Sunday, March 30, 2014

Zombie-Like Stirrings At Dunsmuir Gardens

ONE BRIGHT DAFFODIL offered a glimmer of hope for flourishing growth at Dunsmuir Gardens where my husband and I recently walked. The community spaces at Blackie Spit Park in Crescent Beach can be rented from the City of Surrey for a low yearly fee.

Communal gardening is ideal for people who love to dig in the dirt but live in apartments with little or no yards. The resulting fresh fruit and vegetables are mostly for personal use. But some might be slated for local Food Banks.

The scarecrow (below) survived winter looking like a zombie that is about to get up and drag its feet the way spring has done.

Perennials under cover of earth slept quietly like the buried undead.

The garden at Blackie Spit Park is named after Dr. Dunsmuir who in the 1940s purchased a portion of land to farm that (in the late 1800s) belonged to Walter Blackie. Blackie was the first pioneer to settle in the seaside area now worth millions.

According to historians, he bought 150 acres (much of it sandspit) for fifty dollars. The subsequent park (in fact all of Crescent Beach) was once called Blackie's Spit.

Over the years Surrey acquired greater portions of the heritage land and in 1975 garden plots were created within a larger sanctuary preserved for wildlife.

Species that float, fly, buzz, creep or crawl are just starting to stir. Painted butterflies bring color to the scene until the fluttering kind come around.

Honey bees and wasps that can really sting will soon reappear.

Painted sunrays beam while waiting for brighter days.

There will be more creepy crawlers to bug everyone in the weeks ahead.

Shovels are decorative until the hard work of digging begins in earnest.

This adorable pony is not seasonal. I have seen two of them munching on hay year-round at the heritage farm alongside the road to the gardens.

At the end of the road there is a Drainage Pump Station working in conjunction with Dunsmuir Channel that is the storm water outlet for Crescent Beach. Plants love getting wet but there can be too much of a good thing when groundwater levels rise too high.

My husband and I were merely voyeurs enjoying a glimpse of a garden that is still an empty canvas with bare patches of soil. From tiny seeds and seedlings, strawberries, peas, beans and more will appear thanks to the tenders. We look forward to seeing the fruits of their labor as the growing season unfolds.

Visit Postcards From Penelope Puddle to view more BC scenes.

To see more sights from around the globe visit Our World at the sidebar.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms


  1. Is that a new building? I don't remember seeing it, but then again it could have been there and I was enraptured with all of the flowers, the ocean, the birds...


  2. Yes … the updated Maple Drainage Pump Station is relatively new (2013) and replaces an older version I believe.

  3. Oh I would love it if you could return there when the garden is in full bloom and growing stuff. I think it is such a great idea these community gardens for those that don't have access to one where they live.

  4. I always enjoy your photographs and narrative so much.

  5. That's a wonderful idea for people who do not have their own gardens. Growing your own food is so special.

  6. Another great post/photos, Penelope!! Thank you so much for sharing!! Have a wonderful week ahead!

  7. What a magical and delightful place and great shots ~ love the tired scare crow and the 'little flower' ~ great for OWT ~ xoxo

    artmusedog and carol

  8. The scarecrow looks very tired. I'm sure he did a good job while he was young and vibrant. ;-)
    I love the idea of community gardens and see them all over, even in cities.

  9. That pump station is so lovely - you've really captured its beauty!

    The first stirrings of spring are always so hopeful.

  10. This is another interesting post, Penelope. I could almost smell the soil from all your photos. Communal gardening is a good idea. It’s so lovely to realize a magic in one’s own plot by playing with dirt , mud, insects, and the likes, apart from our dirt-free life.

  11. Great post with the most delightful photos. Thank you Penelope, this started my morning out beautifully.

  12. Community gardens are a wonder -- just knowing they exist makes me smile and it's even better to see one. I'm past the stage where I want to grow my own veggies now (been there done that -- or in other words, too old) .. but it makes me so very happy to know that communities are providing more families this chance to learn where their food comes from by growing their own.

    The undead scarecrow is wonderful!


YOUR THOUGHTS add colour to the content and are always much appreciated.