Allen, Christine – Roses (May 20, 2021)
Types of roses
Hybrid tea and floribundas are usually grafted and don’t like to share the space.
Shrub roses are on their own roots and can grow with other perennials.
Miniature roses tend to disappear in a garden setting but are great for hanging baskets and in pots
Old garden roses are roses that were in existence before 1867. They only bloom once.
Most are very healthy and grow well with perennials. They display fall foliage and hips
Climbers and Ramblers
When choosing a rose for your garden do your homework to find out which will suit your garden and climate best.
- Six hours of sun
- No competition
- Well-soaked soil to settle into
- When buying a rose choose one that has 3 to 4 good strong stems
- Loosen roots before planting
- If it is pot bound slash on all four sides 2 mm in to speed the roots out
- Have a cone of soil in the bottom of the hole to spread the roots over
- For grafted roses place the graft 1/2” above the soil level
- Compost only if you don’t have good soil
- Don’t overfeed to start
- Watering is very important
- Make sure they are well watered but not sitting in water
- Add some well-rotted compost to the planting hole
- Water well after planting
- Do not fertilize again until after the first blooms have faded
- Water deeply once a week in dry weather
- Fertilize around the beginning of March and again after the the first blooms fade
- No nitrogen after July
- Modern roses in March
- Shrub roses and older roses cut back by 1/3
- Climbing roses move the stems off the vertical and place them on the horizontal in order for the stems to produce flowers
- Grow ramblers horizontally
Pest and diseases
- Black spot goes across the veins and starts at the bottom of the plant. Prevention: choose a cultivar good for your weather. Management: take off the most affected leaves.
- Downy mildew is between the leaves, starts at the top and moves down. Management: trim affected leaves off. 80 degrees F will kill downy mildew.
- Powdery mildew usually appears at the end of the summer. Management: clip the tips, avoid watering at night.
- Rust: shovel prune it!
- Mosaic virus is a consequence of using infected pruners and grafting tools when grafting the rose. There is no management - you either get rid of the plant or learn to live with it. Make sure you disinfect the pruners you use before moving on to another rose.
- Specific replant disease: cannot plant a new rose where an old one was unless you dig a huge hole and replace the soil.
- Spider mites. Management: jet of water under the leaves.
- Aphids. Management: jet of water or wait for the ladybugs to appear.
Rugosa rose do not suffer from diseases.
- All bees including the leaf cutter bee that cuts dime size hole on the edge of leaves (they use these to line their nests)
- Lady bugs and their larvae
- Wasp gall ( will feed the birds)
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Roses for the Pacific Northwest
Growing Up: Climbing Plants
A Year at Killara Farm
Casey, James – Bringing Birds Into Your Backyard (March 18, 2021)
About the speaker:
After earning a master’s degree in International Environmental Policy at the University of Northern British Columbia, James had the opportunity to work with WWF-Canada on topics ranging from eelgrass and marine planning to hydropower and the Water Sustainability Act. This experience established a base of knowledge he is now applying to the context of the Fraser Estuary Important Bird and Biodiversity Area. On behalf of Bird Studies Canada, James is building support for the development of a conservation strategy for this IBA.
2.9 billion birds have gone since 1970
- Eastern Forest birds have declined by 17%
- Arctic tundra birds have declined by 23%
- Western forest birds have declined by 29%
- Boreal forest birds have declined by 33%
- Shorebirds have declined by 37%
- Grassland birds have declined by 53%
The state of Canada’s Birds from 1970 to 2019
While some birds have increase during this period (for example wetland birds have gone up by 30%) others have decreased dramatically especially the shorebirds (by 40%), the grassland birds (by 57%) and the aerial insectivores (by 59%)
Main threats to birds:
- Habitat loss and degradation
- Climate change
- Collisions with buildings and other structures
- Pesticides, rodenticides, and other toxins
A Bird friendly garden has the following elements:
Good plants for birds who like fruit:
- Saskatoon Serviceberry
- Black Twinberry
- Cluster Swamp Rose
- Common Juniper
- Pacific Crabapple
Good plants for birds who like seeds:
- Douglas fir
- Western Hemlock
- Vine Maple
Good plants for birds who like nectar:
- Flowering Currant
- Oregon Grape
Good Plants to attract insect for birds who eat insects:
- Red Alder
- Pacific Willow
- Think about the insect you are trying to control, find the bird that eats it and give it the food and habitat it wants. For example chickadees eat caterpillars, ants and aphids; flycatchers eat flying insects, nuthatches eat caterpillars, ants and earwigs.
- Have different water levels for different bird size
- Keep bird bath clean
- Need texture at the edge of the bird bath
- Running water in fountain
Shelter and nesting locations
Diversity of habitat
- Coniferous trees for birds such as Pine Siskins
- Deciduous trees for birds such as Bushtits
- Shrubs for birds such as White-crowned Sparrows
- Ground covers for birds such as spotted Towhees
- Good plants for shelter and nesting material are: Salmonberry (preferred habitat for many forest birds), Pacific Ninebark, Sword Fern( good for ground nesters) and Hardhack (good nesting material)
- Cavity nesting birds need different stages of deterioration of a dead tree. If at all possible leave decaying trees in place.
- Owls like to roost in Douglas Fir, Western Hemlock and Western Red Cedar
- Use local native species in your yard.
Other ways to help birds in your yard:
- Nest boxes
- Make sure the feeders are cleaned weekly.
Beware of Ecological Traps
“When the habitat is giving off good vibes, but there is some underlying reason why birds won’t succeed there, we call this an ecological trap” Anita Tendler, NestWatch
- Remove flight hazards such as windows. Don’t place plants close to window.
- Place feeders at least 10 - 13 feet away from window or very close to it.
- Keep cats indoor or on leashes when outdoor with you
- Avoid pesticides and rodenticides
- Cover open pipes
- Trim hedges outside of nesting season
Some great Citizen Science opportunities:
- Great Backyard Bird Count
- Project Feeder Watch
- Cats and Birds Monitoring (BC Stewardship Centre)
- Window collision mortality monitoring (FLAP)
Support Bird Friendly policies such as the District of North Vancouver Tree Protection Bylaw 7671 and the Vancouver Bird Strategy (January 2015)
Gilkeson, Linda – Where Have All The Insects Gone (February 18, 2021)
A PDF version of this presentation can be found on Linda's website - click here
Linda earned a Ph.D. in Entomology from McGill University in 1986, then moved to British Columbia to work for Applied Bio-Nomics Ltd., producing biological controls. Throughout the ‘90’s she worked for the provincial government, promoting programs to reduce and eliminate pesticide use. She was head of the provincial State of Environment Reporting Unit for six years, then the Executive Director of the Salt Spring Island Conservancy until the end of 2011. Linda recently retired from that position to devote more time to her writing, teaching and consulting.
Linda has co-authored pest management training manuals for the government and organic gardening books for Rodale Press. She self-published two books: “Year Around Harvest: Winter Gardening on the Coast” and “West Coast Gardening: Natural Insect, Weed and Disease Control”. Her most recent book, “Backyard Bounty: The Complete Guide to year-Round Organic Gardening in the Pacific Northwest”, has become a BC best seller. As a private consultant, Linda is a regular instructor in the Master Gardener programs in BC and is busy year-round giving workshops on pest management and organic gardening.
Linda has served as President of the Entomological Society of Canada, the Professional Pest Management Association of BC, the Entomological Society of BC and the Salt Spring Island Garden Club. She was awarded a Queen’s Jubilee medal in 2003 and an outstanding achievement award from the Professional Pest Management Association of BC in 2005. She became an Honorary MG in 2000. Linda’s website.
- 2014 – 45% drop in insect populations – 452 species were lost over 40 years
- 2017 – 27 year study in Germany – 76% decline in airborne insect biomass
- 2019 – review of 73 studies – dramatic rates of decline – projecting extinction of 40% of insect species over next few decades
- Extinction rates of bees, ants, beetles 8 times higher
- 2020 – terrestrial insects declining 9% per decade
- 10-30 million insect species – ONLY 0.01% to 1% are pests
- Insects are vital for native plants, agricultural crops and seed production
- 85% of flowering plants depend on pollinators (bees, flies, wasps, moths, etc...)
- Bees keep pollen to feed their young but other insects visit different parts of the plant and spread pollen around
- The majority of birds partially or totally depend on insects (insect eating birds are declining more than other birds)
- Insects also provide soil restoration services
What causes decline of insects:
- Destruction of natural habitat
- Pesticide use (insecticides, miticides, fungicides, herbicides)
- Past use of neonicotinoids = mass killing of insects
- Climate change
- high temps kill off or sterilize insects
- climate change desynchronizes insects – e.g. earlier springs produce pollen at different times then insects are available to benefit
- Poor quality pollen results in shorter lifespan of bees and altered behaviour and vigour
- Light pollution
- 60% of insects are nocturnal – light
What can we do?
- Provide food for adult and larvae stages of insects
- Do not use bug zappers (LED or other kinds) as they kill beneficial insects and hardly any mosquitoes
- Turn off outdoor lights late in evening – and/or REPLACE OUTDOOR INCANDESCENT, CFLS, HALOGEN WITH LED **WARM** LED LIGHTS – ‘warm’ do not attract insects
- Provide water in drier months
- Provide nest sites for pupation and overwintering insects
- Provide a variety of flowers to fit the shapes, sizes of insects
- Provide flowers throughout blooming season
- Aim for at least 50% native plants
- Plant in masses, i.e. 5-10 plants together or one square metre planted
- Replace turf grass with mixes of flowers & grasses – see West Coast seeds for pre-selected mixes
- Do not use insect/pest sprays – including Homemade sprays – as they damage leaves of plants and kill pollinators and butterflies
- Don’t use yellow sticky traps outdoors – indoor use only
- Protect wild bee nests – 70% nest in ground – like bare space in rockery
- Protect ground beetles – no slug traps with liquid bait
- Keep soil covered with mulch and do not over cultivate soil
Thomas, Sangeeta – Earthwise Society (April 15, 2021)
Sangeetha spoke about the Earthwise Society, a not-for-profit, charitable organisation cultivating sustainable communities through environmental education and stewardship.
Their Mission Statement is as follows: Earthwise Society is a catalyst for the creation of sustainable communities through empowering individuals to take responsibility for social, economic and environmental well-being.
Their approach is based on the belief that individual choices do matter. By working together with others in our local communities, it is possible to create a sustainable future.
There are three Earthwise Sites:
Agassiz Site Programs
- Streamside trail
- Habitat enhancement
- Wetlands rehabilitation
- School Programs
Southpointe Farm Programs:
- Farm Apprenticeship
- Farm: Don’t Mow, Grow! (Turning lawns into food gardens)
Boundary Bay Demonstration Garden
- Themed garden beds: Rockery; Winter Bed; Feed the bees; Heritage Bed; Hummingbird Bed;
- Plant Nursery and sales
- Dedicated year round volunteers
- Wildlife awareness
- Corporate Work Parties
Community Programs include:
- Ecological land use
- Food Security: Shared Harvest; Harvest box Program; Food Mesh (Food Rescue Program which rescued 41,229 pound of food last year); Victory Gardens
- Therapeutic Horticulture: Garden Buddies - can be at home, virtual or on-site
Volunteering at Earthwise will enable you to:
- Join and contribute to your community
- Learn and grow your passions
- Share your knowledge
- Expand your education and gain work experience
- Meet you people
- Enjoy the outdoors
“Gardens are places where we connect and gather strength from nature and each other in order to face the difficult realities that come with being a human being”
Van Harmelen, Grant – Water Features (January 21, 2021)
Grant Van Harmelen, owner of Eau Naturelle Custom Water Features, is a Master Certified Aquascape Contractor who has been creating beautiful water features for over 16 years. He is passionate about what he creates and he builds each feature as if it were his own. With over 300 features worth of experience, Grant possesses a wealth of knowledge, artistry and creative vision. Grant has been an Aquascape “Top Frog” in the top 20 twice, and is regularly in the top 100. Over the past 16 years, Grant has built water features all over the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley, many of them on the North Shore.
Grant will be sharing about the various types of water features, and how each yard suits a particular style or type. He will present the benefits of owning different water features such as ecosystem ponds and waterfalls, pondless waterfalls, and fountainscapes. Regardless of the style of water feature you choose, it will be a beautifully positive change, unlike any other landscaping element, taking your yard to another level of enjoyment.