Helen’s Court Co-op Handbook
Section 15. Gardening

Helen’s Court Co-op Gardening Committee is informal and has no set policies. We are always open to taking on new committed members. Helen’s Court gardeners have a wealth of experience and knowledge and are willing to educate anyone wishing to learn and help out.



The Gardening Committee’s goal is to create and maintain gardens for the community to enjoy. We are committed to organic gardening and environmentally sound practices.

Areas Maintained: The Co-op gardens consist of common areas and private member gardens.

Common areas maintained by the Gardening Committee are:

  •   central courtyard
  •   west and east outside perimeters
  •   front gardens and lawns

Private areas which are privately maintained:

  •   units 1-11 on the north side
  •   units 12-20 on the south side

Within the private gardens, the Gardening Committee maintains the large fruit trees and ornamental cherry trees. The Gardening Committee maintains all plants, trees and lawn in the common area.

Remember, if you want to re-do your patio or make any physical changes, i.e. move stones or fences, you must get Board and Maintenance Committee approval.



The Gardening Committee meets seasonally.

Spring is the first season of activity. In the spring, planning, tree pruning, lawn aeration, preparing the beds and planting all take place. The committee rakes dead leaves out of the gardens and prunes where needed.


We appreciate the help of all members in cleanup of fallen leaves on walkways and lawns. Leaves are put in clear plastic bags in the alleyway for composting by the city. Help removing the full bags from the courtyard to the alleyway for pick up is also greatly appreciated.

Summer time means weeding, watering, fertilizing (we make our own organic fertilizer), light pruning and major deadheading of spent flowers. We require more members for watering – especially if it’s a hot summer. The grass is cut high and some re-seeding may be required. Please leave the flowers on the plants for everyone to enjoy.


Autumn is cleaning time for everyone on the Gardening Committee: annuals are discarded, perennials cut back, divided and transplanted. We also endeavor to propagate plants and find the best location for each species. Fallen leaves are raked and some plants are removed and protected in sheltered areas.

Winter is a time for reflecting on our successes and planning changes. Each area of the Co-op gardens is designed with all others in mind. Within each area, variety exists.



Garden tools in the storage room are for the use of Garden Committee members. If you need to borrow a tool, please speak with a member of the Garden Committee.



Please do not play with the outside taps. Leaving them on will quickly cause flooding.

When an adult is present, kids may play with the hoses. The adult then assumes responsibility to abide by the watering guidelines as defined by the City of Vancouver.

Roll and replace hoses when you are done. Make sure your hose has a washer (rubber fitters inside the mouth of the hose) and please don’t drag the couplings (metal fittings outside the mouth of the hose).

Please do not put kinks in the water hose to stop the flow, as this will wreck them.



“Picking up of poo” is not a Garden Committee duty. Pet owners are responsible for cleaning up after their animals and dogs should be leashed in the courtyard.

Thank you for all your support and encouragement for all our work.

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