Monday, May 2, 2011

Lez move the raspberries

Neighbourhood raspberries
CoolJ: I was berry pleased with myself last weekend after planting my berry patch.
However, I was chagrined to note when I rode through East Van on my bike that no one else had spread their 10 spindly seedlings bushes over 20 square meters. I thought they would fill up the dirt, that I was giving them room to breathe & realize their potential. But then I saw my neighbours' clever, compact raised raspberry bed.

Garden Envy struck. And worse, I had a side effect of Garden Resentment. Because I want to have an awesome edible garden. But also I have NO time. And it is so. much. work. And it requires expertise.

Anyhoo, I rearranged the raspberries to be a bit more like my neighbours'. Someone may give me a gorgeous wood trellis for my birthday? Or maybe I'll use some string to keep the brambles in check...
Lez Reno Rasps. Ah. Much better. We are with our friends!

Spent the rest of the day digging & weeding & planting. Just trying to keep the weeds at bay and maybe eke some food out of this urban lot. We in East Vancouver like our food gardents. I live in a neighbourhood where houses that are valued at $850-900K have ramshackle plastic greenhouses in the front yard. Across the street are 3 large free-ranging urban chickens (at least I think there are still 3. I did see a coyote recently). Vancouver aims to become the greenest city in the world by 2020 and citizens love our food security.

But I think I have discovered a major gap in our civic food planning - East Van Companion planting. Lez Renovate is based in a house that is 80+ years old. Our garden is a typical east van garden: chain link fence, roses galore, peonies... the only thing missing is a camelia and a fig tree.
"McLean Drive" by Dana Ayotte
What I think we need is a special East Van Companion Planting Guide. What do Rhododendrons like? I tried onions, since I read that rhodos like lillies & lillies look like onions, and much as I like saws'all-ing I didn't want to chop down the robust pink Rhodo, or pull out all the roses. That would just leave me with more dirt to fill up!

So what do roses like? I hope roses like tomatoes & cukes & kale, because that's what they are getting!
And I hope blueberries like peonies because they are sharing space as intimate as any East Van cooperative house with 8 bicycles on the front porch.

When the rain finally stops, irrigation is the next problem to untangle.

Finally, I hope the elderly  folks on my block with roses and front yard green houses like lezzes because LL & Cool J have lots of gardening, lawn mowing, and outdoor projects this summer and we'll be OUT in front. Lez grow, lezbo!


  1. I think Rhodies and Roses would love Blueberries. They all need acidic soil! :)

  2. Mmm blueberries and peonies, two of my favourite things. I hope blueberries like peonies too 'cuz I love blueberry jam haha. Thanks for the art plug, Jax. xo

  3. I didn't realize i was going to need chemistry to grow bluebs. my gardeningguru says just plant the bluebs & they will grow. we'll see