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Gardening column: May signals time to get your garden growing

Annual Mother’s Day sale upcoming
plant sale
Mother's Day plant sale

On your mark, get set, grow!!  The month of May is always such an exciting time for gardeners. 

Vegetable and flower seeds are planted. Tender plants are moved outdoors and lineups begin at our local nurseries. 

Our fingernails are embedded with dirt and our knees are permanently callused and stained with delicious black soil.

According to the 2011 census, approximately 55 per cent of Richmond residents were living in multi-unit housing.  That number has probably increased in the last six years.  So, small space gardening has become a popular topic within the gardening community.

Another trend that is gaining momentum in our community is food security. We want to grow our own healthy fruits and vegetables that have not been contaminated with chemicals.  

The joy of gardening does not have to disappear when living in townhouses or condominiums. The magic word is “vertical” — grow everything up!

Vertical gardening gives the illusion of more space. There is a lot of produce that can be grown in pots these days -— tomatoes, beans, peas, potatoes, raspberries, blackberries, salad veggies and so on.

Growing food in small spaces can be fun and productive. All you need is sunshine and some imagination!

Living in a townhouse allows a bit more space to incorporate raised garden beds. Not only do raised beds make it easier for some of us not-so-flexible gardeners to get up and down, but also easier to control weeds.

Some of our garden club members are quite creative in what they use to encourage plants to grow vertical. There are some great finds at second hand stores, such as old fireplace screens, umbrella stands, large pots, baskets which you can use to create interest in your little garden.  

Small obelisks, bamboo stakes, even strong branches can be used to create your upright garden!

So, don’t be afraid to get out there and grow your favourite fruits and veggies. There is lots of help out there from your local nurseries and new products to assist you in creating a small space garden on your balcony, your patio or in your small yard.

Pick up small, raised bed containers, fill it with soil, plant some of your favourite veggie seeds or seedlings and you are off to the races!

Annual Mother’s Day sale upcoming

The Richmond Garden Club will be holding its annual Mother’s Day Plant Sale, Saturday, May 13 in the  South Arm United Church parking lot at Steveston Highway and No. 3 Road, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

We will have a great selection of vegetable and fruit plants to help get you started in your garden along with a beautiful selection of perennials, annuals and hanging baskets!  

Expert gardeners on site will help you with your choices.  

The Richmond Potters Club will join us for the first time selling gardening related pottery. So, no excuses! This year, you will grow your garden and let your optimism get the better of your worries!

Lynda Pasacreta is the current president of the Richmond Garden Club. Visit them online at