:00Z
Upcoming Gardening Events from around the Region8Upcoming Gardening Events from around the Region Gardening Events from around the Region<div class="ExternalClass7295765DC5934BC98BB824BD91E5E204"><p>Looking for something to do that is fun and educational? Check out some of these garden-related events from around the region!</p><p><img src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/Article5Events.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;vertical-align:auto;float:right;" /></p><ul><li> <a href=""><span lang="EN">Self-Guided Tours</span></a> at Van Dusen Botanical Garden every month - Numbered self-guided tours are plotted out by volunteers nearly every month for visitors to enjoy at their leisure. Links are provided to download PDF copies of current and past tours. Free printed copies of the current month's tour are available for visitors at the Information Desk.</li><li> <a href="">Sustainable Workshops</a> in Delta from March to October 2018 - Each year, Delta offers free workshops to educate residents about sustainable gardening practices. Workshops are held in North and South Delta starting in the spring. Workshops are free for Delta residents, but registration is required. </li><li> <a href=""> <span lang="EN"></span></a><a href="">Various Events</a> at Van Dusen Botanical Garden. Check the events calendar for details.</li><li> <a href=""><span lang="EN">Garden Days Grow Green Guide Tour</span></a> at UBC Botanical Garden on June 16th - Are you looking for plants that are easy to grow? pollinator friendly? water-wise? native? non-invasive? Join UBC Botanical Garden for a guided tour of UBC Botanical Garden and explore the Grow Green demonstration garden. Child $7. Adult $11. Concession $9.</li><li><a href="">Various Events</a> at UBC Botanical Garden. Check the events page for details.</li><li> <a href=""><span lang="EN">Bumblebee Parade & Picnic</span></a> at UBC Botanical Garden on June 17th - Join UBC Botanical Garden for a family-focused bumblebee survey at UBC Botanical Garden. Bring your curiosity and your lunch as we parade the Garden and search for flowers and their fuzzy bumblebee companions. Child $7. Adult $11. Concession $9</li><li> <a href=""><span lang="EN">Country Fest</span></a> in Maple Ridge on July 28th and 29th - With the theme "One Heck of a CELEBRATION", enjoy the largest 4H livestock shows in BC, horse shows, home arts and gardening competitions, "Backyard Farming" demonstrations, "Fun Til You're Done Farm" with an amazing display of young farm animals. Admission is free. </li><li> <a href=""> <span lang="EN">Agriculture in the City</span></a> at the PNE from August 18th to September 3rd - Come by the barn and learn about how you can incorporate Urban Agriculture into your own lifestyle! Learn about various components of Urban Agriculture including: Backyard Bees, Backyard Chickens, Community Gardening, and Composting!</li></ul></div>Grow Greengrowgreen@metrovancouver.org2018-05-25T07:00:00Z
UBC Botanical Garden’s Earth Day Grow Green Guide Tour 7UBC Botanical Garden’s Earth Day Grow Green Guide Tour Botanical Garden’s Earth Day Grow Green Guide Tour <div class="ExternalClass0E4A4AC1498B4CB78198F0ED6DEBD3E8"><p>Spring is just around the corner and so is the gardening season!</p><p>The Grow Green guide is a great place to look for garden<br> inspiration and advice. </p><p>You can also check out five of our most popular designs at the Grow Green demonstration garden featured at UBC Botanical Garden.</p><p>On Sunday, April 22nd, 2018 (11:00 am – 12:30 pm & 1:00-2:30pm), UBC Botanical Garden is offering a guided tour of the Grow Green demonstration garden, Vancouver’s oldest demonstration Food Garden and the Alpine Garden.</p><p>For more information about the tour and to register <a href="" target="_blank">click here</a>. </p></div>Grow 2018-03-29T07:00:00Z
Wasting Time with Weeds6Wasting Time with Weeds Time with Weeds<div class="ExternalClass839BDB940C8344288198D7632EEDB5C1"><p><img alt="Weeding" src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/Article6Weeding.jpg" style="margin:5px;vertical-align:auto;float:right;" />Weeding often seems like a never ending task, knowing that once it’s done, it is only a matter of time before the weeds grow back again. Not only is this annoying, but it is detrimental. Every time weeds are removed, precious soil is also taken away as it clings to their roots. This is a terrible cycle in the garden. </p><p>In order to correct this behavior it is important to understand the ecological role weeds have. In nature, when there is a disturbance such as a fire, a landslide, a flood, or even animals digging, soil is left bare and exposed. If left bare, soil is damaged by the drying sun, eroded from rain and blown away in the wind. The ecological response is a prolific germination of fast growing annual plants that protect and stabilize the soil, and store nutrients in their tissues. These plants also flower quickly and continuously so that the site can continue to support pollinators and biological activity until a more stable plant community can re-establish itself. This is called the weed response and it requires soil disturbance and bare soil. </p><p>Many common gardening activities such as hoeing, cultivating and raking create the disturbance which actually triggers the weed response. The seed bank of weeds in the garden is for all practical purposes, limitless, and every time the soil is disturbed, a new crop of weeds will germinate. The very act of weeding promotes the growth of more weeds.</p><p>In nature, soil nearly always has a protective cover. This covering exists as plants, leaf and twig litter, or gravel and rocks. Even in wild areas that seem to show only bare soil, such as in the desert, there is a protective crust of undisturbed soil that is held together by algae, fungal mycelium, lichens or mosses. In order to eliminate the constant cycle of weeding and the triggering of the weed response, gardeners must understand that it is vital to cover the ground with plants or some kind of mulch and disturb it as little as possible.</p><p>Understand the enemy before you tackle the task of weeding. Determine whether the offensive plants are annuals or perennials. Common cool-season annual weeds such as chickweed and bittercress reproduce quickly by seed. The key to managing these self-seeding weeds is to keep the seed bank in the soil at bay by covering it with plants or mulch and disturbing the ground as little as possible. These plants can be smothered with mulch and will die if buried deeply enough. If you want to remove the weedy plants before mulching, hand picking is best so as not to disturb the soil. If you want to use a tool, pick a dry day and hoe very lightly. Be careful with chickweed as stem sections will root and establish quickly if they are chopped up and spread around with the hoe. Again, the key is minimizing disturbance.</p><p>Perennial weeds such as buttercup and dandelions are tenacious and will regrow from small pieces of roots left behind from weeding. These plants will need to be dug thoroughly with a fork. Like any weeding job, be sure to cover the soil when you are done so as not to trigger the germination of annual weeds. </p></div>Egan Davis, Principal Instructor (UBC Botanical Garden)2018-03-29T07:00:00Z
Spring Into Action: Your Guide to Spring Gardening5Spring Into Action: Your Guide to Spring Gardening Into Action: Your Guide to Spring Gardening<div class="ExternalClassF0579669B416464AAA24E9C886B94BFE"><p>​Spring in Metro Vancouver is a special time of year. Starting in January, bulbs are beginning to flower, winter-flowering shrubs are smelling sweetly, and birds are actively preparing for their nesting season. This glorious emergence of life continues for months with the growing promise of warm summer nights just around the corner. Being a busy time of year for gardeners, it can also be challenging, balancing creative efforts such as planting and seeding with maintenance tasks such as pruning and weeding. Is there ever enough time to get everything done? Here are some eco-friendly tips that will save you time and help you get the most enjoyment out of gardening.</p><h5> <strong>Stop the Spring Clean-up</strong></h5><p><img alt="Spring Cleanup" src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/Article5FlowerBuds.jpg" style="margin:5px;vertical-align:auto;float:left;" />Gardens do not have to be clean! Working in the garden should not be approached like doing housework tasks such as vacuuming and window washing. Fallen leaves and other plant debris are best left to slowly decompose allowing nutrients to cycle naturally and eventually become used by plants again. This natural process engages micro-organisms, worms and insects, which in turn provides food for other microbes, insects, birds and other animals, helping to maintain a healthy, biodiverse environment. The garden is an ecological system and removing garden debris interrupts this simple cycle. Many people worry that keeping debris in garden beds will harbor pests and diseases. The opposite is true. Surface litter in the garden provides habitat for beneficial micro-organisms, native bees and predatory insects that keep pests and diseases in balance. </p><p>How can the garden look good if it is not cleaned up? It is time to change our attitudes about what gardens should look like. Perfectly cultivated black soil and groomed plants is an aesthetic that people have created. Gardeners have been conditioned to think that leaves, twigs and pine needles on the soil surface are messy. Some people might argue about the esthetics of gardening styles, but there are a few things gardeners can do in the spring to allow these essential materials to remain in the garden in a visually agreeable way. </p><p>When cutting back perennials, chop up perennial stalks into smaller bits and scatter the material evenly in the garden. Leave cut-back perennial stalks a few centimetres long to provide habitat for native bees and other beneficial wildlifes. Redistribute leaves so that chunkier pieces are in the back of the garden or hidden under larger shrubs. Move the finer textured materials to the front of the beds and into the higher profile areas. Keep the texture of the surface debris consistent for a uniform look. A good trick for accomplishing this is to lightly dress the whole bed with a sprinkling of compost or fine, partially decomposed leaves. Using these materials will provide a uniform, dark colour.</p> <br> <h5> <strong><img alt="Spring Pruning" src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/Article5Pruning.jpg" style="margin:5px;vertical-align:auto;float:right;" />Spring Pruning</strong></h5><p>Pruning is sometimes undertaken in spring, before plant growth commences. Done correctly, pruning at this time can modify growth and encourage flowers and fruiting of some plants. Done incorrectly, spring pruning can result in an undesirable growth response, and flowers and fruit can be lost.</p><p>Before any pruning operation, you need to consider whether there is a good reason for pruning, and what season is most appropriate for the given task. Reasons for pruning include modifying growth (hedge pruning), promoting flowers or fruit (spur pruning fruit trees), maintaining health and vigor (thinning old canes from suckering shrubs), and size control. Plants that are best pruned in spring include: roses, hydrangeas, lavender and sage. For suckering shrubs that flower in spring, such as forsythia, it is best to wait until after flowering before removing old stems. </p><p>For spring pruning, it is important to understand the annual growth cycle of woody plants. Generally, woody plants grow in the spring and tend to produce flower buds in the summer. Some plants, such as roses, flower on new wood and produce flower buds that open right away. Other plants, such as rhododendrons and camellias, flower on old wood and produce flower buds in the summer that do not open until the following spring. Make sure that if you are pruning in the spring that you do not cut off the flower buds on plants that flower on old wood – otherwise you will have to wait another year for beautiful blossoms.</p><p>Plants often outgrow their intended location and this is why gardeners are faced with having to make undesirable pruning cuts to control size. This often results in a vigorous growth response that spoils the natural beauty of a plant. Pruning shrubs and trees for size control is nearly always better carried out in early summer (after spring growth has finished), but often a better long term solution to this problem is to move plants in to a new and more appropriate location. </p><br> <h5> <strong>Planting and Transplanting</strong></h5><p><img alt="Planting and Transplant" src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/Article5Seedlings.jpg" style="margin:5px;vertical-align:auto;float:left;" />Planting in the spring is the most exciting activity for gardeners. In the Metro Vancouver region, the transition from winter to spring is usually, so spring planting can happen over a long period. It is important to understand the differences in weather conditions throughout the spring and how this relates to the life cycles of plants that we like to grow.</p><p>Most perennial plants, woody and herbaceous, can be planted successfully in Metro Vancouver between the months of September and June as long as the soil isn’t frozen or saturated. For larger woody plants, it is best not to plant too late in the spring. If large plants are not established before the heat of summer, they will require more water and suffer more from heat stress. Plant larger plants earlier in the spring or better yet, in the fall. This provides a good jump start on plant establishment.</p><p>Many perennial plants can also be moved during this period as well. It is best to stop transplanting large perennial material before April so that the emergent foliage is not stressed from the root disruption that happens when transplanting. For larger woody plants, dig a root ball that is big enough to support the plant but small enough to physically handle so that it can actually be moved. Knowing how big to dig requires experience and intuition but there are some guidelines that can be helpful. Dig a circular trench out from the centre of the plant that is 15 cm in radius for every 2.5 cm of stem diameter. For example, if you’re moving a tree that has a stem 5cm thick, you need to dig a trench 30 cm out from the centre of the plant. After a doughnut shaped trench has been dug, chip away at the soil underneath the ball so that the ball is sitting on a narrow pedestal of soil. At some point, the ball can be pushed gently and the last remaining roots will separate. This makes a very satisfying ripping sound. Use a tarp underneath the ball to lift the plant and move it to its new location. </p><p>When planting annual plants, including vegetable food crops, it is important to understand the difference between warm-season and cool-season plants. Warm-season plants tend to be grown for their fruits. This group includes tomatoes, cucumbers, squashes and corn. It is usually necessary to wait until the end of May or the beginning of June to plant warm-season plants. Ideally, nighttime low temperatures should not fall below about 12 C and the soil should consistently warm up to 20 C in the day before planting warm-season crops. Soil thermometers are a great tool but you can also use your intuition as well. For example, a well-seasoned gardener will know that it is time to plant warm season crops when they put their hands in the soil and feel that it is warm. It is always a great feeling after a winter of cold and wet soils. </p><p>Cool-season crops tend to be plants that are grown for their edible leaves, such as lettuce, spinach, mustard, arugula and kale. These leafy greens can be planted as early as March. Many cool season plants will “bolt” and start flowering when the weather warms up in late spring and summer. This is not desirable for producing greens for eating as the leaves then become small and bitter.</p><p>Directly seeding vegetables is not only satisfying and inexpensive, but seed-grown plants produce better root systems and become better established in the garden. Cool-season greens, radishes and peas can be sown in March. In April, carrots, beets, broccoli, bush- and pole-beans, and turnips can be directly sown. It does not matter how many years you have been gardening, watching seeds germinate is always a magical experience. </p> <br> <h5> <strong>Forget About Fertilizer</strong></h5><p><img alt="Mulching" src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/Article5Mulching.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:350px;vertical-align:auto;float:left;" />It is a human tendency to believe that everything in this world needs to be managed. The secret to being efficient is to set up the garden so that natural systems can be used to good advantage. That way, the garden mostly takes care of itself. This principle can be employed when considering plant nutrition. When growing plants in soil, it’s better to rely on the natural processes that maintain healthy nutrient-rich soils. Instead of applying synthetic fertilizers, use composts and mulches to replenish nutrients that are lost through harvesting plants. Remove as little material from beds as possible by allowing roots to decompose in the soil and distributing other plant debris with the mulch on the bed surface. </p> <br> <h5> <strong>Work Smart, Not Hard</strong></h5><p>If you aren't careful, misguided gardening can actually create more work for you later. On one hand, you might be irrigating, cultivating and fertilizing to keep the garden alive, but those same tasks are stimulating weeds and excessive plant growth that needs to be managed. Hard work in the garden is rewarding, but as much as possible, a gardener can save time by embracing harmonious, ecologically balanced systems that create less work in the garden. Rather than constantly fighting the will of nature, a little understanding can go a long way when making gardening decisions. Setting up a garden so that natural systems are working for you is pure gardening joy. Good luck and enjoy the spring!</p> </div>Egan Davis, Principal Instructor (UBC Botanical Garden)2018-03-29T07:00:00Z
Spring Into Action: 6 Top Tips for Spring Gardening 4Spring Into Action: 6 Top Tips for Spring Gardening Into Action: 6 Top Tips for Spring Gardening <div class="ExternalClass4037F0B59F7C42CA80DC1CE76AB40774"><p>​<img alt="Spring Gardening" src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/Article4Spring.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:400px;vertical-align:auto;float:right;" />Spring is the busiest time of year for gardeners with a seemingly never-ending list of tasks. Is there ever enough time to get everything done? UBC Botanical Garden’s Egan Davis is here to help! Read his eco-friendly tips to save you time and help you get the most enjoyment out of gardening. <a href="/resources/news/details/5">Click through to the full article</a> for more detail on any of these tips. </p><ol><li> <strong>Stop the Spring Clean-up</strong><br>Gardens do not have to be clean! Fallen leaves and other plant debris are best left so they can break down, providing nutrients for plants.</li><li> <strong>Wasting Time with Weeds</strong><br>Weeding creates disturbance in the soil which results in more weeds. Break this cycle by understanding the enemy. Minimizing disturbance to the soil and covering bare soil with plants or mulch will help keep weeds at bay.</li><li> <strong>Spring Pruning</strong><br>Before you prune anything, you should know why you are pruning or you could inadvertently damage the plant. Are you controlling size? Promoting flowers or fruit? Maintaining health and strong growth? Plants like Rhododendrons produce flower buds in the summer that don’t open until the following spring – known as flowering on ‘old wood’. If you prune these shrubs or trees in spring, you need to be careful not to cut off any flower buds or you’ll be waiting another year for beautiful blossoms.</li><li> <strong>Planting and Transplanting</strong><br>Most perennial plants, woody and herbaceous, can be planted successfully in Metro Vancouver between the months of September and June as long as the soil isn’t frozen or saturated. For larger woody plants, it is best not to plant too late in the spring. Many perennial plants can also be moved during this period as well. Typically, it is best to stop transplanting large perennial material before April. When planting annual plants, including vegetable food crops, timing depends on whether it’s a warm- or cool-season plant. Cool-season plants (lettuce, spinach and kale, for example) can be planted as early as March. For warm-season plants (such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and squashes), you’ll need to wait until at least the end of May before the soil has warmed up sufficiently. </li><li> <strong>Forget About Fertilizer </strong> <br>When growing plants in native soil, it’s better to rely on natural processes to maintain healthy nutrient-rich soils rather than buying fertilizer. Use composts and mulches to replenish nutrients lost through harvesting plants. Remove as little material as possible from beds by allowing roots to decompose in the soil and distributing other plant debris with the mulch on the bed surface.</li><li> <strong></strong><strong>Work Smart, Not Hard</strong><br>Hard work in the garden is rewarding, but gardeners can save time by embracing ecologically balanced systems that create less work. Setting up a garden so that natural systems are working for you is pure gardening joy. Good luck and enjoy the spring!</li></ol><p> <img alt="Spring Flowers" src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/Article4Flower.jpg" style="margin:5px;vertical-align:auto;float:left;" /> </p> <br style="clear:both;"> </div>Egan Davis, Principal Instructor (UBC Botanical Garden)2018-03-29T07:00:00Z
Your Guide to Fall Gardening2Your Guide to Fall Gardening Guide to Fall Gardening<div class="ExternalClass3C66C24323E245C5ACFEEAB1AC75CE4D"><p>Every year, fall rolls around with its brown-leaved, sweater-wearing familiarity, and, with it, gardening enthusiasts new and old prepare for a season of pruning, cleaning, and planting. </p><p>Common wisdom often tells you to cut flower stalks regularly, meticulously prune every tree, and freely use chicken manure as mulch. You’d be surprised, however, that following these methods can severely harm your plants and would have horticulture experts shaking their heads! </p><p>So what are the best fall gardening techniques to follow? We’ve got the scoop courtesy of Egan Davis, Principal Instructor at UBC Botanical Garden’s Horticulture Training Program: read on for how to truly make the most of your garden in the fall, improve its effect on the environment around it, and make it friendlier to the animal life that calls it home.</p><h5> <strong>Instead of Cleaning Up, Put Your Feet Up</strong></h5><p> <img alt="Put your feet up" src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/PutYourFeetUp.jpg" style="width:316px;margin-right:15px;vertical-align:auto;float:left;" /> Conventional fall cleaning conflicts with ideal sustainable gardening practices and outcomes, mainly because it hampers natural nutrient cycling processes, which are necessary for healthy soil. Skipping your fall clean-up helps recycle nutrients, aids in adding carbon back into the soil, protects soil from the damaging effects of rain and sun, and contributes to creating habitats for insects, worms, micro-organisms, and birds. Having an exceptionally tidy garden with bare soil will also stimulate weed growth, damage the soil surface through erosion and drying, and encourage pests and disease through a less diverse garden ecosystem. Exposed soil can also result in plant stress because of lost nutrients and exposed roots.</p><h5> <strong>Leaves: Pile ‘Em Up!</strong></h5><p> <img alt="leaves" src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/Leaves.jpg" style="width:350px;height:264px;margin-left:15px;vertical-align:auto;float:right;" />Fall leaves become an issue for most gardens as they pile up and retain moisture. It’s not always suitable to leave them alone—blow them around and move them under shrubs, to the back of the garden, to compost, or add them to rot in a leaf mould pile.       </p><p><strong>TIP:</strong> ‘Mulch’ – material such as bark or leaves – can be spread around a plant to enrich or insulate the soil. Fall leaves can be used as mulch, but be sure to mix different materials (like different kinds of leaves or leaves with chopped flower stalks or twigs) to maintain plenty of air in the mix. </p><h5> <strong>Seeds & Flowers: Let ‘Em Grow!</strong></h5><p>Seed heads and flower stalks should not be cut until spring, or for as long as you can tolerate them. This is because seeds provide food for certain kinds of birds, and flower stalks can be a safe environment for ground birds like juncos and spotted towhees. The remaining plant debris is also useful to birds for nest-building. On the ground, this material reduces opportunities for weed growth, as well as providing raw material for mulch after decaying during the winter.</p><h5> <strong>To Prune or Not to Prune?</strong></h5><p>If you’re in the south west of British Columbia, avoid pruning completely in the fall. The warm and wet fall season creates the perfect conditions for the transmission of plant diseases, and pruning cuts are wounds that provide opportunity for infection. Some plants are particularly susceptible, such as cherry trees and Japanese maples. For some plants like lavender, rosemary, and fuchsia, newly exposed branches from fall-pruning can be damaged by cold exposure over the winter. Hedges are an exception; clip these to your heart’s content.</p><h5> <strong>Weeding Away</strong></h5><p>During the cool season, annual weeds (like snapweed and chickweed) are active in milder coastal climates like the Metro Vancouver region. Cover the soil around plants with mulch to supress them.<br> </p><h5> <strong>Nutrition & Fertilizers 101</strong></h5><p>Never use fertilizers in the fall, as they can stimulate soft growth that will burn in the cold, as well as contaminate ground water. Note that like synthetic fertilizers, high salt content of animal manures can leach over the winter with the rain (and also burn tender growth if applied fresh in the spring. Lime is recommended in the fall for lawns and plants that prefer less acidic soil. Check online to find out about your plants soil pH preference.</p><p><strong>TIP: </strong>Dolomite lime requires a lot of water to dissolve and affect soil pH—rain from the fall to spring should be enough, but make sure to scratch the lime well into the soil.</p><h5> <strong>A Great Season for Planting: Fall</strong></h5><p>Fall is a great time to plant (and transplant) trees, shrubs, bulbs, cover crops and herbaceous perennials. The soil is warm in September and October, and the rain in fall and winter settles out soil and air pockets created by planting. Plants get established before the next year, lessening a new planting’s dependence on spring and summer irrigation. Exceptions include plants that may not establish and harden off in time for the winter cold; these are likely to become stressed and die. </p><h5> <strong>Every Crop at its Time</strong></h5><p>Vegetable gardens are a staple of home and community gardens. Who doesn’t cherish picking up newly grown, fresh tomatoes and strawberries? <br> <br>Here are some tips to make the most of your patch of fruits & veggies:</p><ul><li>Sow winter cover crops (such as winter rye) in the fall. Turn the crop into the soil in soil in spring </li><li>Mulch beds with composts or manures: they protect soil, suppress cool season weed growth, and contribute to carbon and nutrient cycling.</li><li>Leave crop residue from last year and allow material to decompose on site. This aids nutrient cycling, and improve soil structure.</li><li>When it comes to direct-sow planting, arugula, corn salad (mâche), scallions, radish, and lettuce and soy beans (under a crop cover) are great in September, and broad beans and radish (if warm, otherwise under a crop cover) in October. Garlic should be planted anytime between late September to early November.</li></ul><h5> <strong>Keep an Eye on Containers</strong></h5><p>Don’t forget to check containers for water through the fall and winter—many plants in containers die from lack of water in winter if they are kept under overhanging balconies, decks, and other coverings. Also, be prepared to move or protect plants if the temperature gets very cold, and huddle plants together in small containers for insulation. </p><p><strong>TIP:</strong> Be sure that containers are not sitting in water: allow for drainage (3mm is enough) using 25mm tiles as spacers.</p><h5> <strong>Grow Your Own Winter Wonderland</strong></h5><p>Garden stores across Metro Vancouver, including the Shop & Garden Centre at UBC Botanical Garden, usually have plants for winter interest from mid-fall onwards. Have fun with them as you create your own winter garden—what about a winter-themed container or hanging basket?</p></div>Egan Davis, Principal Instructor (UBC Botanical Garden), with Matias Taylor, Marketing Assistant (UBC Botanical Garden)growgreen@metrovancouver.org2017-10-26T07:00:00Z
Applefest3Applefest<div class="ExternalClass8D4F489B1F574C4DAB439A40318A94C2"><p>​<img alt="Applefest" src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/Applefest.jpg" style="width:318px;height:295px;margin-right:15px;vertical-align:auto;float:left;" />Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We hope you enjoyed the long weekend with some great food and company. </p><p>We wanted to let you know that next weekend (October 14th and 15th), our Grow Green teammates at UBC Botanical Garden are hosting their 26th annual Apple Festival.</p><p>The event will kick off at 11AM each day and will run until 4PM. There will be fun family activities, music, crafts, food, and contests. A variety of apples and apple trees will also be for sale. Admission to this fundraising event is $5 for adults (free for children under 12), and all proceeds go to support UBC Botanical Garden. </p><p>In celebration of Applefest, the Grow Green team has created a special apple tree garden design called "<a href="/plans/applefest">Applefest</a>"! </p><p>More information about <a href="" target="_blank">UBC Botanical Garden’s Apple Festival</a>.</p></div>Grow Greengrowgreen@metrovancouver.org2017-10-11T07:00:00Z
Welcome to Grow Green – your FREE online guide to eco-friendly lawns and gardens in Metro Vancouver1Welcome to Grow Green – your FREE online guide to eco-friendly lawns and gardens in Metro Vancouver to Grow Green – your FREE online guide to eco-friendly lawns and gardens in Metro Vancouver<div class="ExternalClass4D5636ECA1BB44CB8AF4B3477565DC68"><p class="ExternalClass8EBA668FC58F45229C236F65615164F6"> <img src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/ConeFlower.jpg" alt="" style="margin-left:15px;float:right;" />The Grow Green team (a collaboration between Metro Vancouver and UBC Botanical Garden) would like to let you know about some fresh new content that is headed your way in 2018 and tell you what we have been up to in 2017. ​​</p><h5 class="ExternalClass8EBA668FC58F45229C236F65615164F6"> <strong>Fresh Content! </strong></h5><p class="ExternalClass8EBA668FC58F45229C236F65615164F6">We are thrilled to announce the addition of our new ’Green Thumb News’ section on Grow Green!</p><p class="ExternalClass8EBA668FC58F45229C236F65615164F6">In this section, we will provide practical, simple advice from the experts on the most popular and contemporary gardening topics. Look out for our first article coming soon, which will provide you with timely advice on what to do (or not to do!) with your garden during the fall season. Starting in early 2018 you will see regular articles to help you with next season’s gardening adventure, such as tackling garden pests without nasty chemicals, and making your garden a pollinator paradise. </p><p class="ExternalClass8EBA668FC58F45229C236F65615164F6">Want to know when new articles are posted? Join our mailing list to receive article notifications and other Grow Green updates. We promise to send you only the important stuff!</p><h5 class="ExternalClass8EBA668FC58F45229C236F65615164F6"> <strong>Our Story </strong></h5><p class="ExternalClass8EBA668FC58F45229C236F65615164F6"> <strong>What is Grow Green?</strong></p><p class="ExternalClass8EBA668FC58F45229C236F65615164F6">Have you always wanted to start a garden, but felt completely overwhelmed with options and not sure where to start? Are you an experienced green thumb looking for new ideas or ways to grow while make a positive impact on your local environment? </p><p class="ExternalClass8EBA668FC58F45229C236F65615164F6">Whether you are a beginner or an experienced gardener, Grow Green is an excellent resource to help you with whatever your gardening adventure may be. This web-based tool not only helps you decide what non-invasive plants would grow best in the unique growing conditions of your garden space, but it also provides a variety of garden designs to help you plant a stunning garden. The best part? You can take a quick quiz that will highlight the plants and designs that best suit your growing conditions, space constraints, and garden preferences! </p><h5 class="ExternalClass8EBA668FC58F45229C236F65615164F6"> <strong>Grow Green in 2017</strong></h5><p class="ExternalClass8EBA668FC58F45229C236F65615164F6"> Grow Green launched in 2016 and has since helped thousands of people to create beautiful, sustainable gardens and lawns – in fact, between April and August of 2017, over 7,000 people visited Grow Green for gardening inspiration! Of the visitors coming to our site, the majority (75%) are new visitors which tells us that word is spreading and more and more people are coming to look at sustainable lawn and garden designs. A big thank to you to our Grow Green supporters who helped spread the word this past season, with over 500 of you sharing links to Grow Green via your Facebook and Twitter accounts! </p><h5 class="ExternalClass8EBA668FC58F45229C236F65615164F6"> <strong>Plants and Designs for Every Garden</strong></h5><p class="ExternalClass8EBA668FC58F45229C236F65615164F6">A year after we launched Grow Green, we looked at user feedback and assessed how people have been engaging with the website. Based on this information, we developed a variety of fresh content covering topics like small space gardening, growing food, and supporting pollinators and native plants. With your help and feedback, we now have 110 garden and container plans, 6 lawn alternatives and a searchable database of over 350 plants!</p><h5 class="ExternalClass8EBA668FC58F45229C236F65615164F6"> <strong>Grow Green in the Region</strong></h5><p class="ExternalClass8EBA668FC58F45229C236F65615164F6"> <img alt="UBC Demo Garden" src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/GGDemoGarden.JPG" style="width:244px;margin-right:15px;vertical-align:auto;float:left;" />In 2017, UBC Botanical Garden launched the Grow Green demonstration garden where they have brought to life 5 of the most popular garden designs. Come visit UBC Botanical Garden to explore the Grow Green Garden through a self-guided walk, or guided tour! </p><p class="ExternalClass8EBA668FC58F45229C236F65615164F6"> </p> <br style="clear:both;"> <p class="ExternalClass8EBA668FC58F45229C236F65615164F6">The Grow Green team has also been actively promoting the Grow Green guide at a variety of events across the region. Did you see us?</p><div class="ExternalClass8EBA668FC58F45229C236F65615164F6"><ul><li>Growing Green in Metro Vancouver (March 4, 2017) – a forum aimed at professionals from industry, government, and academia to discuss hot topics in sustainable horticulture </li><li>City of Vancouver Tree Sale (September 17, 2017) </li><li>PNE Ag in the City (September 2017) – talked about eco-friendly gardening and gave away our infamous seed paper (paper that you can plant to grow wildflowers!)<br><img alt="PNE" src="/resources/news/PublishingImages/PNE.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /></li></ul></div></div>Grow 2017-10-01T07:00:00Z

Metro Vancouver in collaboration with UBC Botanical Garden