It was a beautifully sunny morning as 12 History Hunters joined Earthwise Executive Director, Patricia Fleming, for a tour of this innovative Boundary Bay garden. The garden was first created in 2007 and those of us who knew it from that time were immediately impressed with how much the garden has matured since then. Some of the site was once the parking lot for a landscape supplier, and was compacted and lacking top soil. Now that same area is full of colourful gaillardia, California poppies and golden rod. Dogwoods and other native trees shade the flower beds, and winding paths lead through the different parts of the garden.
Earthwise Garden Society was formerly the Delta Recycling Society and operated volunteer composting programs out of Tilbury Industrial Estate. The goals of the non-profit group have expanded from education about environmental sustainability to encompass demonstration eco-friendly gardening of all kinds. The different areas of the garden showcase bee-friendly plants, such as nepeta and blue salvia, a minimal water resource garden, heritage plants, and native plants. There is also a therapeutic garden for people with physical barriers. The idea is to create whole ecosystems which provide habitat for bees, butterflies, birds and other animals. The Farm area of the site produces organic fruits and vegetables which it sells in the Earthwise Farm Store, open twice a week.
The garden is on a 20 year lease, and is part of the Southlands property. Patricia is hoping that they will negotiate an extended stay despite changes in the Southlands as a result of the rezoning. The Garden has plants for sale, is open to the public at certain hours, and has many educational and fun events scheduled through the year. This month saw the Spice Road Market celebrating Indian food, art and culture in the garden. More information about the Earthwise Garden and Farm can be found at www.earthwisesociety.bc.ca. They are also on Facebook www.facebook.com/earthwisebc.
The group very much enjoyed the tour, and Patricia provided a wealth of knowledge that participants could use in their own gardens. Thank you, Patricia, for a lovely morning in the garden.