Creating a Dining Area at the Ladner Community Garden

Our Proposed Community Garden

It’s amazing to watch as the Ladner Community garden grows. Since I am there all the time I don’t realize the changes as much as the neighbours do so today I am looking back at the progress. Yes, back in 2011 it was just a field of grass as pictured above. It seems so long ago that we started our community garden on that rainy day back in May of 2011.

community gardens

Now its a picture of great abundance with one of our best growing seasons so far and a lovely rock garden to welcome visitors into the garden. In the first year and half a shed was built, the rock garden was finished, fruit beds and a children’s garden were installed and our composting area was created. Our next task was to build a shelter in the center of the garden.

Ladner community garden

With the amount of permits and paperwork needed to build a roofed structure, we decided to build two 10×10′ open pergolas. No permit needed for these but we changed our roof design twice before we got it right.We definitely wanted a bit of shade so lattice boards on top were the right solution.


Now that the pergolas were built, what were we placing underneath? We had lots of recycled concrete and decided to create a floor using large pieces. Now this is not a job everyone should take on. These pieces are huge and require time and strength to move them around. They also have to be perfectly level.  DSC01983

One side under the first pergola is finally done! The cement is level and ready to be finished off with some sand and pockets of soil for plants. I am pretty excited to see our pergolas at the Ladner Community garden finally coming to completion. Hopefully we will be done by the end of summer. This has been a year-long project and one that takes time. The pergolas were built last summer with help from our wonderful volunteers at the garden. We have one volunteer, Gord, who has worked tirelessly on getting the cement pieces right. That is until we decided that we would only use the recycled cement underneath the pergolas. Okay, I didn’t mention that we have ten feet between the pergolas. We had left this space in between so we could erect a tent between the pergolas when we have community meals. After all, we want our food to be undercover.

So what did we decide? Before Gord started placing cement pieces under the other side of the pergola, we decided to buy some concrete pavers for the center area. I think he had a sigh of relief as we were a bit short on the recycled concrete to finish the north end.

new checkerboard area


This is our new plan. Today we will be receiving a new shipment of bricks and pavers. You see, the guys thought it would be fun to create a checkerboard in the center. This use of regular flat pavers in different colours would give us a level walking surface for our meals and let us have a game of checkers once in a while. So to create this pattern we have ordered 32 red and 32 charcoal pavers for the checkerboard, enough charcoal coloured pavers to add as trim and some regular pavers to create ramps for accessibility.

This will still take some time to complete but the end result will be amazing. Many thanks go to West Coast Seeds for being patient as we build this structure that they so kindly donated funds for. Thanks also goes to our small group of tireless volunteers who are so dedicated to helping out. We sure couldn’t have done it without you!

Stay tuned for more improvements at the Ladner Community Garden as we find time between harvesting this year. We have lots planned from new rock gardens around our pergolas to building an herb spiral.

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