Albert Xie, Demonstration Garden Coordinator
Summer is once again upon us and the Langley Demonstration Garden is thriving this year: plants that were brought down from the original garden have now settled and are growing with full force; once-barren garden beds are now shedding their drab wood mulch coats and replacing them with Kinnikinnik and sedums instead. The delicate sprouts of produce have breached the soil in the vegetable garden, hinting at a bountiful harvest in the upcoming months. Even our comical fruit trees have managed to produce apples and cherries. The new garden has never looked this nice.
To be fair, the garden did receive a little help from its friends. Taking care of the garden this year is Stephanie Glanzmann: forestry student, passionate environmentalist, and gardener extraordinaire. The thriving potential of the vegetable section is purely the result of Stephanie’s eagerness and initiative. The well-being of the other beds is a result of the combined efforts of both LEPS employees and volunteers: Dean and Carol, our super-duper mystery weeders, spend hours on end eliminating pesky weeds; Jean, the perpetually productive, comes in to weed for us in the evenings; and good old Frank helps water the gardens before the roosters even crow. There are of course others whom I have failed to mention, as well plenty more new volunteers who will help us this summer.
In addition to just looking nice, the garden also serves as the venue for many of our education programs. For kids, eco-explorer camps occur weekly until August 13 and are taught by LEPS’ very own Ashley, with Stephanie helping whenever needed. The programming is as follows:
- Trash to Treasure: having issues figuring out whether that magazine goes into the newspaper bin or the paper bin? Your kid definitely knows after coming to this camp. Pro-tip: it goes into the paper bin.
- What’s the Buzzzz? we’re bringing in a bee keeper to teach kids about bees. Kids get to taste honey, don bee keeper equipment, and make mason bee homes.
- Snail Tales: two words: Snail races.
- Screeeech! Birds of Prey: our friend from the Greater Vancouver Zoo is bringing in actual birds of prey. If you think about it, these guys are basically feathered dinosaurs. What’s that, dinosaurs were always feathered? Clever girl.
- Going Batty: teaching your kids about bats AND providing them with valuable work experience! Bat houses are houses too!
- Garden Grub: the kids finally get to do garden things at the last garden workshop, including looking for garden bugs, finding garden herbs, and planting their own little veggie gardens! In pots. Veggie gardens in pots.
The garden is also the venue for a variety of adult workshops. We’ve hosted Training Fruit Trees to Produce More Fruit. Intro to Hot Water Bath Canning, was presented by three seasoned canners who produced many mini-jars of jam. The third workshop this season, All-Season Vegetable Gardening, was presented by yours truly… Albert, Garden Coordinator and Ukulele player. There was laughter, there were tears (likely allergy-induced), and there may also have been learning. The fourth workshop this season, Introduction to backyard Composting, was presented by Stephanie and me, offering both newbies and seasoned composting veterans useful tips. The fifth workshop was taught by Sarah, Container Gardening for Kids, targeted a younger audience and taught them the joys of planting their own plants.
This finally brings us to the upcoming events:
- July 16th, 5-7pm: Creating a Pollinators’ Paradise will teach participants about different types of pollinators as well as pollinator-friendly landscaping. This workshop will be taught by the knowledgeable Amanda Smith, who is reportedly also “a totally cool cat”. RSVP is required a week before.
- July 25th, 10am-12pm: Picnic in the Park #2. Music. Food. Garden tours. Kids crafts. Bad jokes from me. Need I say more?
- July 27th, 7-8pm: Backyard composting is a repeat of the first composting workshop for those who couldn’t attend. You get a worm bin! RSVP also required.
- August 19th, 7-8:30pm: Intro to Pressure Canning is similar to the hot water bath canning workshop but will showcasing the use of a pressure cooker instead. Yup, RSVP for this one too.
- August 20th, 3:30-6:30pm: Blackberry Bake-off and Open House. The event that everybody’s waiting for. Come taste test and vote on your favorite culinary creations while meeting new friends and discovering new musicians! Democratic and delicious! Please RSVP with me if you plan on entering the contest.
That’s all of the events that are happening this summer in the Demonstration Garden. Feel free to drop by for a visit, and we would love to see you at our events!
For RSVPs or just general inquiries, we can be reached at [email protected] or 604-546-0344.