Yes, it’s that time of year when the Green Dreamers share our latest news and invite you to our first ever plant drive to be held on Saturday, June 8, 2019 between noon and 3:00 p.m!
The Green Dreamers are very pleased to have recently received a donation from the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association. This money will be put to good use at the Sunnyside Branch library garden. It is the largest site of the approximately twelve public and private sites along Bank Street that our volunteers tend to every spring, summer, and fall. This also includes the Firehall site and the rain gardens on Sunnyside Avenue. Without the hard work of these green thumbs you would still be driving past untended and weedy garden plots between the two bridges. Luckily for our community, four years ago David Chernushenko hatched the idea for a volunteer gardening group and the Ottawa South Community Association took it under its wing.
Our team of workers can be spotted once or twice a week for a few hours at a time rotating between all the plots. Rainfall as you may recall was in short supply last summer so, you guessed it, Green Dreamer volunteers watered the gardens in the exceptional heat. Our budget from OSCA covers our basic maintenance costs, but new plantings mainly come from the generous donations from people in the community. Last year we were also fortunate to get a donation of native plants from the Fletcher Wildlife Garden, which is on proud display at the library garden in the northeast end of the large Bank Street plot.
We have developed an excellent partnership with the Sunnyside Branch of the Ottawa Public Library, Hopewell Avenue Public School and some local businesses who have allowed us to manage their plots and given us access to exterior water taps. The gratitude so often expressed by passersby reminds us of the value of our efforts.
Here comes the invite: we are holding a plant drive on Saturday, June 8th from noon to 3:00 p.m. at the Sunnyside Branch. We are asking for donations of plants that are local, hardy, and drought-resistant. We would love perennials like shade-loving hostas, always blooming black-eyed susans and daisies, fragrant peonies, sturdy stone-crop, and walkable thyme. Please no shrubs, bushes, or trees and remember to drop them off potted and labelled.
We are also recruiting volunteers. If you have a green thumb or just want to get some fresh air and exercise, please consider becoming a Green Dreamer. Don’t let mobility issues and age hold you back. Adaptive tools and garden benches are available at most hardware stores. Come and talk to us at the plant drive or email me, Christine Bradley, at adoptgarden [AT] oldottawasouth [DOT] ca.
Finally, to kick-off your garden planning and green dreaming of your own, here are some recommendations from Kelly Sirett, Coordinator at the Sunnyside branch:
- “Beginner Gardening Step by Step: a visual guide to yard and garden basics”
- “Harvest: Unexpected Projects Using 47 Extraordinary Garden Plants” by Stefani Bittner
- "Brilliant & Wild: A Garden From Scratch in A Year" by Lucy Bellamy
- "The Botanical Bible: Plants, Flowers, Art, Recipes & Other Home Remedies" by Sonja Patel
Christine Bradley is a longtime resident of OOS and has worked with the Green Dreamers for the last three years using a Lee Valley garden bench.
Kelly Sirett is the coordinator at the Sunnyside Branch of the Ottawa Public Library.