Sunday, July 3, 2016

The joy of boulevards

Some people make good use of their boulevard spaces instead of viewing them as a nuisance. This garden has raspberry bushes on one side, flowers and other plants on the other. 

This overflowing zucchini patch is part of an amazing boulevard vegetable garden. 

Corn and carrots are flourishing in the garden. Down the street, you can see how other homeowners have planted on the boulevard as well.

Cabbages in front, tomato bushes behind -- this gardener knows how to raise vegetables!

A couple of houses along, a woman has a wonderful collection of flowers on the boulevard; she offered to give me some when I admired her handiwork.

A few blocks away, someone set up a white metal table and chairs on this boulevard. To the far right is a little black horse trailer.

The boulevard, that space between the sidewalk and the street, can be a headache for Vancouver homeowners. We don't own it, but we're responsible for it, and if we let it get too ratty, our neighbours aren't happy. Some resolute non-gardeners cover it with river rocks or flagstones; others install indestructible groundcovers that ensure they will never have to touch a lawn-mower.

But some people treasure their boulevards; they turn their creative energies, their green gardening fingers, their practical sensible brains into maximizing that extra bit of space in a city where every inch is precious. On Sunday, I walked down a block where several homeowners -- perhaps the excitement is infectious -- had used their boulevards to create flourishing fruit, flower or vegetable patches.

One was a stunning model of a vegetable garden, with a massive zucchini patch, a thriving plot of corn, a fine row of carrots, three-foot-tall tomato bushes and cabbages already big enough to eat. A few houses down, a jungle of flowers and lavender leapt from a homeowner's property onto the boulevard; and further along, ripe red raspberries hung onto the street from another patch.

But not everything that happens on the boulevards is about gardening. A few blocks away, someone had set up a white wrought-iron table and matching chairs with a pink centrepiece of flowers. As I approached this unusual setting, I had an Alice-in-Wonderland moment. Two people in wheelchairs, along with a man leading a white pony the size of a big dog, went quickly past the table and disappeared through the gate into the garden. They moved too fast for me to grab a photo; the only evidence that I wasn't hallucinating was the little horse trailer by the gate.

 I didn't wait, but I like to think they all came back out and had a Mad Hatter Tea Party at the table on the boulevard.

1 comment:

  1. Goodness, horses in Dunbar! It does all seem Mad Hatterish for sure.