Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Library Landscaping

I am anxiously waiting for spring to arrive. Over the past few months, I have been thinking about the space around our little library and I’d like to spruce up the landscaping; however, I face a few challenges. I have only been able to grow grass in the area for the past decade. When it comes to plants, I prefer a low maintenance, sustainable landscape. I conserve water during the summer months and inevitably the grass dies and becomes a hay patch. Excessive rain in the winter causes the area to become muddy.

During my urban design coursework, I networked with an array of talented individuals including city planners and landscape architects. I contacted one of my former classmates, Paula Leyton, who recently graduated from UBC with her master’s in landscape architecture and asked her for advice on the space.

Here is what she suggested:

Around the post of the little library use ornamental grasses and combine with small rock boulders and some ground cover. Refer to this link for a recommended plant list provided by the City of Vancouver.

For ornamental grasses she recommended: Carex buchananii, Carex flacca blue zinger, Carex Helictotrichon sempervirens, Imperata cylindrica 'Rubra', Molinia caerulea moorhexe, Stipa tenuissima, and Pampas grass.

For ground cover, she advised using Thymus pseudolanuginosus and highlighted Erica calluna and Sedum spurium tricolor as they flower nicely in spring. 

She provided this image of the space with foliage:

I like her plant selection and the addition of colour to the area. I think it will be easy to maintain and require minimal watering during the summer. What do you think? Should I leave it alone or go for a new look? 

If you hear of any upcoming plant sales, keep me posted. As a former member of the Abbotsford Garden Club, I know they are planning their plant sale in May but I am not sure I can wait that long!

Thank you Paula for your sharing your expertise, insight and ideas! Always a pleasure working with you!



Friday, February 14, 2014

Spreading Love, Learning, and Literacy!

Hello Friends!

Happy Valentine's Day! I have left a series of romantically-themed bookmarks in Skookum for you to enjoy! Grab one while visiting and take a few colourful hearts for creating your own Valentines!

Since launching Skookum Reads! Little Free Library in December, I've received emails from individuals interested in building their own library. Little Free Library provides several resources, building plans, and ideas that I encourage you to peruse before constructing and installing a library. During my research process, I also contacted other little librarians to talk about some of the challenges in designing and maintaining the structure.

Sharing this concept of a community book exchange has been extremely rewarding for me and hopefully for others. In fact, yesterday I was invited by the Chilliwack Learning Community Society's Early Years Group to present on Skookum and its development. The Chilliwack Learning Community Society "builds relationships and partnerships to better meet the learning needs of all community members, to make possible the successful learning, development and growth of the individual, the family and the community" and was recently awarded the "Not for Profit/Service Club of the Year" from the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce!

During my presentation, I mentioned that my little neighbours enjoy Archie comics. Before departing on my way, Debbie Denault, the Literacy Outreach Coordinator, grabbed me a generous pack for all to enjoy! Thank you Debbie! I've included a handful in Skookum this morning:

Thank you to Debbie and to the Chilliwack Learning Community Society volunteers for their dedication and commitment to improving literacy throughout their city. Keep up your wonderful work!



Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Hello Friends!

I recently purchased a series of multi-coloured foam hearts for Valentine's and had quite a few remaining! So, I've left this extra love in Skookum for you to take home and get creative with. As we approach Valentine's, I'm sharing one of my favourite RSA Shorts on Michael Pollan's culinary research.




Sunday, February 2, 2014

More Books!

Wow! This afternoon a very generous Skookum supporter left three bags full of books. I have added the six above to our little library for your reading pleasure! Also, CBC's North by Northwest program is celebrating Canada Reads with a contest. Learn more about here!