›› Josh Wagler

June is a busy time in the garden, and two words come to mind: turbulence and ­florescence. The soils are still moist with the lingering spring rains, and the heat provokes massive growth this month as we approach the Summer Solstice. The garden offers a vast abundance at this time, ­including rosemary, lavender, mugwort, clover (look for the beautiful self-seeding annual crimson clover), mint, nettle, borage, malva, fennel, lovage, milk thistle, calendula, rose petals, camas lily, and bay leaves. June also marks the beginning of berry season… Keep an eye out for ­currants and gooseberries!

Plant of the Month:
Gooseberry, Ribes hirtellum

The gooseberry is an often overlooked berry, yet there are over 100 varieties in North America. The leaves of the gooseberry look much like a currant. The fruits of both are edible, although there are more species of currant with an ­unpleasant, mealy or tannic flavor than there are of gooseberries, which are universally tart and a little sweet. Gooseberries set flowers and fruit in a line underneath the branches. Currants flower and fruit in clusters at the end of branches. The berries are great on their own, but make a delicious sauce or syrup, traditionally served with wild goose.

There is lots going on at Spring Ridge Commons this month (at the corner of Gladstone Ave. and Chambers St.). It’s a ­perfect time to get involved and lend a hand:
On June 7 & 8, join the Spring Spruce Up & Block Party! The grass has become out of control and it is time to do something about it. Lunch, music, and good cheer for all those who come give a day of their time. (10a.m. – 4p.m., both days) For more info, call Nick Poeta at 250-661-7689 or check out the facebook event.

Every Sunday, Bee in The Garden continues at Spring Ridge Commons. All are invited to be in nature, join the conversation, enjoy tea, play an instrument, create art, volunteer in the garden, and gather food!

On the third ­Sunday of each month (June 22 & July 19) , there is a work party facilitated by Brent Howard of Garden Roots Landscape from 1:30 – 3:30p.m.