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July - So much to see and do in the garden

Updated: Jul 28, 2022

Summer seems to have arrived at last!

If you are looking for advice on what you should be doing in the garden now, expert Lower Mainland gardener, Linda Gilkeson, writes monthly newsletters during the gardening season with lots of tips on how to produce a bountiful vegetable harvest. Follow this link to see her earlier postings as well as her recent June newsletter. She gives valuable advice on how to get the most out of your garden. She has some great advice for seeding crops in early July that will produce until late fall/early winter.


To keep our Highland Community Garden running smoothly this gardening season, please remember these important matters:

1 Lock the gate

Please follow the instructions we sent out last month about closing the gate to the church parking lot. We have been asked to follow this procedure by the church and we don’t want to jeopardize our after-hour access! A quick reminder:

Lock the gate if you are the last person to leave the grounds.

Close the gate behind you so it looks locked after you drive into the parking lot. This applies to evenings and/or during the day on a weekend. The next person to arrive will need to follow the same procedure. The gate should not be left standing open after you enter.

2 Turn off the water

If you have been watering, be sure the water is turned off in the shed and that the shed door is locked before you leave unless you have confirmed with another gardener that he or she will look after these matters.

3 Lock the shed

The shed door lock can be tricky to operate at times. What works best is to pull the door handle firmly towards yourself and hold it there when you are putting in the code. Keep pulling as you hear the mechanism whirring and clicking.

4 Tripping hazards

Keep pathways between gardens weeded and free of obstacles such as sticks, rocks and other materials. Anything left on the path. is a tripping hazard.

5 Garbage

Please take unneeded items and garbage home with you when you leave the garden: for example, plastic plant markers from pots, empty pots, broken sticks, worn-out netting etc. Please do not put unusable items behind the shed. The back of the shed is a place to put items in reasonable condition that can be reused by other gardeners


Relax and Enjoy!

While you are at the garden, take time to enjoy the beauty around you. Not only the garden flowers and veggies, but also the sights and sounds that surround us.

There are many trees and plants growing wild in the garden. Blooming on the path up from the garden right now are Ocean Spray and Goat’s Beard. Blooming earlier on the hill were Thimbleberries and Dogwood. Now the white Oxeye Daisies are in full bloom.

Do you know where the “wild” apple tree – grown from a seed – on our garden grounds is? See if you can find it. Can you identify some of the bushes and trees on the hills above the garden?

Take time to listen to the birds in and around the garden. In addition to the plentiful white-crowned sparrows and robins, you may see hummingbirds zipping around and stopping to rest or feed. Towhees and juncos are also plentiful. I’ve also heard song sparrows, finches, wrens and northern grosbeaks quite often this spring. I’m sure there were red-tailed hawks nesting on the Cooper farm hill across the road this spring. For a while, I’d see one or both of them hanging out there on dead tree branches while out for my daily morning walk.

Photographs courtesy of Wikipedia

Top left: White-crowned sparrow Top right: Northern grosbeak

Bottom left: Anna’s hummingbird Bottom right: Red-tailed hawk

What birds have you seen and heard while at the garden?

Then of course, there’s the bunnies and deer. In the last week, I’ve watched bunnies in garden plots munching away and deer sampling someone’s strawberry plants and snacking on the roses in the border! And I suspect that one or two coyotes may pass by quite regularly while we are sleeping.

While we wish these critters would spare our gardens, there is still something special about seeing them running wild. We are so fortunate to have access to these sights and sounds.

Which creatures have you spotted in the garden? Post your pictures using the link on the home page. Scroll down to the photo gallery and click on ‘upload your pictures here’.

Maryann J.

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