A Plea for the Peace – Refugees Welcome?

Canada’s World Refugee Obligations Met by British Columbia’s Peace River Valley Site ‘C’ Settlement


photo by Picfile /Flickr

All great civilizations have had their beginnings in
River Valleys beside great rivers.
Africa’s Rift Valley remains as the origin of the world’s peoples

The Peace River is one of Western Canada’s Great
River Valleys. Unfortunately it’s position on globe
earth far from Africa’s Rift Valley leaves it out of the
loop of history becoming home to one of the world’s civilizations.
The Peace River’s less than benign climate has not been conducive
to serious year round settlement, although with global warming
this may change. We will just have to let nature take its course.

However the Peace like all the world’s River Valley holds
the elements for sustainable human settlement, access
to continuous running fresh water with an obtainable source of
protein in its fsh and visiting wild fowl ducks & geese. In addition,
the flooding annually of the valley uplands with receding silt & soil
deposits provide rich & fertile plains for growing annual pasture
gazing grasses and woodland forest trees for fuel and construction.

While not specific to the Peace, the description of
North America’s continental evaluation of its
climate modifying physical features as described by writers
Jones and Cushman in the Peterson Nature Series Te Prairie.
I have copied the part of it that expresses North American
evolution much better than this presenter ever could:

“P
rior to the Northern Rocky Mountain uplift the entire
central North American climate had been dominated
by warm moist air masses that swept east from the Pacific from
the Gulf of Mexico. Te rising mountains created a barrier that
blocked the Pacific storms squeezing out most of their moisture
before it reached the plains. Tis rain shadow helped to create
the more arid conditions that favour growth of grasses over trees.

Fossils of camels, rhinoceroses, horses and other grass eating
herbivores unearthed on the plains suggest an erratic
progression. Recent analysis of plant micro-fossils indicates that the
extensive grasslands covered parts of the great plains even earlier
perhaps beginning in the late Eocene Epoch, 35 million years ago.

These early grasslands were dominated by “cool season”
grasses, species that thrive under relatively mild
growing conditions. Te quintessential Tallgrasses, including
warm season bluestems and switchgrasses did not begin to appear
until about 10 million years ago. Even then, forests continued to
cover much of the Great Plains with grasslands spreading during
drier climactic periods, and contracting during wetter periods.”

quoted from Peterson Series The North American Prairie by Stephen Jones & Ruth
Carol Cushman; Houghton & Mifflin
Boston 2004

The warming and drying trend continued for several
millennia reaching its maximum intensity between 8,000
and 5,000 years ago. During the height of this hot & dry period
the prairie pushed eastward replacing forests in parts of present
day Indiana Nebraska, Ohio and perhaps Pennsylvania [and also
North into the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. Te
sands of Western Nebraska[Probably North into B.C. & Alberta
also]. All but a few isolated groves of conifers disappeared from
the Western Plains.
Bos Bison a smaller more agile species than
the great plains, prairie dogs and ground squirrels proliferated,
and Pronghorn populations climbed into the tens of millions.

About 5,000 years ago the Climatic Pendulum began
to swing back toward slightly cooler & wetter
conditions. By the time the first white explorers stepped out into
the grasslands the forests had begun to creep westward filling

the pockets of prairie on the Great lakes region & the upper
Mississippi River Valley [and Northward to the Peace River Valley]

Nevertheless, all of these early travelers marveled at the
expanse of grass that seemed to extend forever beyond
the last islands of forest. Nineteenth-century author Washington
Irving characterized the landscape as being “inexpressively lonely”
and like “a desert world.” Writer Francis Parkman referred to it
as “a barren, trackless waste.” In contrast, nineteenth-century
artist George Catlin extolled a land of “soul-melting scenery…
where I Heaven sheds its purest light and lends its richest tints.”

Whatever their opinions, writers & artists realized that the
Canadian Prairie Landscape as opposed to the settled
Landscapes of Britian, Europe and Eastern North America – it, the
Canadian Prairie remained an evolving landscape. Te BC Peace
River, Grasslands with those of Alberta that blend into the Alberta
is: hidden lakes and wooded rolling prairie lands extend East to meld
into a background of the Caribou Mountains, Buffalo Head Hills &
Birch Mountains complex. East of the hills & mountains lies the
Athabasca River, the tar sands, the tar sands extraction rendering works
& the open pit mines-holes around the Fort McMurray Settlement.

The Peace in the North winds & snakes around
the south end of these Caribou Mountains
and flows into Wood Buffalo, now the home of Canada’s
B o s B i s o n and the endangered Whooping Crane Grus
americana
.
It is the second largest of Canadian National Parks.

It continues to the east where it becomes a series
of lakes at east and of Lesser Slave River flowing
North to Great Slave Lake. It one of the Canadian Arctic’s
Great Lakes that remain from the melting of glaciers that
once covered Canada’s part of the North American continent.

The first attempt at human settlement of the BC Peace
River open grasslands, Alberta wooded rolling land,
hidden lake & small lakes, prairie occurred just after the end of WW1
in 1918-19, was by the Canadian Federal Government. Te Peace and
Alberta lands were called the Dominion Soldier Settlement Lands and
were also subdivided into 10 and 20 acre plots to be sold to returning
veterans and their families at very low prices with long periods &
payment at very low interest rates to Veterans and their families.
There was a minimum of infrastructure, veterans could earn enough
working on roads, gravel roads, settlements sites, school sites and the
like. It was not only other Valleys in Southern BC that were opened
for soldier’s settlements. Whereas not only in other valleys Keremeos
in the adjoining east side of the Okanagan Valley and the adjoining
Similkameen Valley. Te Fraser Valley’s Lower Mainland the program
continued in 1945 for veterans of WW2 in Richmond, the Cowichan
Valley on Vancouver Island, and Vernon in North Okanagan.

The Dominion Soldier Settlement scheme on the
Peace River lands was never very successful in
attracting settlers; it’s harsh Northern winters and remoteness,
probably the main dissuading features. The Alberta Woodland
lake land did prove attractive to settlement to veterans & other
non veterans previously in settlements such as Beaverlodge
where the Dominion Government established a crop and plant
experimental station. See Vic Chanasyk, page 1 of Miscellanea.

Other successful prairie land settlements in Alberta produce
Grand Prairie, Spirit River & other smaller settlements on the
Alberta side, with Dawson Creek and Pouce Coupe on the BC side.

In this Landscape Architect’s opinion, British Columbian
Peace River valley grasslands are ready and waiting for the
settlement. Not for veterans who are fighters of wars but their children
and grandchildren remanent of their families who are victims of wars.

In preparing Site C, that part of the Peace lands
for the damming and flooding, BC Hydro, a
provincial company, has built accommodations for it’s fort’s
employees & prepared the ground for dam construction
to flood Site C. By fortunate coincidence is made ready
to take the first wave of 1000 or so refugee immigrants.

A
start to settle, house & feed the world’s current
great human disaster. Those thousands of children
and families who have lost everything, their homes, family
members, and perhaps worst of all, their country. These people
have lost their place in the world along with their hope.

Our proposition is: Canada through the
United Nations for Our Country
to redeem its place in the world, a place where
hope can return and regain for the war ravaged immigrant, a
place back in the world in Western Canada’s Peace River Valley.

The process could begin almost immediately. BC
Hydro, Peace land owner, a BC Provincial body, could cede the
land & preliminarily preparation land work and existing worker
housing to the Canadian government, who then would give it to
the UNHCR, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees,
who would ‘Run the Show’, or most of it. From selecting the
immigrants to transporting them to the Peace, building additional
housing and infrastructure. It would become the one Grand
Canadian Gesture
for humanity. Take up where we left off with
newly funded mandate, for the Blue Berets in Peace Keeping.

Let’s Do it Now!

Respectfully, with due Canadian Caution & Consideration our
two most Canadian traits.

A New Canadian Settlement

* 1000 refugees Settlement Grounds Should Site C not be built as a dam, it’s land
would need to be regenerated, an opportunity for refugees who in turn would be helping
Canada to see with a wider perspective.

Our proposal:

* Refugees to be accommodated on arrival in Canada settled & housed in the Site C
Contractor’s existing large camp.

* all quarters UN operated and managed.

* Refugees learn: by taking training in land
husbandry, Tree Keeping, food and craft
tree management & forest management,
Permaculture; along with learning English, our
Canadian history & cultural heritage.

* PM Trudeau & his Minister of Indigenous
Affairs with Tribal Chiefs of the Peace Region
to meet & welcome the new immigrants

Implementation

Employment

* Team of consultants (-see A Modest Proposal
to follow) to select suitable site C land location
to establish orchards, prairie water
dugout locations throughout site C area lands
suitably contoured to build permanent Refugee
Settlements based on the Mongolian Model. It is
one of many Site C settlement schemes possible
that can be implemented. Ian McHarg model
recommended. Complete site analysis.

* Tree keeper/management family to include 1
male or female adult, head of household, 4 or less
children – can have 2 babes in arms if the head of
house is female.

* Orcharding: Model to have 32 soft fruit &
hard fruit (edible nuts) orchards & Willows,
Corylus/Filbert, pollarding canes for woven
baskets. (elm, hardy elm), willow & garden
stakes & woven wooden fences now fences.

The Mongolian Settlement Model has
the components to provide 1000 refugee families
with sustainable year round food supply via
an adequate and sized family shelter warmed
throughout the winter by our endless supply of
affordable natural gas, passive solar, and chickens
which can be used for food, and also give off
heat.
* to sustain 100 refugee families in construction
buildings followed by a transition to greenhouse
living, and a possible larger Arcology, see
Miscellanea (in PDF at end)

* Each 100 family settlement to have living
quarters:
48 – 4 and 8 block settlements, Each one of the
blocks are either 4 homes or 8 homes, with cross
corridor to entrance, connected to 32 year round
greenhouses. Each greenhouse operated and
managed by 1 refugee family.

Site

Site selection: These writers favour Ian
McHarg’s book Design with Nature, the key
to maximizing the refugee & indigenous
settlements, their numbers, & locations on the
Peace; and Tasmania’s Bill Mollison’s Book,
writings on Permaculture, A Designers’ Manual.

* In addition each 100 family settlement
area includes 32 or more separate Prairie water
dugouts and strings of combined dugouts.

* as the Settlement ground contour dictates
settlement grounds amount 250 hectares more
or less (rough guess by water could be larger or
smaller well dugout.

* Dugout or string of dugout, string of lakes,
drainage ground lake and prairie dugout ground
slope.

* Woodland for fibre & tree wood, hardwood
trees for lumber, woodlands located as shown in
Mongolian Model see miscellanea image of site
and greenhouse and adaptation for Site C.

* Tying together site with sounding lake &
hillside, woodlands, an open prairie, grasslands,
strings of lakes, bands of forest woodlands to
give each Site C settlement a natural landscape,
pleasing visually.

* Restored Landscape – using trees, swales ( a
tree system), ornamentals as well as edibles.


Transportation

* Look to town of Churchill, Manitoba &
Bombadier Company as examples.

* Find ways to include Canadian
communities & companies to provide a
transport system to residents – Bombadier
fleet of snowmobiles, maintenance
teams, crews & staff to teach operation &
maintenance. Churchill, Manitoba to provide
knowledge of polar bear proof snow vehicles;
where they solved their bear problem by
devising safe work and transportation
equipment.

View the Proposal here

A Plea for the Peace

 

Don Hoffmann shares his Peace River Valley Photography

http://www.panoramio.com/user/6401594?with_photo_id=78664438

 

A Modest Proposal

A Modest Proposal
To Use the Site C De-Treed Areas of the Peace River Lands
for Silviculture and Permanent Agriculture

by Clive Justice & Jill Whitelaw

Image/Tuchodi

Site C is now cleared and graded, lying fallow, and awaiting development proposals from sustainable environmental believers & practitioners with vision and initiative. Greenpeace, Sierra Club BC, the Wilderness Committee & the David Suzuki Foundation are all globally active, locally founded, environmental protection offices in our Province. BC is now working together across political party lines with the Green-NDP Coalition to support appropriate eco-sustainable options for our energy.  Let it continue. One suggestion is autumn seeding in Fall 2017, and before the first snowfall with Helio-hydro seeding of winter hardy rye grass, Lolium perenne var. ‘Olds, alta’,  followed in the spring, planting Poplars, Populus trichocarpa in the forest, in swales, woodlots, clumps, thickets along the valley bottom and hillsides stands.

What if the pulp were then sent through a pipeline, perhaps even an existing or approved one, through an extended network of woodchip-slurry pipes? What if it were powered by wind generators or solar all the way along?

These Cottonwood hybrids are selected because the wood fibre makes a long-staple fibre suitable for newsprint, copy, kraft & fine papers, books, periodicals, cartons, packaging products, paper towels, tissues & toilet paper. One in particular, the Crown Zee Tacoma Cottonwood Poplar tree Populus trichocarpa Torr. & Gray is one of the best.  Another hybrid with very white wood can be manufactured into white paper using little or no bleach.

The BC Society of Landscape Architects / BCSLA’s land management, professional commitment that entails a full understanding of each of the provinces tree species palette [species of conifer & deciduous]: specifications for arrangement of stands of trees for forests, copses,  3, 5 or 7 tree clumps, lone tree landscapes,  and edges. The lone tree, for example: fall colour, density of colour, size, scale, how it fits into the landscape, into the meadow.  Or,  for example, initial planting of a temporary landscape of introduced different Populus species which will be harvested and made into pulp.

What if this Pipeline linked to the to existing operational processing mills, and even closed mills & new paper and pulp mills up and down the BC Coast & Islands: Prince Rupert, the new Kitimat mill,  the existing mills in New Westminister Nanaimo, the Albernis, Crofton Cambell River; and mills closed, mothballed or contemplated in process of being built or planned, throughout Pacific Northwest, our neighbours to the South: the mills in Everett, Tacoma, Idaho, Portland, etc.? A Pulp and Paper Pipeline for a myriad of Paper Products, serving not only our country,  Canada, but also the rest of the world with our forest resources, technology & experience. Canada has more of this resource than any other part of the world.

We were so distracted by gas, drilling, fracking, LNG, bitumen, and extracting oil and gas from our Canadian prairie, Arctic & subarctic surface lands ruining, destroying & laying waste to our Northern Tundra surface landscape. We should have been ashamed but instead we buried them! Canadians ‘shilly-shally’ on this issue. We want to trust our government to make the right choices, to face up to the fact that fossil fuels, like oil, are carcinogenic and non-renewable. The future of our world ought to remain pristine, natural and beautiful for 7 generations. We have a lot of bio-remediation to get this world back in shape after the promise of the ‘American Dream’.

Each region has its own micro climate, species and visual landscape. What is needed is an Aesthetic, Education and Management Group for deliberating and guiding reforestation and sustainable harvesting.  The BCSLA working group with the region’s tree and resource experts, the BC Forestry Service (BCFS), UBC Silviculture, SFU Resource & Environmental Management, local Agronomists, Indigenous Land Management and Permaculture farmers to set planting standards for spacing and species, for the planting and maintaining of Pulp Tree Forests, clear-cuts, other forests, copses and woodlots, thickets and hedgerows, lone tree aesthetic landscapes, plantings by the rivers, and pasture feeding lands for wildlife.

A great practice would be to modify the arable Peace River Valley into grass hillsides, and rolling slopes with a series of berms and swales along contours, where trees are planted. Debris such as leaves collect in the swales to support the tree crops, as well as rainfall or water released from small earth dams or bodies of water above and channeled into them. This aids retaining the Beauty of our Landscape by inter-cropping our fast growing trees with nitrogen fixing trees and plants, cold-hardy and useful vegetation, cash crops, native plants,  edge and companion plants for pest management, wildlife foraging, flowers for bees, creating a poly-culture rather than a mono-culture, all eventually successioned by replanting a natural selection of Canadian trees of that region.

This land has been disrupted, and needs to regain biodiversity and balance. Mature forests have mushrooms and shade loving groundcovers, shurbs and native wildflowers under the tree canopy. The more mature the forest the more there is in it.  Paul Stamet’s has a product called the LifeBox, a box filled with our Pacific Northwest trees as well as mushroom spores.  Stamets, from Oregon, also migrates through this region and may even help us design a very local LifeBox. Trees and mushrooms make up the bottom most and top most elements of a forest. In between are the other layers of the forest, such as shrubs and vines, which if they were native edibles such as small berries, native potatoes like plants which could be highly productive for edible species and wild-crafting the commons and allowing even more opportunity for a balanced economy for all Canadians.

There is a need for improvement throughout the Peace Valley lands & unflooded bottom lands from just below the Site 2 dam structure to just below the site C area with the reservoir area, and the surrounding areas to the natural boundary at the BC-Alberta boundary. The top water line to the lower water line we can’t landscape, but all of the lands around and above, that will be these gardens. Plant on cleared areas or in valleys on rolling terrain in plantations or in designated large farm areas.

Different ornamental gardens could be added. For celebrating Canada’s Confederation of 150 years,  for example, honouring pioneers, explorers, settlers and natives could include Landscape Heritage gardens from England’s settlers, the Garden in Memory (CWLA, CLJ Chapter 11, 2013.) which they brought to Canada to live in this harsh landscape as pioneers, learning from Canada’s landscape and plants and first peoples to survive.  To celebrate this vast tract of land in good commemorate & try to reflect the made improvements. Capability Brown, was an English landscape architect. He is remembered as “the last of the great English 18th century artists to be accorded his due”, and “England’s greatest gardener”. He designed over 170 parks, many of which still endure. He was nicknamed “Capability” because he would tell his clients that their property had “capability” for improvement.” (wiki) Each park farm or garden to contain heritage plants, such as trees, flowers and ornamentals developed by Canadian horticulturists, Frank Skinner of Dropmore, Manitoba for roses and Lilacs, and Isabella Preston of Dominion Agriculture for Lilacs and Lillies, and the ornamental Crabapples, Malus niedzwetzkyana hybrids.

With the onset of computer technology everybody thought we were going to a paperless society, when in fact we could become the greatest paper, wood, fibre society ever.  Look around, there are more newspapers than ever before, we still use and read books, give birthday cards, send and receive mail, ship locally and  in cardboard boxes, ad infinitum. Canada, especially BC has experience with paper production technology and could be a market leader throughout the world. Pulp & paper technology puts Canada in a position to be one of the largest pulp & paper producers & exporters in the world, with the possibility to become very rich, a very un-Canadian idea, however, The Pulp & Paper industry, is a low carbon industry.  Carbon in our atmosphere is called Carbon Dioxide, which many people attribute to climate change. By sequestering carbon into trees, and keeping that carbon in solid carbon form, that is, not burning it, but by turning it into pulp and paper, as well as furniture, shelter, garden trellises & structures, books, etc., we bring down the global carbon balance closer to 350ppm,  a place where our storms subside, and our climate and biosphere may return to normal, pre-industry levels of atmospheric carbon,  recreating our natural ozone layer. The Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve is a great example of sinking carbon indefinitely.

Clive Justice is Landscape Architect, Urban Planner & Garden Historian. He lives and works in Vancouver BC.

Jill Whitelaw is a Graphic Designer & Book Publisher with BC Bigleaf Maple Books. She is also a Permaculture Consultant & Educator living in East Vancouver.

Landscape photo can be found on flickr Thank you to tuchodi https://www.flickr.com/photos/tuchodi/3551991021

*links are found on the pdf /digital version for further info. See http://bcbigleafmaplebooks.ca
AModestProposalclj

Call for Submissions

CALL FOR MEMOIRS, BIOGRAPHIES, CANADIAN NON FICTION

BC Bigleaf Maple Books is accepting  Canadian memoirs to celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday and to honour the Reconcilliation process that Canada is now involved in with the Indigenous population.

Our focus is on the West although we are seeking stories from the North as well, and we are definitely interested in all stories from across Canada which need to be told, and memoirs in line with our mission, see below . We are seeking stories which bridge the Indigenous and the Settler cultures somehow –  something with a positive or uplifting message to share, something related to people, plants , habitat, ecology.

Please submit books to:

bcbigleafmaplebooks@gmail.com

BC Bigleaf Maple Books
879 w 61st Avenue
Vancouver BC V6P 2B8

We will accept any format of your document. Accepting short stories, video, manuscripts (not limited)

We will be selecting 10 finalists who will receive publishing support, and a print ready manuscript.

Our Mission:

We at BC Bigleaf Maple Books, Ltd. publish as print on demand, digital, and fine hardcopy books of colour illustrated works on Landscape Architecture, Landscape Art, Garden History, Rhododendrons and Wildflowers, Professional Memoirs, Botanical Explorations, with topics including, Western Canada, the Canadian Arctic and Permaculture.

Patrick Neill, Doyen of Scottish Horticulture

An Esoteric Essay by Clive Justice, PhD, FCSLA
Landscape and Plant Historian

Forbes Robertson does a right fine job of bringing to the light of day and presenting Patrick Neill’s horticultural works, writings and travels that occurred during the closing and immediate post war decades of the Napoleonic Wars. This period from the turn of the century to end of the war, (1800 to 1815) has unfortunately been lumped in with the Victorian era. When Victoria came to the throne in 1837 it was the rebirth of gardening and horticultural practices that helped build the British Empire. What had gone on horticulturally prior to her ascendency had been building during the wars through the efforts of Sir Joseph Banks. When Banks died in 1820, he left a legacy of exotic plant discoveries the first with his own plant findings on the Capt Cook voyage to the Antipodes. The Scottish Surgeon-botanists, John Houston with his Caribbean and Southern US plant discoveries, and introductions of Archibald Menzies’ plant discoveries with Capt Vancouver in the Sandwich (Hawaiian) Islands, New Zealand and North America’s North Pacific Coast.

Banks charge to Sir William Jackson Hooker to send out plant collectors to find new plants for Queen Charlotte’s garden at Kew [to make it into the world’s greatest garden and the repository for the world’s plants both living and dead.] It is no wonder that Patrick Neill’s work lay unpublished in the university of Edinburgh with rival University of Glasgow’s William Joseph Hooker at then Kew’s helm and busy writing his classic Flora Boreali-Americana. This description of the plants of Northern Parts of North America would be made up largely from these plant collections made by the ex-navy surgeon-botanists /naturalists Hooker had trained for the navy at the university of Glasgow. Robertson’s complaint that Patrick Neill’s horticultural writings and other works were not published in his lifetime and some are now lost, seems to pale a bit in comparison to the work two of his contemporary Lothian plantsmen: Navy Surgeon- naturalist Dr John Richardson who was a member of the Wernerian Natural History Society in Edinburgh which Patrick Neill had founded and was also a keen gardener so they must have known each other. Richardson was on the first Arctic overland Expedition under Captain Franklin, 1820-22 and the second, also overland down the Mckenzie River in 1825-27 but fortunately when Franklin departed on the ill-fated voyage by ship to find the Northwest Passage, Richardson was not with them. He led the second search for Franklin overland with John Rae in 1848-51.

explorersmap

David Douglas met Richardson at Cumberland House at the time of early summer of 1823, they were preparing for the voyage home after returning from the First Franklin expedition. David Douglas made by far the largest contribution to botany through his plant discoveries and seed introductions; Richardson to natural history, ecology, geology and zoology. Their contributions and discoveries (particularly those of David Douglas) helped Hooker to assemble and publish his Flora Boreali-Americana, in 1840. Neither of their Journals were published in their lifetimes. Journal kept by David Douglas 1823-1827, not until 1914, by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and John Richardson, not until 1984 with C. Stuart Houston’s, Arctic Ordeal, The Journal of John Richardson. Surgeon-Naturalist with Franklin 1820-1822.

On a personal note, in the 1980s while on an American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboretums (AABGA) tour, hosted by the Devonian Botanical Gardens of Edmonton, Alberta, one of our tour guides talking about the prairie ecology brought up the name of a little prairie animal called Richardson’s Squirrel. Naively not knowing, I asked, who was Richardson? Thinking of plant names bearing the names of their finders like Douglas-fir not the discoverer Archibald Menzies but the introducer, David Douglas (also discoverer of many prairie grasslands plants). Not one member of the tour group or the tour guides could tell us who Richardson was. This prompted me to consult David Douglas’ Journal as I remembered his mention of meeting a John Richardson whom he much admired at some place during his botanizing and collection as gentleman guest of the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC)North American territories.

David Douglas (1788-1834) not yet thirty had been collecting in HBC’s New Caledonia, territory from Fort George on the Fraser in the north to Klamath Falls in the South from his base at HBC Fort Vancouver on the Columbia River. Working from the fort he botanized extensively in northern New Caledonia (BC), lost all his collection when his canoe overturned shooting the Fraser River rapids, south of Fort George. His collections in future BC coastal areas, Washington, Oregon, and northern Spanish California made it home in company ships in sealed tin boxes. These were provided by the HBC on the instructions from the newly formed London, later RHS secretary, Joseph Sabine.

Douglas’ botanizing collections with the returning fur brigade up the Columbia and over the Athabaska Pass down the River of the same name to Jasper House where they joined the northern northwest fur brigade out of Fort George. The combined brigades continuing down the Slave to Fort Vermillion to collect the furs from the western Arctic and return back up with all the furs to Edmonton House, on the North Saskatchewan River. Douglas and a small party left the fur Brigade to Portage overland by horseback over the thawing wetlands that lie between the Peace and Fort Edmonton. Here Douglas sent his botanical collection to date in a sealed tin box onto Vancouver for shipment back to London. The box arrived at the London LRS before Douglas did.

His adventures with the combined fur brigade flotilla in York boats, canoes and pole barges on the North Saskatchewan were not all botanizing. On the Upland Plains before Fort Carleton, the hunting party from the brigade stampeded the herd of bison they were hunting. One of the party, his friend Mr F. McDonald was found badly gored and lay bleeding from his left thigh, broken ribs, dislocated wrist and severe bruising.

From Douglas’ Journal, Pg74 “ Poor Mr. McDonald was so placed for two and a half hours bleeding and at the point of death, and that under cloud of night, which gave us scarcely any opportunity of rescuing, for the animal was within a few paces and we were fearful to fire lest a shot should take him. By the activity of Mr Harriott and my assistance he was saved. I bound up the wounds and afforded all the assistance a small medicine chest and my slender knowledge could suggest. We passed hastily on, in hope of finding Dr Richardson, but on our arrival found the doctor had gone to Cumberland House. At Carleton House I had the pleasure to meet Mr Drummond, of Captain Franklin’s party, who spent the greater part of his time in the Rocky Mountains, contiguous to the sources of the Rivers Athabaska and Columbia.

Douglas was wary of the older Drummond as he was infringing on Douglas’ territory. His journal continues: Mr. Drummond had a princely collection. I had intended to cross the plain from this place (Carleton House) to Swan and Red Rivers, but from the hostile disposition of the Stone Indians deemed unsafe. [largely a figment of Douglas’ fear of the unknown] I descended [the Saskatchewan River] to Cumberland house, and found there Dr Richardson, who kindly showed me parts of the princely collection of natural history made during the expedition. This part of the of the country has been well described in the former narrative of Captain (now Sir John) Franklin that it leaves me no room; I shall therefore only notice my stages.

Douglas was fully aware of the rigid British hierarchical system in place in Britain at the time as he was younger and a better Botanist than the other two older men, Drummond and Richardson, but was low man on the totem pole in the hierarchy and not even on it in regard to the British Navy order. Douglas was also paranoid about keeping his plant discoveries secret and was bent on besting others in plant collecting. So he took off south via Lake Winnipeg to the Red and Assinaboine Rivers in Lord Selkirk’s settlement. He botanized along the lake’s west side getting there, all through the settlement, and all the way back down the lake on the east side to Fort York and onto the Nelson River and down to Hudson’s Bay where he took the HBC supply ship back to England. The botanical collection from his botanizing from Fort Edmonton along the Saskatchewan River to Hudson’s Bay and the Manitoba lakes and along the Rivers in the Selkirk settlement consisted of 288 species many of which were new to me, . . . and had I stayed with Mr Drummond and Dr Richardson on the Saskatchewan, these would have been omitted. Douglas had won a round for his patron Sir William Hooker and Kew Gardens.

And yes, the ground squirrel. There are four species of them in the Arctic namely: Parry’s, Franklin’s, Richardson’s and the Thirteen-lined [striped] ground squirrel in the Genus: Spermophilos Parryi, S. Franklinii, S. Richardsonii, and S. tridecemlineatus. We know them today as Marmots. Why another British Navy Captain got his name attached to the Arctic marmots scientific name is another story too long to tell here. All four are known to dig tunnels in the Canadian Arctic tundra.

Talking about tunnels and tunnellings brings up horticulturist Patrick Neill’s home place ‘Canon Mills’ in the Midlothian hills south east of Edinburgh. The Leith /Newhaven Railway Company wanted to tunnel a rail line under his garden. Neill fought it through the Edinburgh Court for many years but finally lost out to the Railway. The tunnel is probably still in use but the garden that was above the Railway Tunnel is probably long gone.

The conversation continued around this subject and we came to something completely different: They say there is a connection between everything in nature. so here goes ! The surgeon botanist connection brings about an interesting read. There were other accounts of their healing works on the journey beside the one relate above with the Bison, and also some intriguing stories within these adventures:

It all started with a quote from Arctic Ordeal (the Journal of John Richardson, Surgeon-Naturalist with Franklin, 1820-1822, Editor, C. Stuart Houston, Illustrator, Albert Hochbaum, 1984, McGill University Press, Kingston and Montreal) Chapter 8 Rescue and Recovery-Section Commentary, Indexed as Breastfeeding by Males, pgs 187-8 “Richardson with great medical interest reported Wentzel’s story of the Chipewyan Indian man who had raised his infant after his wife had died in childbirth, feeding the infant meatbroth (perhaps one of the earliest records of meat based formula) and suckling it successfully at his breast. The editor continues Macleod and Glover, in Franklin’s first expedition, may not be justified in claiming that Richardson was a gullible victim of a Wentzel hoax (it wasn’t). Editor Stuart Houston continues. We now know that males as well as females, have the hormone prolactin and can produce milk (inappropriate galactorrhea or inappropriate lactation are the technical terms). In some parts of Africa, it is common for grandmothers, up to 50 years of age to put their grandchild to the breast.1 There are a few well documented cases of men successfully nursing infants, including that of a negro male wet nurse who was displayed before a medical class in Maryland in 1827; milk from the male breast is nourishing. (1. Robert Greenblatt Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality 1972; see also Cecil Slome 1956; 2. John Knott 1907 and R.C. Creasy, JAMA vol.58, 1912; and Alexander Von Humboldt of the electric eel and the Humboldt current, in Travels and Researches of Baron Humboldt, 1833, p79

Robertson, Forbes W. , Patrick Neill , 1776–1851: Doyen of Scottish Horticulture, 2011, Whittles Publishing Ltd. Dunbeath, Caithness KW6 6EG, Scotland, UK

For a different perspective see REVIEW BY SALLY EVANS on the same book.

A Garden for Life: Mary Greig & the Royston Rhododendrons by Judith Walker

Published this May 2015, was A Garden for Life: Mary Greig & the Royston Rhododendrons by Judith Walker.

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In the summer of 1919, newlyweds Ted and Mary Greig motored from Portland to a small cottage by the ocean in Royston, on Vancouver Island. This became Mary’s home for the next 70 years of her life.

They began a garden, using local sandstone to build rock walls and seaweed and peat to build up the soil. The twins were born in 1920 and two more children by 1925. It was a lean time for the young family.

The Greigs love of the mountains, native plants and gardens led them to meet some extraordinary people, including George and Suzanne Simpson of Cowichan Lake. When the Simpsons suggested that the Greigs purchase all the stock of the Simpson’s alpine and rare plant nursery, the Greigs were astonished- “to think they thought we could manage to keep things alive”.

But manage they did. And when alpines proved a challenge on the wet west coast, Mary quickly focused on the rhododendrons which thrived in the cool summers and the moist winters. The species rhododendrons caught Mary’s attention with their infinite variety of leaves, colours and forms. She proceeded to propagate only the best.

And a tiny nursery on BC’s coast caught the attention of the rhododendron world.

So although Mary is the focus of this story, there are many characters. One cannot appreciate Mary’s work without knowing of Kingdon-Ward’s expeditions, and one cannot fully appreciate a rhododendron flowering in August without following Ted and Mary through their nursery.

The old gate is still there- please, come in.

Canada West Landscape Architecture Book Launch

Canada West Landscape Architecture – 1888-1999

Canada West – Landscape Architecture first printing was 50 books in September 2014.

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Canada West Landscape Architecture is a historical reference book – it’s huge and belongs in libraries and universities throughout western Canada. We printed 50 copies. Any of you who would like to give us $250 to give a copy in your name to your favorite LA Alma Matter or Library, we are offering a complimentary DVD of the book for your personal use and enjoyment.  Over half of the book is imagery from the Author’s own collection of photographs from Western Canada’s natural landscapes and designed works of art and gardens from western Canada’s founding plantspeople.

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Garden In Memory

This is our story – mostly our firm Justice  Webb & Vincent and our experiences and projects are well covered between these pages, with stories of the founding fathers of this movement: Frank Buck, David Douglas, Isabella Preston, Frank Skinner, Henry Marshall, George Fraser, Ed Lohbrunner, Mary Greig and more are woven throughout the text and photographs, and will be of specific interest to members of the BCSLA, AALA, SALA, MALA & NWTALA. Appendix 4 includes a complete plant list for the Tundra.

Both Harry Webb and John Vincent were artists as well, their artwork is also included. John Vincent currently lives in Parksville. More from Harry Webb can be found through his daughter Adrienne Brown’s 2014 book: Art in the Age of Jazz: Harry Webb and Jessie Webb by Adrienne Brown. Her book is being released and shown Sept 16th to Dec 6th, 2014 :: Exhibition at the West Vancouver Museum.

Clive’s book launch for Canada West Landscape Architecture 1888-1999  will be held in January or February 2015.

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Canada Day 2014 in Hospital

After a fall at my home, I was transported by BC Ambulance to The Emergency Ward at VGH, examined and treated, then sent up to the 6th floor recovery wing of the old newly renovated Centennial Pavilion, to recover. The window of my room faced directly North framing a view from my hospital bed of the panorama cityscape of Vancouver framed on the right from Point Atkinson lighthouse and park, over to SFU on the top of Burnaby mountain. In the foreground, false creek development pokes it’s irregular teeth of buildings onto the False Creek waters that connect with Vancouver’s outer harbour. Stanley Park and the inner harbour waters; with West and North Van City and District spreading across the Northshore mountains on the left side of the frame. Cypress Bowl, the Lions with the sky above and between Grouse Mountain along to Seymour Mountain above Indian Arm, completing the panorama I saw lying on my hospital bed.

Canada Day July, 1 2014 occurred during the time I was recovering. There were to be fireworks, so I was imaging what kind of “fine art installation’ or visual display would they put on over Beautiful Vancouver to honour our country’s confederation 147 years ago ?

On a CESO/SACO assignment in Hailar City one of China’s Inner Mongolian Provinces I had participated and witnessed the Celebration of Hong Kong’s return to ‘Mother’ China. It too had occurred on July 1, 17 years before. That night from my 6th floor hotel window in 1997, I watched the most spectacular 2 hour long display of Chinese Fireworks I had ever seen. It was grand and overwhelming. Then the city’s large agricultural dept chief, and my client, sent a car to take me down to the plaza in front of the Ag office building to join the male management staff dancing with all the female secretaries and other female support staff. I was grabbed from bed in the hotel room, and brought to the plaza in my underwear. but it seemed no one noticed as it was dark and almost everybody was either half or fully drunk. I don’t remember much more of what happened that night when Hong Kong–HUIG UI JU GUO HUAN QING.

Ceso Hailar Banquet toasting with officialsCeso Hailar celebrations toasting with officials, 1997

Canada Day, 2014, on the other hand was celebrated with a very modest and low key fireworks display from the roof of Canada Place appearing as squeezed displays of starbursts that seemed hardly ever to reach the sky above the surrounding tower building’s rooves. Down below along the wall of Canada Place were standing lighted odd shaped panels that appeared like stone stella with hieroglyphics s across them which were not readable from my distance. Such was my creative designer’s mind that I had envisioned a much more grand visual art display of laser lights and lines shooting out all the light show displays over the sky ,with fireworks bursts of stars high above the city to celebrate Canada Day, befitting Vancouver as the nation’s most beautiful city.

There was lonely hint of this idea when just before the delayed celebration began the when an orange lights lit up that ran from bottom to top and back from top to bottom on the City’s Science World. It was reflected beautifully into the water of false creek, only momentarily, but bright and large enough to show that maybe something grand and spectacular was about to happen. Alas ! it never did. So much for my
Vancouver cityscape picture from my hospital window.

CW-LA Job Numbers Appendix

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Dr. Clive Justice’s work is documented in this appendix, detailing jobs throughout his career. His firms were the first of their kind and so they got many of the jobs around town. This list offers a look at sites throughout the city of Vancouver, Richmond, and beyond.

Enjoy

http://bcbigleafmaplebooks.ca/blog/Appendixjobnos.pdf