March 5, 2008

Top 10 Fruits and Veggies at UBC

Tony Maniezzo, the horticulturist responsible for the excellent displays in the Food Garden, has compiled this list of recommended fruit and vegetable varieties for local gardens.


Bean ‘Painted Lady’ abundant beans and attractive flowers  

Broccoli ‘Gypsy’ reliable, many smaller side shoots into the winter after the main heads are harvested  

Cauliflower ‘Cheddar’ lovely orange colours  

Beet ‘Chioggia’ reliable performer at UBC  

Cabbage ‘Mellissa’ hardy variety, suitable for the winter garden, very reliable  

Cucumber ‘Salad Bush’ great in containers  

Tomato ‘Sweet Million’ cherry tomato, loads of fruit, resistant to late blight  

Pac Choi ‘Joi Choi’ very white stalks, grows quickly  

Kohlrabi ‘Kongo’ grows quickly  

Lettuce ‘Mesclun, Cooks Mild Mix’ big fan of leaf lettuce salad blends that can be harvested young, cut and cut again as they keep on growing  


Strawberry ‘Totem’ most common for a reason, reliable  

Blueberry ‘November Glow’ good sized berry, a little later fruit and great fall colour  

Raspberry ‘Kitsilano’ large fruit, won our student taste-testing a couple of years ago  

Raspberry ‘Nootka’ very good, sweet, large fruit  

Fig ‘Brown Turkey’ grown all over the Lower Mainland  

Kiwi (Chinese gooseberry) ‘Annasnaja’ will ripen on vine, very sweet, less vigorous than large fuzzy fruit varieties  

Plum ‘Cannor Gold Plum’ delicious, golden-yellow fruit  

Pear ‘Aurora’ consistently good crops  

Apple ‘Melba’ softer than some varieties but great flavour, some disease resistance  

Apple ‘Gravenstein’ old variety, large fruit, crisp  

Posted by Daniel Mosquin at 2:35 PM

July 23, 2007

Mulch Appreciated

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It might not look exciting to most people, but we are thrilled by this generous donation.

We have been given a huge amount of chipped wood that has allowed us to improve unsafe pathways and to get control of the weeds in some difficult areas. Here are a few photos of Brendan and Chris using the donated wood chips to rebuild Upper Asian Way in the Asian Garden. We have also used many, many loads of these chips to mulch the new beds in the Carolinian Forest.

Horticultural Manager Ingrid Hoff explains: "the mulch has come from South Campus and is part of a sustainability initiative spearheaded by UBC Properties Trust. By locally re-using raw materials, which must be removed from the area on south campus due to neighborhood development, truck traffic and carbon emissions are greatly reduced. We are grateful for the support of Al Poettcker, Rob Wood and Paul Young."

A big thank you from all of us!

Posted by Andy Hill at 3:35 PM

May 27, 2007

Jackie Cuts Down a Tree

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In the wrong place, at the wrong time.

As every gardener knows, sometimes a plant is simply not in the right spot and needs to be removed. Unfortunately this was the case with this Caucasian alder (Alnus subcordata) that was planted nearly thirty years ago in what is now part of the developing Carolinian Forest garden. The tree was too large for us to move and it did not fit well within any of the garden's plant collections. So Jackie cut it down.

It is always a little sad when we lose plants, but in this space we can look forward to the growth of our Carolinian groves. There has been some great progress with that garden and several beds are now planted--it is beginning to look like a little forest. I will post some photo updates in the next few weeks.

Posted by Andy Hill at 6:43 PM

May 26, 2007

Hanging Baskets for the Garden Entrance

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Horticulturists carefully plant our popular hanging baskets.

Here are a few photos of Kevin and Jackie putting together hanging baskets. Kevin, Jackie and Ron (not in the photos) design them and then grow all the needed plants. The baskets will be at the Nursery for a few more weeks until they are filled out and looking fabulous. Then they'll be brought over to the garden where they will be placed along the entrance boardwalk. There is always a lot of excitement from visitors who are curious about the unusual plants and unique designs, so we do our best to have plant listings available and to answer questions.

Speaking of questions, the garden's Hortline is busy taking phone calls from gardeners who are looking for advice and inspiration. If you have a gardening question you can try 604.822.9666 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 12 pm and 3 pm to speak with staff and Friends of the Garden who are keen to help. And, as always, you can join the online discussion and post questions, photos or comments on the UBC Botanical Garden Forums by clicking here.

Posted by Andy Hill at 6:46 PM

March 25, 2007

Trimming the Physic Garden Hedge

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Back to wet, rainy weather and some garden clean up.

In between the various major project work that is being done to add extraordinary new collections to the UBC Botanical Garden, we are working hard to get on top of the usual upkeep that all gardens require. The surprising amount of snow that we received this winter really did a number on the yew hedge (taxus x media 'Hicksii') that encloses the Physic Garden. So much snow collected on parts of this hedge that the branches bent completely over, nearly touching the ground. The hedge bounced back quite well (much better that many other plants in the garden that were very badly damaged) but was still looking pretty scruffy until Brendan came along and tidied it up beautifully.

The Physic Garden is filled with interpretive signs that explain some of the medicinal or traditional uses of the plants. Here is what yew hedge sign says:

"The hedge around the Physic Garden is a hybrid between the English yew (Taxus baccata) and Japanese yew (T. cuspidata). The English yew was considered a useful ingredient in witches brews and was planted in graveyards, possibly because the great age of the tree was thought to give immortality. The wood was used for making bows by the Anglo-Saxons. The generic name Taxus comes from taxos, meaning bow. Taxol from the bark of the Pacific yew (T. brevifolia) is now being used to fight certain types of cancer."

Posted by Andy Hill at 6:31 PM

March 16, 2007

Sowing Vegetable Seeds in the Food Garden

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A warm sunny day with clear blue skies – a perfect day to sow some seed.

There is always so much interest in what work is going on in the Food Garden in different seasons. Here, Tony is using a stick to create straight rows and a board to help limit soil compaction as he places Japanese choho seeds. It may seem a little early to be doing this but Tony says, "as soon as the soil can be cultivated in early spring (or late winter) you can direct sow cool season vegetables such as spinach, mustard greens, peas, broad-beans and radishes." If you are interested in learning how to grow your own food check out Tony's "Beginner's Guide to Vegetable Gardening" posted online here. You can also join the online discussions about food plants and post questions on the very popular UBC Forums here.

Posted by Andy Hill at 10:05 PM

February 18, 2007

A Second Bed Added to the Carolinian Forest

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Finishing touches then a little party.

The first few pictures are of Chris, Tony and I working frantically to finish the plantings for the Michaux Bed, the latest addition to the Carolinian Forest project. The other pictures are from soon after when we held a small event to thank "The Cunningham Five" whose incredible generosity made this bed possible.

Posted by Andy Hill at 5:29 PM

February 11, 2007

Building the Inter-Mountain Habitat

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A few construction photos from the Alpine Garden's newest attraction.

We are all very excited about the new Inter-Mountain Habitat that will be featured in the E. H. Lohbrunner Alpine Garden this summer. With the help of Garden donors, we've been able to take an old, unused greenhouse and turn it into a new plant habitat. Construction is well underway with most of the rock work nearly completed. A few more stones, more soil, an efficient low-volume irrigation system, some very special plants and it will be complete.

Posted by Andy Hill at 6:04 PM

Planting the Carolinian Forest Demonstration Bed

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The beginnings of a major new garden component at the Garden.

Last year we planted one bed of the new Carolinian Forest to give visitors an idea of what they can look forward to seeing in the future. Here are a few photos (featuring horticulturist Tony Maniezzo) taken then. Donor support means that we will be planting a second bed next week and another eight this spring. This area is truly going to be amazing. It will allow us to show visitors eastern hardwoods that are not often seen in this region.

Posted by Andy Hill at 6:00 PM

Down and Dirty with the Irrigation System

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Some very mucky work.

It definitely was not a planned project. Here, Tony upgrades one of our irrigation mainlines last year after a break turned the main lawn (beside the Winter Garden) into a muddy swamp.

Posted by Andy Hill at 5:37 PM

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UBC Botanical Garden Blog is a project of the UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research, located in Vancouver, British Columbia Canada. UBC BGCPR is a department within the Faculty of Land and Food Systems at The University of British Columbia.