Back in February 2008 I worked with an Environmental Youth Alliance colleague to design a perennial garden on the YWCA of Greater Vancouver’s rooftop. YWCA Operations Manager Ted Cathcart and a crew of volunteers have been growing vegetables on the 4-story roof in downtown Vancouver since 2006. This summer they wanted to add plants that would be highly productive, but would require less maintenance than annual vegetables. We chose to plant raspberries, (non-invasive) blackberries, strawberries, blueberries and kiwis. All the food goes to the Crabtree Corner Family Resource Centre, so we chose popular fruits that the women and children would be happy to eat. Engineering students from UBC built this trellis for the berries:
The YWCA is part of the Mason Bee Vancouver project. The garden provides a home for Blue Orchard Mason Bees, a native, non-aggressive species which pollinated the rooftop garden and surroundings all summer.