LIVING GREEN: Spotting positives of rainy weather

This column returns, with a slightly wider umbrella (an appropriate word for these days) to cover activities of Communities in Bloom (CinB), Mission City Farmers Market (MCFM), and related projects contributing to the livability of our community.

So it’s appropriate that CinB’s Bert Pulles and photographer Taneane Twele arrived at our door yesterday with a photo of CinB’s Garden of the Week. Two weeks ago, Mike Smith of the Hatzic Lake area provided garden advice at the market. He is using raised beds to maximize the space his property provides. Smith is also grounds keeper for the lake’s Sundorn community and has been a local CinB contest entrant.

I am trying to see positives in this extended rainy season. The work of Communities in Bloom continues with strategic planning for the next three-year period. Ticket sales are in place for its annual raffle and Garden Party and are available from all CinB executive members.

The market is also busy with the development of new marketing strategies, including the use of social media. Check out market activities on both Facebook and Twitter. The May 28 market theme is water wise. Displays will illustrate steps to conserve this finite resource.

As for my own gardening, I have eliminated annuals, with the exception of plantings in hanging baskets, and have replaced with perennials for lower maintenance. On the other hand, I now tend two 4×4 garden boxes: one for herbs and the other for salad greens. The market has been a valuable resource for perennials. I was even able to purchase organic fertilizer from Penny of Rose Brier Cottage, another Hatzic Lake grower.

I have just glanced at next week’s forecast, and it looks like more of the same. But the vendors will be out as usual; they have adapted to climate change and now arrive with tents or canopies. Customers also continue to show loyalty.

Hanging baskets are thriving — including those in downtown, as watering is not yet an issue. Taking advantage of a lull in the rain, the farmer to the west of us was tilling his land late last night. What’s the most beneficial effect of all this moisture? We are “living green” in the truest sense.

Keep blooming, Mission!

Heather Stewart is a CinB and Farmers

Market volunteer