Spring Gillard

Pirate Ship?

Looks like the Dread Pirate Roberts is docked at the Vancouver Maritime Museum near the dog beach in Kitsilano. I am intrigued by this contraption which appears to have some “green” features. Perhaps some water collection capacity? A compost toilet? Would love to know more if anyone has details.

Just got this update from the […]


I booked a compost workshop at my community garden for tonight – before I knew I was getting a new, full time job. So the question was, do I cart all of my composting supplies with me to work or try to rush home before heading to the garden for 6pm. I decided that carrying […]

Ready, Set, Garden

I bought seeds this week. On the weekend I’ll be heading to my community garden to get my plot prepped. Here’s my to do list:

•spread composted manure that was delivered last weekend

•trim herbs

•pull some weeds and compost

•rake up […]

Blown Away

On my run the other day I was blown away by how many leaf blowers I saw. Homeowners and hired gardeners were blowing perfectly good leaves off the garden areas out from under shrubs and trees. Why oh why aren’t they leaving them in place? Does bare dirt really look tidier? Used […]

Welcome Chip

The compost committee at my community garden welcomed a new member today, “Chip.” Our new shredder made fast work of some of the larger woodier materials in the compost corner. As we want to keep Chip in good working order, we will only be shredding at work parties. Garden members must be […]

Shooting the Bull

We had a latecomer show up to my compost workshop at the Coquitlam Inspiration Garden last Saturday. He spoke proudly about his rotator. He had missed the part where I had trashed most rotating bins. I had explained to the group that it was better for the compost bin to be on the ground so […]

Christmas Can Can

On my way to the pool, I always pass this chorus line of composters. They are up against a fence that encloses a car impound, one of the places your car winds up when you get towed.

The bins are managed by the same guy who planted a guerilla garden along the chain link fence, […]

Midnight in the Garden

One from the archives. This essay first appeared in the Globe and Mail, Facts & Arguments page (October 30, 2001) with a beautiful illustration from Steve Murray. A slightly longer version then appeared in my book, the Diary. Happy Halloween!

Illustration by Steven Murray

This Halloween story begins in a late summer […]

Leaf Snitch

I was on my way to the Kits Community Garden to drop off my foodwaste yesterday, when I hit the leaf jackpot: a half dozen, giant brown paper bags full of lovely, dry maple leaves sitting on the boulevard. I manage the compost bins at the garden and have been none too proud to announce […]

Compost in a Carport

Well, I’m at it again. Another compost workshop. This time in an undisclosed carport somewhere in Dunbar. The secret location will only be given upon registration. Not only will we be protected from the elements, but we will have light in these darkening days of summer.

Many people don’t have yard space for a composter […]