Bee in The Garden

Come to Bee in the Garden happening every Sunday from 1:30 (ish)  pm-3:30 pm at Spring Ridge Commons Corner of Chambers + Gladstone. Help out or  Enjoy Be(e)-ing  in the garden + On-site demos of food forest care techniques.  Enjoy tea from the garden harvested and prepared by Sean Newton.  Gloves and tool provided.  Everyone welcome to join us also for tea and conversation.  For more info, please contact Linda at springridgecommons@gmail.com or 250-380-6383

 

Bee in the Garden (plus work party activities during the weeks) included:

*  Creating a grape trellis

*  Moving soil to various areas of the Commons and creating some hugel beds

* Mulching dry areas with grass clippings to help retain moisture on site

* Removing unwanted trees

* Pruning trees and checking trees for pest and disease

* Fruit thinning to improve fruit quality

* Cutting down or removing invasive plants (fennel, spear and couch grass, nootka roses, oregon grape, morning glory and bind weed)

* Cutting down of Fennel Forest on boulevard + Creation of signs to encourage people to harvest fennel

* Potluck in the Commons – June 12th

* Creating Art in the Central Meeting Area

* Plantings – Much gratitude to Mason Street Farm and Garden Works for donations of flats of plants.

* Installation of Arch at entrance way to the Commons on Chambers Street

* Cleaning up the eastern fence line; weeding, laying cardboard & mulching

* Weeding and watering of the Commons

* Digging out and removing stumps

 

painting signs for plants in the Commons  Sign for Cardoon   Sign to encourage people to water plants

Painting Signs    

                                     

Bee in the Garden – May 1st

A lot of activity in the Commons today …. planting of herbs and other seedlings in the Commons by Celine (who donated some plants to the Commons) and Sean;  while Kirsten worked at  fruit thinning to improve fruit quality, Jorden, his girlfriends and other persons placed grass clippings around the broad beans, Stephanie and Sean planted a grape vine (and envisioned a grape trellis) and Linda weeded around the Commons.  A lovely tea made from herbs and plants in the garden harvested and prepared by Sean was enjoyed by all who visited the garden.

Bee in the Garden – April 24th

A beautiful day in the Commons…..Kirsten placed wood chips on pathways in the Commons while Linda and Mary weeded in the garden and Sean and Stephanie worked at coppicing  large willow.  Later we were joined by Karen as we stopped for a tea and conversation.  Others who were in the garden also enjoyed tea made from herbs and plants from the garden prepared by Sean.

 

Garry Oak Meadow 1

Bee in the Garden  – April 17th

There were some volunteers assisting Stephanie with pruning and grafting….  Stephanie coppiced some willow for Sean to continue his work on the willow nest protecting the camas in the Garry Oak Meadow …. Adam worked at weeding the Native Plant Garden…..

There were also people joining in for tea and conversation in the garden…..

Grafting the apple tree  Grafting of apple tree

Sean installing fence post Sean installing fence post

Adam and Linda                                                                                        Adam and Linda chatting about Native Plant Garden

 

Bee in the Garden – April 10th

Bee in the Garden was great! Thank you to everyone who participated in continually making Spring Ridge Commons an amazing place!

Tayler’s class came out for hands on-learning and helped coppice willows and used the branches to make a protective fence around the Garry Oak meadow. We also transplanted the large Pear Tree from the north side further into the forest where it will thrive better!

SRC Tayler 1 SRC Tayler 2 SRC Tayler 3   SRC Tayler 6

A new driftwood bench came to the Commons on Sunday afternoon.  Thanks to  Thanks to Pat Hennebery who built it!

Linda and Stephanie enjoying new bench

Bee in the Garden – April 3rd

At Bee in the Garden on April 3rd, Sean prepared an area in the east section of the Commons and planted kale seedlings that Mason Street City Farm  donated to Spring Ridge Commons while Linda weeded in the herb spiral and pulled out cleavers in the Bee Garden.  Stephanie worked at protecting the pear tree which was near our receiving area, did some on-site pruning and also grafted an apple tree by the Gladstone Street entrance;  Sean also assisted Stephanie with some grafting and on-site pruning and assisted Linda with moving some herbaceous plants to other locations in the Commons.  Some people visiting the garden enjoyed tea made from herbs in the garden made by Sean.

Bee in the Garden – March 27th

At Bee in the Garden on March 27th, Stephanie taught Sean and Linda how to graft and Sean had a try at grafting;  Stephanie grafted (with Sean’s assistance) a new variety of apple, called Blenheim Orange onto the two existing apple trees. We also added some Shipova grafts onto the Pear trees.  Sean also planted some lettuce seedling plants (donated by Mason Street City Farm) with the assistance of Love while Linda did some weeding in the Herb spiral.   Some people joined us for tea and conversation in the garden.

 

Sean trying his hand at grafting Sean having a try at grafting

Apple graft  ‘Whip n tongue’ apple graft

 

Bee in the Garden – March 20th

At Bee in the Garden on March 20th, Sean processed tree branches and garden waste while Stephanie pruned trees.   Stopping for tea and conversation were Jeremy, Linda and Mikael.

Bee in the Garden

Bee in the Garden – March 13th 

At Bee in the Garden on March 13th, James and Linda placed wood chips on the main pathway through the Commons while Stephanie pruned trees, Sean processed tree branches and garden waste and Mikael worked on our on-site tool/wheel barrow storage bins.

We enjoyed a delicious tea with herbs and plants harvested by Sean.

Wood Chipping 1 Wood Chipping 2

Wood chipping of main pathway in Commons by James and Linda

 

Bee in the Garden – March 6th

At Bee in the Garden on March 6th, one of our focusses was on the Garry Oak Meadow + Native Plant Garden and this was  led by Adam Huggins, Spring Ridge Commons’ Garry Oak Meadow and Native Plant Steward, who also works at Saanich Native Plants and is studying ecological restoration through UVic.    Assisting Adam were Rob, Jordan, Richard and Linda + another person from Adam’s class.

In the Garry Oak Meadow,  we did some weeding in the meadow before planting shooting stars.  Garry oak leaves were also placed  around the camas growing in the meadow and some leaf mulch placed on the perimeter of the meadow during the week.  At a later time  a short fence will be created to protect the garry oak meadow ecosystem. 

In the Native Plant Gardens, we  weeded, dug out and moved bulbous and non-native plants.  We  planted native plants – native strawberry plants, stone crop sedums, licorice fern, division and planting of fescue grasses, yerba buena, yarrow,   (nursery plants from Saanich Native Plants, salvaged plants, and plants currently in other locations in the Commons)  and then applied  leaf mulch.

In other areas of the Commons, Stephanie assisted by two other people pruned trees around the Commons.  Sean and Richard did some weeding.  Rejean entertained us with his guitar as we worked.  Native Plant Garden sign, Camas sign and Nettles sign created by Sean Newton were also placed in the Commons on Sunday afternoon.

Bee in the Garden – Feb 28th

Linda planted sedum in the garden while Stephanie prune some fruit trees.  Sean harvested herbs for our tea and later Stephanie talked and showed us how to prune and harvest black bamboo.

Bee in the Garden – Feb 21st

At Bee in the Garden on Sunday, Feb 21st,  Sean, Stephanie and Linda moved soil to garden debris processing area.  Stephanie and another volunteer also pruned the Pacific Ninebark shrub.    A few people joined us for  tea and conversation.

Bee in the Garden – Feb 14th

Josh and Stephanie pruned the damson plum tree.   Sean harvested herbs for our weekly tea.  Sean and  Linda  weeded in the Garry Oak Meadow.     A few people joined us for tea and conversation.

Bee in the Garden – Feb 7th

Sean and Jamie worked at moving the garden debris in the north east section of the commons (where Mikael, Morgan and Sean had dug a ditch along the garage wall) and spread out the remaining soil in this area while Linda weeded in the bee garden.  Stephanie and few other people joined us for tea and conversation.

Bee in the Garden – Jan 31st

Linda weeded a bit in the herb spiral.  It was a rainy afternoon so Linda and Sean had a cup of tea and packed it in for the day.

Bee in the Garden – Jan 24th

Sean continued to weed the nettles patch and helped Linda move the miner’s lettuce to another bed in the Commons.  Liam + friend also helped weed a couple of beds in the Commons.

 

Bee in the Garden – Jan 17th

Sean weeded in the nettles patch, Linda weeded in the Garry Oak Meadow and Adam weeded in one of the Native Plant Garden beds.  Adam also donated two walking stick kale plants and planted these in the garden.

 

Sean and Linda continued our efforts to take out the grass in the Garry Oak Meadow and sheet-mulch  pathways with cardboard and place christmas tree chippings on top of the cardboard.Saving Bees

Bee in the Garden – Jan 3rd

At Bee in the Garden,  Sean took the boulders out of the Garry Oak Meadow.  Temporary measure so that we can more easily get at the grass.  (During the week, Mikael worked at getting rid of the grass in this meadow while Linda placed newspaper or cardboard on the perimeters of this bed and replaced the boulders).   The Commons received a load of Christmas Tree Chipping –  Much gratitude to Douglas and Bartlett Tree Services.  Fiona, Linda and Mikael placed these wood chips in the bed with the willow trees and also one of the main pathways in the Commons.    Join us for tea and conversation. Tools and gloves will also be available for people who would like to help out in the garden.  http://springridge.rd123.ca/?p=894

Bee in the Garden – Dec 27th

At Bee in the Garden on  Dec 27th, Linda, Sean and Tristan did sheet mulching and weeding  in the southeast corner of the Commons

Bee in the Garden - Work needed    North west corner

On Dec 20th from 11:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., there was  a Work Party with Brent Howard, Professional Landscaper.   Work was done along the perimeters of the Commons along Gladstone Avenue and in the south area of the commons.

Community Mural          North East Section of Commons

Bee in the Garden - Work needed

On Dec 13th  work  continued in weeding out the nettle patch  and in other areas.

 

Donations to the garden would be greatly appreciated. Feel free to drop off a donation to Spring Ridge Commons – Community  GoFundMe Campaign   to Bee in the Garden.

Return back to this page each week for activities planned for Bee in The Garden on Sunday afternoons.  We welcome volunteers at Spring Ridge Commons  at other times during the week.  To volunteer, please email Linda at springridgecommons@gmail.com or call her at (250) 380-6383.

Bee in the Garden – Dec 6th

On Dec 6th from 11:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., there was  a Work Party with Brent Howard, Professional Landscaper.

Awesome job by high school students chipping pathways in the Commons! We also worked on perimeters along Gladstone Avenue and one of the entrances of the Commons.

Dec 6 Work Party with Brent Howard 1 Dec 6 Work Party with Brent Howard 2 Dec 6 work party with Brent Howard 3 Dec 6 Work Party with Brent Howard 4 Dec 6 Work Party with Brent Howard 5 Dec 6 Work Party with Brent Howard 6

 

Bee in the Garden – Nov 22nd + Nov 29th

Work continued on the community mural – a couple of eagles, flowers, ferns,  grass, blue heron and small baby bear added…..

Mural - Baby Bear

Weeding and tidying done  in and around  the central gathering area.

Bee in the Garden – Nov 15

Work was done in the north-east section of the garden, weeding along Chambers St., weeding and  pruning of rose bush in the centre of Commons and moving of cistern to another location in the garden.

Bee in the Garden – Nov 1 + 8

Work done in the north-east, east, bee garden and surrounding areas…….

Bee in the Garden – October 25th

Sean starting painting on the cistern – waterfalls, deer, small seal while Linda sheet mulched in the northeast section of the Commons.   Some people joined us for tea and banana bread in the garden.

Cistern 1Cistern 2Cistern 3

 

SRC Project 2

 

Bee in the Garden – October 18th 

Linda, Andrea and a friend of Andrea’s weeded the bee garden.

Bee in the Garden16

Love weeded and put lots of creative energy into the herb spiral:

Bee in the Garden 17      Bee in the Garden 18

Sean continued to work on the Community Mural:

Community Mural 3Community Mural 2

Linda interviewed Sean on his perspective of Spring Ridge Commons:  TBA

A few  people joined us for tea and conversation in the garden including Lawrie and Sharon.

Work Party – October 18th

On the morning of October 18th, before Bee in the Garden in the afternoon, there was a work party in the Commons with Cam Owens, a UVic Professor, his son Finn and students in his UVic Field class, Ginny, Megan, and Morgan who helped weed out beds in the Commons in preparation for Thursday afternoon’s planting of food bearing /native / bee-friendly plants and herbs and seeds * by about 25 George Jay Grade 4 students led by Holly Hobson, Purposeful Plants and assisted by Linda (Coordinator), Lisa (Grade 4 teacher) + a couple of other people who assisted Lisa with the kids.

UVic Field Students 1  UVic Field Students 3

UVic Field Students 4  UVic Field Students 5

 

UVic Field Students 6  UVic Field Student 8

*Donation of Food Bearing / Native / Bee Friendly Plants / Herbs by Holly Hobson, Purposeful Plants

* Donation of Arugula Seeds by Richard Lamb, More in My BackYard Inc.

* Donation of Tomatillo by Dawn Campbell, James Bay Allotment Garden

* Donation of Amaranth and Joe Pye Weed Seeds by Holly Hobson, Purposeful Plants

 

Bee in the Garden – October 11th

Sean worked on the Community Mural:

SRC Mural

Linda interviewed the following people on their perspectives of Spring Ridge Commons:

More info (including shared perspectives – scroll down):    http://springridge.rd123.ca/?p=1521

Bee in the Garden – Oct 4th

There was a multi-generational celebration of the Feast of St Francis of Assisi and a blessing of dogs and stuffed animals …..

The abbey, a Christian multi-generational worshipping community leads a sermon of St. Francis from “Fioretti” (Little Flowers). .. About 800 years ago, St. Francis preached to the birds, and they listened.

Abbey Church 1

Here’s the story: http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/Francis/stories.asp#bir

Blessing of dogs and stuffed animals…..

Abbey Church 2Abbey Church 3

The Abbey church, a brand new Christian worshipping community meets on Sundays at 4 p.m. in the Paul Phillips Hall. For more information, please visit:http://www.abbeychurch.ca/

 

Will playing his keytar in the Commons…..

Bee in the garden 14

 

Mikael relaxing on a bench in the Commons with Andrea weeding a bed in the background…..

Bee in the garden 15

We had a lot of people joining us for tea in the garden today…. Sean made a lovely tea from herbs and plants from the garden.

Nick and Linda looked over area of the Commons for future planting of veggies.  Happy to see Javan and his friend Steve who stopped by to visit the Commons.

Linda also interviewed Will and Carollyne for their perspective of Spring Ridge Commons.  It will be posted to:  http://springridge.rd123.ca/?p=1521 

 

Bee in the Garden –  Sept 27th,

Sean, Mikael, Andrea and  Lareina started work on the Community Mural…..

 

      SRC-MURAL1

 

SRC-FM16

 

Andrea did some weeding and grass pulling in and around the Bee Garden while Linda weeded the pathways in the Commons and placed down some wood chips.

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Bee in the Garden – Sept 20th

Today I went to the work party at Spring Ridge Commons I am so glad I went. It is really calming to work in a garden. I weeded the Bee Garden while listening to Rifflandia a block away and noticing all the little things you get to notice while gardening, the bees, the way light shines through leaves, the little plants trying to sprout up. I also had some good laughs with the other people who gathered there. There is so much of what I need right out my front door

– Andrea Macdonald

 

Bee in the Garden – Sept 13th

Puppets for Peace Parade marched by Spring Ridge Commons on Gladstone Avenue and also Chambers Street.  People stopped by and joined Sean, Mikael, Emma and Linda for tea in the garden.  Linda sheet mulched with newspaper a couple small secondary pathways in the Commons and place wood chips on top of it.  It was really nice to spend some time with Emma who is visiting briefly and will be returning to the Comox area tomorrow.  We  used some of the  sidewalk chalk on some of the centre area patio stones.

Solara Goldwynn and  Tayler Krawczyk introduced their Backyard Gardening Students to Spring Ridge Commons and gave them a bit of a tour of the garden.  While in the Garden, Tayler cut off the dead branches of the Elderberry Tree in the area by the cistern so that next year the tree will grow new branches.

Bee in the Garden – Sept 6th

Sean made really nice tea made from herbs and plants in the garden and a host mom and her two international student who will be attending  UVic  checked out the garden and stayed  for some tea and conversation.

Chris was working in the centre area of the Commons, removing the bricks and mulch + sand and prepping this area for paving stone which will be brought to the Commons the next day;  Nation chatted with Linda, Chris, and Sean and later when Mikael came to the Commons with a chess/checker board played chess with Sean.  A mom with her two young kids who recently moved nearby the Commons helped out in the Commons weeding the pathways and cutting down Oregon grape, mugwort, couch grass, etc. growing in the garden ; her husband later joined us in conversation and tea.

 

Bee in the Garden – Aug 30th:

BB6

Sean and Nation hanging out with tea 

BB5

Richard weeding the pathways in the Commons

 

Updated Photos of the Bee Garden .……. We weeded out the Bee Garden and added leaf mulch to the bed plus planted some native plants and bee friendly flowering plants and herbs.  UVic Daycare Summer Camp kids had also planted buckwheat and Ben Sinclair planted some buckwheat seeds which he arranged in a pattern with a peace sign in the centre.

SRC - Bee Garden

 

 

Spring Ridge Commons 11

Spring Ridge Commons would appreciate donations of drought -tolerant bee friendly for the Bee Garden (i.e. borage, nasturtium, lavender, mint, etc.).

http://www.buzzaboutbees.net/drought-plants.html

Please bring your donations of plants to Bee in the Garden on Sunday afternoon from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. or call Linda at 250-380-6383  or to springridgecommons@gmail.com

 

Hosts of Bee in the Garden Host of Bee in the Garden:  Sean Newton

Spring Ridge Commons is located at the Corner of Chamber Street and Gladstone Avenue (Fernwood, Victoria , BC)

Bee in the Garden on July 12th……

Bee in the Garden 6 Bee in the Garden 7 Bee in the Garden 8 Bee in the Garden 9

Bee in the Garden on July 5th…..

Will Smith and Friends have a jam session……

Bee in the Garden Photo 1

Connie creates art on cardboard using chalk and later waters in the Commons…..

Bee in the Garden Photo 2 Bee in the Garden Photo 3

 

Joining us for Bee in the Garden on June 27th –  Jacob, Connie, Ross, Lisa and a few other people ….. Sean made us a lovely tea from herbs and plants in the garden…. Linda cut down plant growth in the Native Plant Garden while others had a lively conversation.

Bee in the Garden at Spring Ridge Commons on June 21st was very warm – too warm to really work in the garden.   Linda did cut down some plant growth while Sean harvested herbs and plants for our tea for the day.  Afternoon was spent talking to people and tea drinking in the Commons.  Joining us for tea and conversation were Terry, Kin, Anne, Phillip and his friend,  Ann and others passing through the Commons.

At Bee in the Garden at Spring Ridge Commons on June 14th, Linda worked in the Native Plant Garden and Andrea worked in the Nettle Patch while Sean and Edie  applied additional leaf mulch in the Native Plant Garden.   A few people joined us for tea in the garden and we were very happy that Rejean entertained us with his singing and his guitar playing.

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At Bee in the Garden on June 7th it was really warm in the Commons.  Will Fortune entertained us with his keyboard guitar while Carolyn filmed him,  Sean foraged for herbs for our tea, uncovered the small apple tree of wood chips and did some watering while Linda and Andrea worked clearing brush in the Native Plant Garden.  There were also a few people walking through the Commons on their way to other activities in Fernwood.

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Host of the day on May 31st was Anne Hoban who had gloves and tools on hand for volunteers to help out in the garden – unfortunately no one showed up to volunteer during this time (1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.)

From 3 p.m. onward, there was pruning and trimming of overgrowth in the Commons.  This was directed by Organic farmer Sol Kinnis  who was on hand to offer tips on how to approach an overgrown garden and use the right tools to your advantage.   Volunteers at this work party were Sol (work party leader) , Charles, Leslie, Linda and Richard.   There was also a water strategy meeting at 5 p.m. in the Commons attended by Sol, Jason, Linda, Charles and Richard.

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Bee in the Garden on May 24th – Sean, Ashley, Andrew and Jeffrey worked on cutting back and digging out fennel in the garden and a few others joined them for tea and conversation in the garden.

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Bee in the Garden on  May 17th – Sean watered while Linda worked at chop and dropping miner’s lettuce from under the willow tree and placing this in another close-by bed.  There were quite a few people going through the Commons and stopping by for tea and conversation.

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Bee in the Garden on May 10th (Mother’s Day) was relatively quiet in the Commons with Sean and Andrea working at taking out the spear grass growing in the Garry Oak Meadow and tea in garden with Samuel and Rise.

Garry Oak Meadow

At Bee in the Garden on May 3rd,  Ashley, JJ, Richard, Jayne and Linda pulled out spear grass and other invasive plants that were growing around in the Commons while Sean was working in the north section of the Commons processing a heap of plant materials that were sitting from last year’s weedings/prunings.  Jacob and Barbara (stopped by with the kids she babysits on her bike) joined us for tea made from herbs and plants from the garden.

What is spear grass?  Wild grasses with barbed seeds are generically known as “spear grass”, and there are many species of this potentially dangerous plant in our area. Common names include needle grass, foxtail grass, silver spike grass, and porcupine grass. The barbs are the problem, and while they are a clever means of distributing plant seeds, they can cause big problems for our pets.  The seeds can easily work their way into feet, eyes, ears, noses, and bellies, and the barbs make extraction very difficult. Once a seed has lodged itself, their design causes them to move forward, frequently piercing the skin causing great pain and potential infection. If not treated, they can be life threatening.

Spear Grass

At Spring Ridge Commons, efforts will be to pull spear grass by its root and to place it in a plastic garden bag which is later picked up City of Victoria Parks.

It was relatively quiet in the Commons on April 26th.  There were some people walking through the Commons …. With all the rain and sun, the couch grass in the north west section of the Commons is particularly long.  Linda spent time cutting the couch grass, etc. with a sickle while Sean sheet-mulched the area around the pear tree with wood chips.  Linda also pulled out the long couch grass in other areas of the Commons.

 Bee in the Garden on April 19th was a sunny day…… Conversations with Alison and Layton and later tea and conversation with Jeremy…. Others enjoyed being in the garden or walking through.  Sean planted seed potatoes in the Commons while Linda chipped secondary pathways in the South section of the Commons.

At Bee in the Garden on April 12th , it was an idyllic warm sunny day in the Commons watching the butterflies dance…….  Elijah painted a new sign for Spring Ridge Commons which will be placed near the northeast entrance to Spring Ridge Commons,  Jacob enjoyed being in the garden,  Sean placed wood chips on main pathways in the Commons.  Martin harvested wild edibles including mint and nettles plus took out some invasive couch grass.  Sean, Caitlin, Linda, Elijah, Jacob and Jeremy enjoyed conversation and tea from the garden.  A  mother rested on a bench while  her two young daughters climbed the damson plum tree and played in the Commons.  Other people wandered through.

SRC 40b  SRC 40j

 SRC 40c   SRC 40d

At Bee in the Garden on Easter Sunday, April 5th,  it was pretty quiet in the garden.  Sean did some weeding in the vegetable garden (stone bed)  and placed the sign he created in the Native Plant Garden. A family was having an Easter egg hunt in the Commons and  Sean had a nice chat with Jacob who was also enjoying the garden.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It was raining steadily on Sunday, March 27th and Sean was the only person in the garden today (Linda was at home tending to a head cold).  For Sean, it was an opportunity to contemplate in the garden plus move a piece of driftwood which was used as a topsy-turvy makeshift bench in the centre area to another spot in the Commons – near by the southeast entrance to the Commons – Sean is envisioning the creation of another sign for the Commons letting people travelling by car and on foot know that this garden is Spring Ridge Commons.

At Bee in the Garden on Sunday, March 22nd, there was two beautiful new signs which came to  the Commons. Elijah Ignatieff  has created one for Spring Ridge Commons so that people visiting the Commons will know that it’s Spring Ridge Commons as well Sean Newton has created a really nice sign for the nettle patch, warning people of the sting, as well as providing info about nettles. There was nine of us, Bill, Eric, Linda, Sean, Susan, Arayana, Elijah, Jacob, JP,  and a friend of JP’s who enjoy conversation and tea made from herbs and plants from the garden (rosemary, stinging nettle, sage, mint, fennel and comfrey).   Linda played her native american flute and the crows near and visiting the Commons appeared to enjoy it.

SRC 1              SRC 1b

At Bee in the Garden on Sunday, March 15th, it was pouring rain.  Sean and Linda were joined by Elijah and we hung out in the garden for a while.  We saw our resident  hummingbirds in the garden, a male and female.

At  Bee in the Garden on Sunday, March 8th, the activity in the garden will be removing couch grass from the Garry Oak Meadow so that native plants, camas and other plants/flowers can thrive and Richard, Edie, Simon worked diligently at doing this while Sean foraged for herbs and plants to make a lovely tea.  Elijah and JP were working at rooting willow branches so that they can grow in various sections of the Commons.

We had a late start to Bee in the Garden on Sunday, March 1st.  The activity in the garden was removing couch grass from the Garry Oak Meadow  so that native plants, camas and other plants/flowers can thrive.   At Bee in Garden, there was Linda, Richard, Keegan, Glyn, and Elijah plus a few others who stopped by and chatted in garden with us.

On Sunday, Feb 22, Waan, Andrea, Krista, Max, Linda and Sean did a wonderful job sheet-mulching with cardboard and leaf mulch plus laying down small boulders and wood chips on new pathways in the northeast section of Spring Ridge Commons completing the awesome work done by the Greater Victoria Green Team volunteers on February 3rd.  We also had tea from herbs harvested in the garden by Sean.

February 15th  was  a very special Bee in the Garden…

Smudge

There was a Smudge Ceremony   (What is smudging? Traditionally, many cultures around the world have used the smoke of dried herbs to cleanse and purify the energy of a person, place, or object. First nations people generally use dried Sage brush, Sweetgrass, or Cedar to clear away negative energy and to set positive intentions.) with Frank Smoke assisted by Emma Frank.   People arrived early for  tea which Sean Newton made once he harvested herbs and other plants from the garden.   There were over 20 of us who participated in the beautiful event.

Smudge Ceremony with Frank Smoke at Spring Ridge Commons

Wonderful community energies – Before Our Smudging Ceremony in our community urban food forest – Our garden is now blessed and is starting to burst forth with new growth.

Chalk art 1 chalk art 2

Chart Art  created on Stelly Street as part of our Smudging Ceremony Event.

At Bee in the Garden on Sunday, Feb 8th, Linda met with Krista to explore areas in Spring Ridge Commons where  nature play scapes for young nature pre-schooler can possibly go in the Commons.  Krista is a nature preschool teacher at the Cridge Centre for the Family and she will be bring her preschoolers very soon to Spring Ridge Commons to see what ideas they come up with re: nature play scapes in the Commons.  Krista and Linda also  removed couch grass from the Garry Oak Meadow while Sean, Max, Elijah and Erin placed wood chips on pathways in the Commons.  Elijah (assisted by Erin)  also brought to the Commons some lovely driftwood logs which he placed in the Commons giving our food forest a very rustic feel.  Sean foraged herbs and other plants for our tea for the day.

At Bee in the Garden on Sunday, Feb 1st,  Sean and I placed the remaining alder and birch wood chips  from the City of Victoria Parks on pathways in the Commons (Yeah! Newly chipped areas where  mushrooms can grow). Now we have a space in the receiving area for Combination Leaf Mulch / Wood Chips and cardboard which will be dropped off by City of Victoria Parks on Tuesday morning for the Greater Victoria Green Team’s Mulching, weeding and trail maintenance at Spring Ridge Commons.   Bill, a neighbour of Spring Ridge Commons stopped to chat with Linda as he travelled through the Commons on an errand.

Mushroom Chips 4Mushroom Chipped Pathways

At Bee in the Garden on Sunday, January 25th, JoAnne, Linda, Sean,  Brent, Chico (chihuahua), Patricia and others (including workshop participants)  enjoyed tea/conversation and being in the garden.  In the garden, Peter McCoy Radical Mycology  and Danielle Stevenson of  DIY fungi  did hands-on mushroom installations with 35 workshop participants.     They have inoculated the path by the berry canes with mushroom spawn, stropharia rugosannulata also known as wine cap, garden giant, king stropharia and also created another bed comprised of  oyster mushroom spawn, fermented straw and cardboard  by the bench at the Gladstone and Chambers street entrance.

Signage created by Sean Newton is now placed beside these beds:

Mushroom bed 2 Mushroom Bed 1

 These beds are now covered with alder and birch wood chips in addition to a few other areas in the Commons:

Mushroom Chips 1 Mushroom Chips 2 Mushroom Chips 3.

At Bee in the Garden on Sunday, January 18th,   Amma, Joanne, Krista and Martin joined Linda for Bee in the Garden.  Anne popped by the garden on her way to Welburns to say hi  and popped by again on her way back from shopping.  We enjoyed conversation and  peppermint tea (not from the garden since Sean was at home this afternoon recovering from a back injury).   The activity in the garden was removing couch grass from the Garry Oak Meadow  so that native plants, camas and other plants/flowers can thrive.  While in the garden the weather turned to blue sky and there was a lovely rainbow plus sightings of  a hummingbird and a few worms in the Garry Oak Meadow.

Garry Oak Trees

At Bee in the Garden on Sunday, January 11th,  tea was rosemary, lavender and mint from the garden.   Sean and Linda are really happy to see our friends Amma (she’s living in Fernwood having come back from adventures in other parts of BC) and Jeremy at Spring Ridge Commons and enjoyed tea + conversation with them.  We also chatted with other people as they traversed through the Commons.  The activity for the day was moving the boulders/rocks in the north section of the Commons and preparing the receiving area for leaf mulch and wood chips.

On Sunday, January 4th, we enjoyed conversation and tea with B, Simon, Katey and Paul. The herbs in the tea were rosemary, fennel, mint and sage.  Sean planted a miniature potted Spruce Christmas tree in the Commons; Sean and Linda did work in the South section of the Commons.

On Sunday, December 28th, Sean made a lovely tea of rosemary, mint, lavender and fennel from the garden which was shared with Paul and Sheila and a couple sitting on a bench. Sean and Linda enjoyed chatting with  Paul and Sheila while Ed was busy pruning the Damson Plum Tree.  Later Sean and Linda were path-building in the South section of the Commons.  Sean and Ed also moved a couple of large boulders in this area opening up a future pathway into the Commons.

We celebrated Winter Solstice at Spring Ridge Commons on Sunday, December 21st from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. At Bee in the Garden, we had a small live potted Christmas tree decorated with beautiful salt dough glittering stars and Sean made a lovely tea made from rosemary, fennel and mint from the garden and we also enjoyed sweet treats (chestnuts and  tangerine oranges).  On this sunny day, people were walking through the Commons, some stopping to admire the Christmas tree with the glittering stars.  Kelly, Doreen and Trish joined Sean and Linda for tea in the garden and much later when Linda was working by herself in the garden, Daniel (who created the uniquely crafted benches in the Commons) and his lovely partner stopped by to chat with Linda for a bit and to enjoy a few chestnuts. The volunteer activity for the day was taking the rocks out of the Native Plant Garden and the Garry Oak Meadow and placing these rocks elsewhere in the Commons to delineate pathways….. Sean and Linda moved around a fair bit of rocks.

At Bee in the Garden on Sunday afternoon, December 14, it was a sunny day.    Linda and Sean moved rock off of the pathways in the southwest section of the Commons and placed these rocks to delineate interior pathways in this area as well  we moved rocks out of the Native Plant Garden.   Sean also made a delicious tea of rosemary, mint and fennel from the garden and Fio, Becky and Eva joined us for tea and conversation.

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At Bee in the Garden on Sunday afternoon, December 7th, Jane, Max and Linda worked in the South Section of the Commons with small sickles and cut down old plant growth, grass. etc.,   – essentially tidying up the area.  Sean harvested herbs and plants ( Rosemary, mint, lavender, nettles, sage, fennel and willow bark) from the garden for a nice tea which we all enjoyed and chatted with visitors dropping in  for a cup of tea or passing through.  Later Sean and Linda gave Jane and Max an informal tour of the garden.

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It was sunny and very cold (frost-bitten fingers even with our garden gloves on)  at Bee in the Garden on Sunday afternoon November 30th.  Sean, Linda and Trish moved  the willow branches that Ed had chopped off earlier in the week to the area by the northeast entrance to the Commons.  (We will use these branches to create some unique fencing around the Garry Oak Meadow and Native Plant Garden in the new year).  Linda and Trish placed frozen leaves on the berry beds in the northwest area of the Commons while Sean foraged for herbs and made a delicious tea for us and later worked on path-building in a few areas of the Commons.

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At Bee in the Garden on Sunday afternoon, November 23 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Linda and Krista worked on building a path in the in the northwest section of the Commons while Sean dug out jerusalem artichokes in the southwest section (some jerusalem artichokes are left on the bench in the middle of the Commons for people to take away and enjoy) and harvested some herbs for our lovely tea; Lou and Doug also planted some garlic in the bed in the south section.

Branches of holly were also available for people to take away.

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At Bee in the Garden on Sunday afternoon, November 16 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., it was a beautiful sunny day.  Sean picked the following herbs:  rosemary, mugwart, milk thistle, sage, mint and fennel and made a delicious tea.

Lisa and Sean at Bee in the Garden

Tea and Conversation at Spring Ridge Commons:

Sean serving tea to Avro at Bee in the GardenTea and Conversation - November 16

We also labelled some of the herb plants in the herb spiral:  Thyme, oregano, french sorrel, fo ti, lemon balm, sage, lovage……

 

Tag placement in Herb Spiral

About Bee in the Garden:

An inspiration of Sean Newton, “Bee in the Garden” became a fun weekly tradition that took place every Sunday from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. This was on-going from Sept 2012 to Dec 2013.   Sean came bearing hot water, tea cups and a few extra pair of work gloves (for those wanting a hands-on-gardening experience) and would forage a few moments in the Commons and return with a bounty of freshly picked herbs (i.e. mint, rosemary, lavender) which he would brew up in a beautiful clay pot.  Will Fortune would entertain us all with his wonderful keyboard playing and his wife Zanzara sometimes worked on the collaborative mural.  Passersby meandered through the Commons – some joined us for tea and conversation while others politely declined.

Bee in the Garden

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