The following areas in the Commons were intentional designed:
Garry Oak Meadow:
The Garry Oak Meadow contains 3 Garry Oak Trees and camas grows in this area in the Spring. It is being restored – converting couch grass to meadow grass, removing invasive species and incorporating drought resistant shrubs that characterize Garry Oak Meadows as well as native plant species that have aestheically pleasing properties (ie. Shooting Star, Chocolate Lily, White Fawn Lily, Satin Flower, Nodding Onion, Sea Blush, Yellow Montane Violet, Red Columbine.). Having a small piece of this ecosystem in Spring Ridge Commons would be one way of preserving local flora and fauna (birds and insects) species, while simultaneously educating the general public about the value of these ecosystems.”
Restoration in this meadow earlier this year consisted of removing a layer of invasive couch by Mikael Jahmal and continuously weeding invasive plants out of the meadow by Adam Huggins and others. A protective nest of willow was constructed in April by Sean Newton (with the assistance of Stephanie Enevoldsen and Tayler Krawczyk Class) to prevent dogs and other animals from encroaching this area.
History: The 5 Garry Oak Trees that are currently growing in the Meadow were intentionally planted in a ceremony.
Importance of Garry Oak EcoSystems: For many, protecting these ecosystems represents a respect for the environment and a humble acknowledgement of humankind’s relationship with the natural world. If we wish for future generations to be able to experience the richness and beauty of these natural areas, we must make an effort to maintain, and expand on, what is left of Garry oak ecosystems to the best of our ability.
Garry Oak Ecosystems are a unique national treasure. Today, less than 5% of the Garry Oak ecosystems in Canada remain in a near-natural state.
More info: http://www.goert.ca/about/why_important.php
Other information of significance:
* There current steward for both the Garry Oak Meadow and Native Plant Garden is Adam Huggins
* There is a painted sign “Garry Oak Meadow” created by Sean Newton and funded by Joanne Murray, Vice-President of the Fernwood Community Association (FCA).
Native Plant Garden:
The Native Plant Garden is a work in progress and will continue to be restored. This spring, we had a Bee in the Garden Work Party led by Adam Huggins and we cleared an area of the Native Plant Garden of invasive plants, planted it with herbaceous perennials and grasses and mulched with leaf mulch that we received from the City of Victoria Parks. Most recently another area has been cleared of invasive plants, and mulched with dried and fresh grass clippings with Adam leading a work party with Cam Owen’s UVic Geography Class. In this area, we plan to plant drought tolerant food bearing native plants in this garden hopefully in the early Fall or Spring.
Other information of significance:
* There is currently a steward for both the Garry Oak Meadow and Native Plant Garden which is Adam Huggins.
* There is a painted sign “Native Plant Garden” created by Sean Newton and funded by Joanne Murray, Vice-President of the Fernwood Community Association (FCA).
*There was a $50.00 gift certificate from Saanich Native Plants which Linda won at HAT Annual Native Plant Tour and this has gone towards the purchase of native plants at for this garden and selected by Adam.
* There are also native plants which Adam salvaged from elsewhere in the Victoria region.
Central Gathering Area:
This central gathering area contains a beautiful patio with wooden colourfully planted benches set around it, and a rustic driftwood Structure by Chris Brotsis and community members.
More info on the created central gathering area: http://springridge.rd123.ca/?page_id=1723
History: In 2001, one corner of Spring Ridge Commons was set aside to build a bee garden. A team of youth from LifeCycles went to work and created a bee-friendly site that includes a variety of native flowers that attract pollinators. The first bee condo placed in the garden was entirely filled with blue orchard bee eggs within two weeks!
More info and pictures: http://lifecyclesproject.ca/resources/bee_average/spring_ridge.php
Importance of Bee Gardens: Indigenous bees such as the Blue Orchard Mason Bee provide a vital service to our backyard vegetable gardens and our fruit trees. Although the bee helps to produce over 1/3 of the food crops that we eat, these helpful insects are seeing a population decline due to urban development and a widespread use of chemical pesticides. There are a number of things you can do in your back yard to help provide homes for these invaluable pollinators. In turn, they will help you by increasing the fruit and vegetable yeild of your backyard garden and fruit trees.
More info on Creating Bee Habitat:
This herb spiral contains both culinary and medicinal plants.
History: There was an existing herb spiral which was in serious need of de-grassing and it was still looking pretty sad. In September 2011, Mikael Jhamal recreated this herb spiral with Linda Chan’s assistance and a spacious beautifully designed culinary herb spiral was created. More info: http://springridge.rd123.ca/?page_id=754
North East Area of the Commons:
In this area is our Community Mural which is a work in progress in addition to pathways, areas for growing, and a rain garden with terraces.
Rain garden consultation and initial work by Tanya Devine (with assistance of Mikael Jahmal and Linda Chan). Subsequent work and design by Mikael Jahmal with assistance by Mary and Linda Chan. Terrace construction adjoining the rain garden by Mary.
Landscaping of the north east section of the Commons by Mikael Jahmal with the assistance of Linda Chan.
East Area of the Commons:
Oregon Grape that was growing up against the fence and was encroaching on the neighbors beds and was taken out; We’ve placed leaf mulch in the area and is now an area for kale and other winter veggie starts.
Xeroscaping with drought tolerant sedum plants on the rock face. In early Spring, Linda Chan salvaged a lot of sedum plants from Nat and Jon’s front yard to add to the mix of existing plants in his area.
Leaf mulch and wood chip receiving areas:
Storage areas for tools, wheelbarrow and cardboard:
Food Garden Bed:
This food garden bed is currently growing an autumn olive, herbs (sorrel), some flowers, lettuce, chard, lavender, mullein, a fig tree and is mulched with straw…..
Southeast Section of the Commons:
Area where garden waste is being processed
Area where garden waste will be processed. Branches will need to be chopped up further
Southwest Section of the Commons:
Growing on the perimeters of the Commons are some bay trees which the general public are free to harvest…….
South Section of the Commons:
In this section are rosemary bushes, a large autumn olive shrub, and black bamboo.