The Inspiration Garden: Catch the Buzz!

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Yesterday we made a stop by Coquitlam’s Inspiration Garden. Let me tell you it’s worth the look!
These are their main categories of plantings. (I took the titles & descriptions from their website, but as usual the photo’s are all mine):

Lawn Substitutes: Plants that you can walk on, but won’t need mowing!
(Honestly I didn’t see any of this.)

The Kitchen Garden:
This model food garden demonstrates the range of crops that can be grown throughout the seasons in a local climate.
The Climbers:The garden’s perimeter fencing supports a wide range of ornamental and fruiting crops. From espaliered fruit trees to grapes, kiwis, wisteria and honeysuckle, vertical gardening takes advantage of limited space to produce both food and beauty.
The Cultural Fusion Garden: This showcase of rich gardening traditions has been brought to Coquitlam from all over the world. It features plants and gardening traditions from a variety of cultures that can enrich Coquitlam’s landscape.

***Julieanne, the Inspiration Garden’s Program Leader (Hi Julieanne!) points out this is from the Butterfly & Bird Garden. The Cultural Fusion and Kitchen Garden are still to be planted.
Eco-Sculpture: A spectacular blend of art and horticulture, the bee and Echinacea flower is growing art that is composed of a metal frame planted with traditional carpet bedding plants – a horticultural treasure that delights young and old.
(She thinks she’s a bee too!)The Herb Garden: A collection of culinary and medicinal plants with traditional and contemporary significance.
Plant Collections:Roses, perennials and other plants such as strawberries, blueberries and raspberries have many benefits to a garden including attracting birds and bees—see how they grow and how they can fit into your garden at home.
They had a fabulous Mason Bee hive, towering above the gardens!The four Seasons Garden: This area features plants that delight the senses year around, contributing colour, fragrance, shape and texture. Adaptable for every yard, patio or deck.
Sustainable Gardening in Action:Permanent educational exhibits that feature sustainable gardening techniques will include compost barrels, a green roof and green wall, and rain barrels – all on a scale appropriate for the average residential gardener.
Hey look they have my water hydrant, but in blue!I had a good peek around their gardens. While they are lovely & I enjoyed them, they were not completed. I couldn’t find many of the installments they mentioned on their website. Then again, it looks like they still have a lot of planting to do!

I would also recommend more signage! A teaching garden should always be heavy on the signage. After all there is not always someone there to explain all the bit’s and bobs. Or simply tell you a plants name.
What Coquitlam’s Inspiration Garden does have is a dizzying array of classes for you to sign up for. Some are free, and others have a minimal charge that includes a take home project! You know how I love a good take home project!
If your interested in signing up for a class, here are the deets!:

Sedums and Succulents – 19 years & up
Learn how to prepare, plant and maintain your sedums and succulents! All supplies required included. Participants will create and take home their own containers.
Saturday, August 28 10:00 a.m. -11:00 a.m. $20.00

Container Herb Gardening – 19 years & up
Have fun potting in a terracotta planter with a few of your favourite kitchen herbs! All supplies included. Participants will create and take home their own containers. Session presented by Living Art Landscape Design.
Saturday, July 10 10:00 a.m -11:00 a.m. $30.00

Water Wise Gardening Seminar – 19 years & up
Find out how you can reduce water use in your landscape and still have a great looking garden. Learn about proper watering techniques, mulching and native plant use. (Call 604-927-4386 to register).
Tuesday, July 13 2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Free Tuesday, August 10 11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Free

Bokashi Composting – 19 years & up
Come learn about a simple clean composting method for those with very little time or space. Learn about the Bokashi method which ferments kitchen scraps in a sealed container on your balcony or under your kitchen sink in 10-14 days. How to use these beneficial nutrients in your soil will also be covered. Supplies will be available to purchase. Session led by Al Pasternak. Sunday, July 18 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Free!

Pesticide Free Lawns and Gardens Seminar – 19 years & up
Learn to recognize local invaders in your garden and discover solutions to manage them using the latest tools and techniques. Learn how to maintain a healthy lawn without the use of toxic chemicals and techniques to decrease the need for fertilizers while reducing competition for weeds. (Call 604-927-4386 to register).
Tuesday, July 20 1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Free

Gardening for Beginners: Basic Horticulture – 19 years & up
Learn how plants work and what they need to survive plus advice on where to begin. Step-by-step techniques cover everything from sowing seeds and arranging plants in a border, to laying a lawn and pruning. (Call 604-927-4386 to register).
Tuesday, August 3 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Free

Edible Containers – 19 years & up
Enjoy planting some of your favourite edibles in containers. This workshop is great for those who want to grow fresh food in a small space or on a patio or deck! Supplies included. All participants will create and take home their own containers. Session presented by Living Art Landscape Design.
Saturday, August 7 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. $30.00

Adult & Child Programs.

Let’s Learn about Lady Bugs! – 5 – 10 years
Children will learn about these beneficial insects and create a lady bug themed craft. Children will then participate in a lady bug release into the garden! Parent participation required. Presented by Living Art Landscape Design.
Saturday, July 24 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. $10.00

Children’s Workshop: Planting Seeds – 5 – 10 years
Children will learn about seeds and plant their own in a pot to take home! All supplies included. Parent participation required. Presented by Living Art Landscape Design.
Saturday, August 21 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. $10.00I am impressed with Coquitlam’s drive to educate their citizens to get into the dirt and start growing flowers, or fruit, or frankly whatever hits their fancy! I would love to see a similar project take shape in my city. I would be VERY interested in helping out in any way I can with such an endeavor.

For now I will keep hope that some of our neighboring town’s urge to educate will rub off on our municipality. On that note, there is a lot Coquitlam could learn from Port Coquitlam too. We have a terrific waste & composting system in place in our city. We’ve worked out most of the kinks, and have rapidly become a leader in city collected composting systems.

It leaves a lot for these two cities to learn from each other. Personal I think combined it would be the best of both world. Getting the education and inspiration, with a proper disposal system to deal with the waste.

Ahhhh, talk about inspiration!

***Edited for clarification 🙂

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11 comments on “The Inspiration Garden: Catch the Buzz!

  1. Frugal Gardener on said:

    Love the bee!!! Wish I lived closer so I could visit as well. How incredible.

  2. Tracy on said:

    How are you finding the waste composting? we got our container and have been using it. I am finding our house is starting to fill up with fruit flies and our green waste bin is FULL of them. when I open it up to dump our container I get a face/mouth full of fruit flies! Other then that I can't believe how little garbage we have now.

  3. Heather on said:

    Woo hoo – good for Coquitlam! I grew up there….

  4. Laura on said:

    @Frugal Gardener My kids were gaga for it! I love living sculptures! They have some fabulous one's at Deer Lake in Burnaby for years. They are really starting to pop up all over now though! You turn a street corner and there is this beautiful flowering sculpture. Way cool!@Tracy OMG yes! Never open the bucket with your mouth open! No breathing is also a big rule! We live on the upper floor in my house, so it's not super convienient to take out that little kitchen composter pail all the time. So I've been keeping a Home Depot bucket with its lid on on my back patio. I need to stand back while opening it, but it works out okay. For the summer I've decided not to keep my little bucket inside (too many bugs!) so for now I'm just using the Home Depot bucket. I keep a bowl handy while cooking or preparing meals, and use that to shuttle it to the patio. Come winter my little composter will be back by my kitchen sink.@Heather! I love the Tri-Cities! What a wonderful community!

  5. Rebecca @ In The Garden on said:

    Wow, looks like a lovely project! You are lucky to have such a thing where you live. 🙂

  6. Laura on said:

    @Rebecca we really are lucky! It's good to have community's listening to their citizens and trying to green it up!

  7. Very nice, thanks for sharing.

  8. Amber on said:

    I definitely have to check the Inspiration Garden out. It's in my neighbourhood, in one of our favourite parks. I have no excuse for not having paid a visit yet.And boy, am I totally jealous of your municipal composting. I compost in my back yard, but not everything goes in there. I would love to have another option for organic waste than the garbage.

  9. Laura on said:

    @Dan anytime! Thanks for visiting!@Amber we had a great day. Grandma, the kids and I toured the gardens, and then wandered to the park to play. The best of both worlds! I really like our composting system too. I compost at home, but because of Bears, and other garden pests I don't compost anything cooked, and certainly no bones. With our city system all of that goes in their bin & locks up tight for the night! I've found a nice balance!

  10. Stevie from GardenTherapy.ca on said:

    Looks like a great place – I'll have to plan a day to check it out – although your post was so good I feel like I was there.

  11. Laura on said:

    @Stevie, awww thanks!

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