Green Dreamers launched their fifth Season May 26th, 2018 at the Firehall. This year, instead of hauling compost from the City’s Field facility near Moodie Drive, we bought sheep manure and brown bags from our local Scout troop and associated Beavers, Cubs, and Venturers. We’re always trying to find new ways to make the work a little lighter, a little easier, so instead of wheelbarrows we moved sacks of manure from the front porch of the Firehall (where the Scouts dropped them off) to our vehicles and drove them to the garden beds.
By now you have likely seen the Green Dreamers along Bank Street, cleaning up, removing old growth & winterkill, weeding, turning soil, and yes once again replanting. We’re a determined bunch of gardeners! You may have also noticed that not all the gardens are getting the same amount of attention. As a way to conserve our energies, maintain our commitment and have more fun the Green Dreamers are focussing on gardens that have been adopted. By adopted, we mean the gardens that have designated overseers, or captains. Adopted gardens include the Library, Sunnyside/Bank (3 lots in all), the Firehall, Glen, Grove, Ossington, and Cameron.
The captains/overseers watch over their adopted gardens and call on other Green Dreamers when help is needed. We organize work bees on the advice of our captains and rally as a group to come to one another’s assistance. Green Dreamers continue to meet twice a week (Wednesdays & Saturdays 8:30 – 10:30 a.m.) to maintain a routine but often you’ll find independent gardeners managing their own adopted lot.
We need your help to keep the Green Dreamers going. We seem to have a core group of gardeners (10-12 people) who show up rain or shine. But, if we are going to spread out we’re going to need more gardeners. Two of the smaller gardens begging for attention are (1) the raised bed behind the bus stop on the corner of Belmont & Bank and (2) the wooded patch on the corner of Cameron & Bank near Hillary’s. Or maybe, you’d rather help the more seasoned Green Dreamers on the more established lots. We’re flexible, drop us a line at adoptgarden [AT] oldottawasouth [DOT] ca.
Advantages to adopting a garden
There are many advantages to adopting a garden close to your home or within several blocks of your usual neighbourhood route:
- Oversight is more efficient; whether that means simply observing the condition of the garden or more flexible hours around general maintenance
- It's sometimes easier to determine the needs of one garden bed as opposed to several and
- Organizing volunteers on your street might be easier because it's closer and the pleasure in a well-maintained garden is more immediate, more personal.
With more helping hands gardening is a pleasant social adventure. It can also be a rather interesting learning experience. There is gardening expertise on every block!
The Rain Gardens on Sunnyside Avenue
In early June the City advised Green Dreamers that the replacement of plants in the Sunnyside rain gardens are still under warranty. The City is expecting replacements before July and will get back to us in late summer/early fall to discuss once again our longer-term involvement in the maintenance of the rain gardens.
What we understand from the City's email is that the contractor is responsible for replenishing the rain gardens this summer. Although the delay in realizing these gardens seems unreasonably long, the replenishment of plants that did not make it through the winter is very much welcomed.
So, until the fall season it looks as if all we can do is keep the garden beds clean and free from garbage. Also, if possible, we would appreciate your reporting back to us at adoptgarden [AT] oldottawasouth [DOT] ca when you see progress or if you find out any incidental feedback from work crews in the gardens. Thank you.
If you need to catch-up on the activities of Green Dreamers, check us out at www.oldottawasouth.ca/green-dreamers.
More Green Dreamer Highlights:
- In early June Master Gardener Julianne Labreche visited our OOS gardening lots and recommended a variety of native and non-native plants for our gardens: trillium, wild columbines, purple cone flowers, yarrow, Joe-Pye weed, lavender, sage, oregano, etc.
- In mid-June, Catherine Shaw from the May Court led Green Dreamers on a tour of the Hospice Gardens on Cameron.
- In mid-July, volunteers from the Children’s International Summer Villages (CISV) will be arriving in Ottawa on CISV’s Canada Peace Bus (www.peacebus.ca). As part of their engagement in local educational projects and team building activities, the volunteers will be working with the Green Dreamers for a day. We look forward to learning more about CISV in the weeks to come and we are thrilled at the prospect of working with a team of young Canadians between the ages of 14-16. More about this exciting project in OSCAR’s September 2018 issue.