Following is an article by guest columnist Margy Lutz who lives with her husband, Wayne, on a float house on Powell Lake. You can follow Margy on her blogsite http://powellriverbooks.blogspot.com
This sure has been a mild winter, and gardens all around town (and up and down our coast) are already showing signs of spring. My daffodils were in bloom two full weeks earlier than normal, how about yours? Our weather with rain interspersed with more than a few warm sunny days has all of us gardeners ready to get started.
Last week I tilled my vegetable garden and amended the soil with composted manure. I do this in March so the soil can rest before planting seeds in April. It works better that way, at least for me. I also got my flowerpots ready for annuals once they start arriving in the stores.
Do you have a garden? Is it large or small? Do you have pots on a balcony or a few things growing in a windowsill? Gardening can take many forms. I don’t have any land where I live up the lake in a float cabin. My good friend John helped me out by building a cedar log float with four one by two metre raised beds on top. In it I have a kitchen garden with lettuce, spinach, kale, chard, beets, carrots, onions, radishes, tomatoes, and herbs. I’ve also rotated in asparagus, strawberries, and potatoes at other times. On the cabin deck I grow other vegetables and flowers in pots. It’s not enough to be self-sustaining, but the home grown produce is a nice addition to our meals in summer and preserved for winter use.
I keep the garden tied to the breakwater most of the time. That keeps my plants away from shore and hungry critters like mice, squirrels, and woodrats. I use a simple pulley and rope to bring the garden next to our cabin’s deck when I want to plant, weed, water, or pick something for supper. Then a gentle kick and pull of the rope sends it back out to its protected spot.
A solar panel runs a boat bilge pump so I can water with a hose. Porous heavy-duty mesh cloth on the bottoms of the beds allows for drainage. I plant my garden just like you would on land. I just have to be careful that I don’t put anything on the soil or plants that would be harmful in the water, which we drink after boiling.
Garden trimmings and kitchen scraps go up the hill to my compost bin. There it decomposes to become part of my future soil supply.
My floating garden is a bit unique, and it shows that you can garden just about anywhere as long as you have good soil, water, sunshine, and loving hands.
On April 2 (Good Friday) from 6 – 7 AM and April 6 (Easter Monday) from 5 – 6 PM my garden will be part of a CBC radio broadcast about five different houses from across Canada. The show will include a rebroadcast of an interview originally conducted by Willow Yamauchi (who grew up in Lund) for a North by Northwest show in 2013. You can read more about that program here: http://powellriverbooks.blogspot.com/2013/08/float-garden-on-cbc-radio-north-by.html
Are you a gardener? Would you like to share your garden or gardening talents with your friends and neighbours in and around Powell River? The Powell River Garden Club has put out a call for people willing to open their gardens to others on a day yet to be determined this coming June. If you don’t have a garden to share, would you be willing to donate some time to keep the Powell River Garden Tour going? You can find out more information at their blog or contact them by email at email@example.com. or visit: http://powellrivergardenclubblog.blogspot.com/2015/02/garden-tour-in-jeopardy.html
Thanks for visiting my float garden on Powell Lake. If you would like to read more about it, I invite you to come to my blog at http://PowellRiverBooks.blogspot.com and select the “Gardening” category. — Margy