Saturday April 14th

Started at 2:00 PM

Our first Meet-Up and Social of the 2018 season

was held on Saturday, April 14, 2018 under cool, cloudy skies. We lucked out with the rain holding off until early evening. Spring has been unusually cool and wet, which has made it hard for Agnes Street gardeners to get started on their garden preparation and planting.

Judy Aldridge, a long-time member of the Education team, sends her greetings to all Agnes gardeners. Unfortunately due to illness she has had to give up her plot. We will miss her invaluable contributions to the Gardens.

Wheelbarrow Kids

There was a short orientation at the beginning of our meet-up. Our Gardens are part of Saanich Parks. We have a lease from Saanich to operate the Gardens and have responsibilities to live up to the terms of the lease. Jan R., head of Garden Management, spoke about what's expected of all gardeners and the inspections she does periodically throughout the gardening season. Some key points: keep pathways mowed and your plot weed-free so weed seeds do not drift into your neighbours' plots. Jan does periodic inspections and gets in touch with gardeners who need to smarten up their plots. This is a big job, so if you want to volunteer with the inspections, get in touch with Jan. Currently we have 60+ people on the Wait List, so it's incumbent on all members to have their plot under cultivation by May 15th.

Agnes Street Gardens is run entirely by volunteers. Each member is expected to volunteer in some way. Find something you'd like to do on the task sheet on MEMBERS PAGE above and then get in touch with one of the Executive members. We'd love to have you!

There was no formal seed exchange at this session because most of the seeds in the blue, plastic tote were disposed because they were too old. However, there are a few packets left and some gardeners brought some seed potatoes and Jerusalem artichokes. The seeds are housed in the wooden shed where the lawn mowers and garden tools are kept. Gardeners are urged to donate any excess seeds they have on hand. Also, Diane Whitehead (plot 77) has a vast collection of tomato seeds. Her list is on this website under GREAT LINKS above. The first line under "Seeds and Accessories" has a link to a list of Diane's Tomato Seeds. Get in touch with Diane if you want to try some of her tomato varieties.

Give Away Plants

Road access to the garden plots has now been restricted by Saanich. White bollards have been installed at all road access points. Cathy W. spoke about how we are going to handle this. Gardeners that need access to their plots for dropping stuff off (or hauling great harvests home!) must make arrangements with either Cathy Wetton, Jan Redekop, or Dale Thayer who all have a key. Bottom line: no parking in the Gardens while you work.

We talked about getting started in the garden and tips for a successful garden. Right now it's hard to get going because of the excessive moisture and cold temperatures. It's important to check planting guidelines for individual crops you want to grow. A great resource is Westcoast Seeds. See their How to Grow Guides (westcoastseeds.com/grow-guides/) and also the Garden Wisdom Blog (westcoastseeds.com/garden-wisdom/). Also, another invaluable resource is Linda Gilkeson of Salt Spring Island. You can subscribe to Lindaslist" mailing list by sending her an email to (lindaslist-request@lists.resist.ca). Past emails can be accessed at (http://www.lindagilkeson.ca/gardening_tips.html)

Great Treats

Gardeners were urged to explore our terrific website. Here you can find all sorts of info. including book reviews of gardening-related books at the Greater Victoria Public Library, advice, tips and much more. Thanks to Jan who has created this website.

There was a draw for several garden-related items. Vera, one of our youngest gardeners (daughter of Chloe F.) won a geranium. Also, Nancy W. donated a lot of tomato plants. She also brought hot tea. Thank you.

Last but not least, there were great treats. A special thanks to Carole, our resident baker on the Garden Education and Special Event Team, who brought her yummy rhubarb muffins and cookies. Thanks to everyone else who brought treats as well. Much appreciated by all.

Happy Gardening from Barbara, Nancy, Chloe, Carole, and Lucy

Garden Education and Special Event Team

  • Barbara Irwin (beirwin@shaw.ca)
  • Nancy Wood (n55wood@gmail.com)
  • Chloe Faught (chloe.faught@gmail.com)
  • Lucy Martin (lucy@voiceworksnorth.com)
  • Carole Wyatt (cawyatt45@gmail.com)