The noise of childhood

It is often said new moms should embrace the mess or chaos of motherhood, for two local moms the pandemic has been all about embracing the noise. Lynsey MacDonald and Caroline Garstin are reveling in being “boy moms” and launched a clothing line that embraces their lifestyle.


Noisy Boys


When Garstin and MacDonald – and their four boys under four – walk up to a playground, they say, you will know they are coming. 

“At the playground we’d see little girls playing cooperatively, having a tea party and then we show up with the boys having a yelling match,” laughs MacDonald. “We cause a scene.” 

The two Lynn Valley moms were friends back in high school at Argyle but lost touch. They reconnected a few years ago, in of all places, the maternity ward at Lions Gate Hospital. Another pair of babies later and they are loving the rough and tumble life they have – each with a 3.5-year-old and baby under one. 

“We were bored during the early pandemic and started taking more pictures and set up an Instagram page because we thought so many moms could relate to our lives. We celebrate the real. There are so many picture-perfect images on Instagram and we wanted to show the real-life of raising four boys between us,” said MacDonald. 

People really responded which gave way to leveraging Noisy Boys even more. 

“Everyone has a noisy boy in their life whether it’s a teenager, a dad, a brother, a son and we took that idea and it grew,” said Gastin. “So now people can hear us coming and see us coming.”


Moms helping moms


Once the pair took hold of the idea, they credit their families and moms supporting moms for getting them to where they are now. Garstin and MacDonald are also grateful to the hive-mind of local Facebook groups for giving them momentum to get started. This is their first entrepreneurial venture. 

“It’s a huge learning curve,” said Garstin. “It has been a lot of fun to use our creative brains while on maternity leave. I am a full-time stay-at-home mom and Lynsey is going back to teaching this fall. This is different than anything we have done before.” 

“It has been nice to think about something other than snacks and nap times,” added MacDonald. “My husband owns a business and Lynsey’s dad owns a North Shore business – so we feel supported.” 

They have launched a line of hats, tees, and sweatshirts – with more pieces in the works for summer. With sales growing they are excited about the future. 

“We are surrounded by a lot of boy moms, I feel like we were destined to be boy moms – it’s a whole other thing,” said MacDonald. “I love the chaos and there is a lot of humour in it,” added Garstin.

Noisy Boys is giving back to the community too. By using the promo code: NOISY10 you can get 10 percent off a crewneck sweatshirt and Noisy Boys will donate 10 percent to the Cause We Care Foundation which empowers single mothers and children living in poverty. 


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

School board trustee by-election May 29

There is a by-election for residents of the District of North Vancouver May 29th to elect a school board trustee for the remainder of the term (approximately one year). There are five people stepping up to the plate with two representing Lynn Valley. 


Linda Munro


A life-long North Vancouver resident, Munro has been a long-time community supporter, in a variety of roles. In fact, we recognized her with the LynnValleyLife Good Neighbour Award in 2018. 

Linda works in University Relations at Capilano University. She has children at Ross Road Elementary and Argyle Secondary schools, and she is currently co-chair of the Parent Advisory Council at Ross Road School. Linda has served as a board member for North Vancouver District Public Library, Lynn Valley Parent Participation Preschool and Capilano Community Services Society. She is committed to inclusive education, support for complex learners, raising Indigenous graduation rates, and promoting learning models that recognize a whole-person approach to education. She believes in creating positive K-12 school experiences and centring schools at the heart of the community. You can learn more about Linda Munro on her website: www.lindamunro.ca


Alex Kozak


Another life-long resident, Kozak is a West Vancouver Secondary teacher. His children attend Lynn Valley Elementary. He aims to build on the lessons of COVID and to bring back the performing arts, athletics, field trips, and ceremonies/celebrations that make schools great. Other priorities include: supporting anxiety and mental health issues among students, parents, and staff, and financial shortfalls amplified by increased cost of safety measures in schools and decreasing international enrollment. You can learn more about Alex Kozak on his website: https://alexanderkozak.ca

Other candidates

Three other candidates reside in other parts of North Vancouver: Jo-Anne Burleigh, Jullian Kolstee, and Linda Williams. 

When and how to vote: 

The general voting day is May 29th. There is a polling station at Argyle Secondary as well as  Seycove and Windsor secondary schools, and Braemar, Capilano, Cleveland, and Lynnmour elementary schools.

There are two advanced poll days: May 19 at DNV municipal hall and May 24 at DNV’s municipal hall and Windsor Secondary.


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Looking forward and planning for the future

The District of North Vancouver is reaching out to residents to think about the future of the district. It is in the middle of a “targeted Official Community Plan (OCP) review.” It has assembled background documents in four topic areas and is asking for feedback from residents. It’s a lot to take in and it may be intimidating but it is a chance to have your goals for the future of Lynn Valley. Our neighbourhood has seen rapid changes, many forecast by the OCP and still, the community seemed surprised at times. This is a chance to get out in front of community issues. 


What is the OCP?


The Official Community Plan (OCP) helps a local government describe its long-term vision for the future. The objectives and policies help guide elected officials and employees in land use, transportation, sustainability, and many other areas of managing a municipality.  According to the DNV our current OCP was completed in 2011 and over 5,000 people participated in its development.

“It works together with more detailed strategic action and implementation plans, such as corporate and financial plans, our Town Centres’ Implementation Plans, the Transportation Plan, the Parks and Open Space Strategic Plan, and others,” said Justin Beddall, communications coordinator for the DNV. “Many of the changes you see today in Lynn Valley, Lynn Creek, and Lions Gate Village, for example, originated from the direction and policy in the 2011 OCP.”


Why should this matter to you?


A scan of local social media there is a lot of back and forth from residents about the changes to Lynn Valley. Some love the densification and the opportunity for more people to make this great community home. Others agree but find the growth puts the community financially outreach for a diverse community. Some don’t like the growth direction at all. For local mom, and now rental housing advocate, Kelly Bond wishes she engaged earlier in the OCP process. 

“As one who was in the throws of raising tots and teens during the years leading up to the OCP adoption in 2011, I didn’t take the time to learn or understand the importance of being engaged in the process. If I’m honest, I didn’t even know what an Official Community Plan was,” said Bond, even as a very active community volunteer, at the time the process didn’t grab her attention at first. “ If I had taken a moment to become fully informed, I might have understood that the very OCP being created put my (and that of 60 other) family’s purpose-built rental housing and its luxurious green space that surrounded it at extreme risk of redevelopment.  I would have more strongly advocated for a greater inclusion and protection of purpose-built rental units for town centres areas over the more widely considered strata and investment options.”

As Bond was forced into action to advocate for more diverse housing, it led to a better understanding of all OCP issues and how they relate to each and every resident. 

“While replacement rental housing is what brought me to be actively engaged in municipal action, I now see how intricately that transportation, economy, recreation, education and climate issues co-relate and I frequently choose to make my thoughts heard to the decision-makers as they debate resolutions and motions,” she said  


What is the review?


This current review process was requested by district council to take a closer look at four specific areas to ensure the OCP continues to support the current vision and goals for the community. 

“The targeted OCP review seeks to address the biggest issues facing the citizens of the District of North Vancouver – housing, transportation, climate emergency, and the economy and employment lands,” said Beddall. “This engagement is an opportunity for citizens to voice their opinions and views to help shape the actions the District will be taking to address the biggest issues facing this community.” 

The DNV is open to all residents, business owners, and employees that work in the district to give their input through May 16. 

“In particular, families, seniors, students, disabled, new immigrants, and renters should actively participate and add their voices into the four areas established for targeted review,” said Bond.

For the district it helps gauge the current climate which has moved on from 2011. 

“The goal of the targeted review is to ensure we account for emerging issues, challenges, and trends in these four areas, and set guidance through an action plan as we continue to implement the OCP through 2030,” said Beddall.

The district’s webpage dedicated to the review gathers documents on transportation, housing, the climate emergency, and economy and employment lands for residents to review and a survey to offer feedback. 

“We’ve made efforts to help people engage in ways that works for them, while staying safe during the pandemic,” he said. “District residents have told us that many people prefer to participate in civic matters when it works for their schedules, rather than at specific times, so people can participate in a survey online at DNV.org/OCP-review. We’re making an effort to be respectful of peoples’ interests and available time to devote to something like this, so participants can choose to share their thoughts about all four areas or choose the topics that they are the most passionate about.”

For Bond, it is an opportunity she hopes others will take, and it could have a direct impact in the years ahead as the district updates its direction within Metro Vancouver’s 2050 regional growth strategy. 

 “Public input in the targeted OCP review can potentially impact what share DNV commits to as far as growth and population for the immediate years ahead,” she said. “The questions are fairly self-explanatory and presented in layman’s terms. If you feel less strongly about one particular topic, but have strong opinions or new ideas about another, your comments are equally vital and valid. All feedback provided helps establish the direction the district will seek and which experts would need to be further consulted to ensure the community’s priorities are acted on in strategy and policy formation.”  

There were also a number of virtual workshops to join, the last occurring May 10th. Details can be found here: DNV.org/OCP-review.


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

A space for digital storytellers

The goal of enhancing the community’s digital literacy has led to an innovative maker space at the Lynn Valley Branch of the North Vancouver District Public Library. The StoryLab’s covid-delayed public debut allowed the library to seamlessly pivot to its pandemic programming, and now it is open for creating.


Evolution of storytelling and literacy


“The original goal was to launch in April of 2020,” said Maryann Kempthorne, manager of innovation and learning for the NVDPL. “But a silver lining was we had this space and resources to take the library digital [during the pandemic restrictions]. We had a studio that allowed us to continue our programs online.”

The new StoryLab facility is a new creativity and learning space. Essentially it is an audio-visual maker space stocked with computers, digitization equipment, an audio booth, and a film studio – complete with lights, mics, and a green screen. It’s a technology hub that builds on the North Shore’s tradition of storytelling, said Kempthorne. 

“Maker spaces are a trend in libraries,” she explained. “We went with audiovisual instead of a sewing machine or 3D printer to suit the community. There is a lot of impact from the district and the shore that is visual and very media. We have North Shore Studios right here. We have an opportunity to influence storytelling in an audiovisual way.”

With a commitment to diversity and inclusion, the StoryLab is also an effort to support more people. 

“Our library has a really strong background in creating readers,” said Kempthorne. “Literacy can be digital literacy – podcasting, film, green screen production.”

But more than that, the StoryLab is about meeting patrons where they are and helping them grow, she said.  

“There are people who are not interested in our anchor services around print. We are able to reach them with content we make that is more accessible. Youth who can’t see themselves reflected in other services might see themselves in digital media learning. It also allows us to support multilingualism.”

When the StoryLab is not booked by the public, it is used by staff to enhance the digital collection, to run online programs and events, and to record audiobooks by patron request.

There are other practical uses for the space. In a pandemic world and the rise of video conferencing and digital connection, people without resources at home or the knowledge to participate can be helped by the StoryLab, said Kempthorne, giving the example of a senior needing to attend a virtual court hearing.


Collaborative creation


The original plan was to have a space where creators could come together to innovate. There is an entire room still on covid-hold that will host technology education sessions in the Digital Learning Lab. As the pandemic pivot continues the NVDPL has plans to host virtual sessions from expert creators, think filmmakers speaking in a similar way to an author talk. 

In the short time, it has been open, the current vision of collaboration has shifted and is supporting creators, small businesses, and local organizations. 

“One of the best examples is North Van Arts was completing one of their local videos and wanted to get people in to record in alternate languages.”

The space is also part of a larger collaborative North Shore vision between NVDPL, the North Vancouver City Library, and the West Vancouver Memorial Library as they all explore maker spaces and aim to provide complementary services with little duplication, said Kempthorne.


How it works


Users can now book the film studio, audio booth, computer stations, or digitization stations. Staff will have a quick consultation to see how much support a creator might need and offer reading materials, digital resources, or other prep materials to make their session a success. Users will need to utilize cloud file transfers or their own portable storage to save their projects and they are also welcome to bring in their own equipment. 

Kempthorne is excited about the innovation opportunities the StoryLab will provide. 

“We have an opportunity to attract and develop storytellers and digital media artists. Having more storytellers in residence at our local library is really exciting. One of the founding projects we did was for youth. Some of my podcasters we have now, came and attended when they were 12 – that’s the continuum of digital literacy and learning.”

This project is the first step in an evolving vision, said Kempthorne. Just as patrons can recommend books they can chat with and make requests with the digital services librarian to improve the space and further innovate.  

 

Visit the Lynn Valley branch or its website to learn more. 


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Easter Surprises!

It is with heavy – but wise – hearts we are not hosting our annual Easter Egg Hunt. It is not the time to bring together scores of families for an afternoon. Instead, we are having a contest that will win you a (physically-distant) visit from the Easter Bunny on Easter Monday – complete with some treats.


Egg-citing visit


The Easter will still be bouncing around Lynn Valley – just a little differently than years past. There is still a chance it will come for a (distant) in-bunny visit and drop of some treats – all you have to do is enter our art contest! We are offering three lucky winners a visit from the Easter Bunny on April 5!

We know not every child loves to colour, so we have expanded our contest to include a nature option – photograph your bunny creation and send that along. Check out some inspiration below:

  1. You can download the nature template here, the eggs here and the rabbit here.
  2. Drop off your entries at 3171 Moutain Hwy or email a photo or PDF to info@lynnvalleylife.com, Subject: Easter contest, include name, age, and contact number.
  3. Entries must be received by end of day March 31.

Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Project Sunflower

It seems like 2021 is a great year to get Lynn Valley blooming again! With gardening booming we want you to save a little bit of space for Project Sunflower. We want to see the gardens, balconies, and patios bursting with sunflowers this fall! 


Sowing community spirit


We have got seeds and we want to share them with the gardens and pots throughout Lynn Valley. Do you remember a few years ago – eight years ago? LynnValleyLife.com helped families sow some smiles. Looking back this is one of our favourite community projects. It was such a joy to see the neighbours united in a bit of friendly garden competition and mutual appreciation.

As we plan for another summer spent close to home we will be launching Project Sunflower again!

We feel this project is perfect for sharing. We hope you will consider starting some seeds and delivering them to neighbours and friends. The goal to have as many patches of sunflowers blooming throughout Lynn Valley. 

Want this to be an opportunity to connect. Follow us throughout the summer on Instagram or Facebook to participate in our Virtual Fall Fair contests where we will have some prizes for Project Sunflower participants. 


How to get involved


Quite simply, fill out the form below and we will get you some seeds. Share if you’d like and make Lynn Valley Bloom.

Sunflowers should be direct-seeded in the garden from mid-April to mid-May, after all risk of frost has passed. They aren’t too fussy about the soil (though it shouldn’t get water-logged), and they love to be in as much sunlight as you can offer them. For some good sowing and growing tips, check out the West Coast Seeds advice here.

This form can be finicky when viewed on some mobile devices. 


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Spring Break 2021

Spring Break will look quite a bit different than last year and even more different than 2019. Last year organizations were dealing with uncertainty and a hastily applied lockdown. While the options for Spring Break activities offered are fewer in 2021, they are thoughtfully crafted with safety in mind. The odds of outdoor spaces being shut down is also slim – giving kids a chance to play on playgrounds, skate parks, and trails. We have put together some options for Lynn Valley adventures – virtual and outdoor.


Lynn Valley Ecology Centre


Coming up for Spring Break the Lynn Valley Ecology Centre is back with its Wildlife Weeks! The naturalists at the centre have prepared a number of fantastic virtual programs, a scavenger hunt and a handful of in-person camps, plus the centre is extending its mid-week opening hours. 

The Centre will be open for Spring Break from 10am – 4pm Monday to Friday, with its weekend hours remaining noon – 4pm. 

“We are kicking off March with a scavenger hunt and a colouring contest,” said Cassie Allard, Ecology Centre education programmer. “Taking place inside, kids can look around to solve clues. The colouring contest is also available online and can be dropped off during opening hours or emailed to ecocentre@dnv.org.”

During Wildlife Weeks – March 15-26 – there are seven family-friendly virtual presentations. 

“These are going to be great,” said Allard. “We have Lynn Valley’s Tom Flowers – a local dad and Capilano University biologist – who will be taking us from Africa to BC showcasing fascinating birds. We will also [virtually] visit the Oceanwise Marine Mammal Rescue Centre. In another David Wong will join us with his frogs and families will learn how they can help local amphibians.”

The programs last 30-60 minutes and are geared for children six and up and should interest the whole family, said Allard. A donation of $3.50 is suggested per person or $6 per family. Registration links are here

Check out:

  • NIGHT FLYERS

Monday, March 15, 2021. 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm

Join biologist Danielle Dagenais from the BC Community Bat Program. Learn about the threats to bats and how you can help the bats living around your neighbourhood.

  • THE GREAT GATHERING

Tuesday, March 16, 2021. 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm

Join wildlife photographer Liron Gertsman for a virtual exploration of British Columbia’s coastal ecosystems above and below the surface.

  • FANTASTIC FROGS

Wednesday, March 17, 2021. 10:30 am to 11:30 am

Join David Wong, “the frog guy” for a virtual talk about amazing amphibians.

  • CITY SALMON

Monday, March 22, 2021. 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm

Take a virtual journey with “outdoor storyteller” Fernando Lessa into the watery world of Vancouver’s rivers and streams

  • TALES OF A BIRD BIOLOGIST

Tuesday, March 23, 2021. 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm

Join Dr. Thomas Flower on a journey to a desert island off the coast of Africa, the Kalahari desert, and meet some sneaky Steller’s jays in BC’s coastal rainforest.

  • FLOURISHING OCEANS

Wednesday, March 24, 2021. 10:00 am to 11:00 am

Take a deep dive into marine mammal rehabilitation with Emily Johnson of the Ocean Wise Marine Mammal Rescue Centre. 

  • WILD ABOUT BEES

Friday, March 26, 2021. 10:00 am to 11:00 am

Learn how to identify our mason bees, discover what makes their life cycle so fascinating, and build a bee house. Materials needed are listed on the Eventbrite page.

The Centre is also offering three in-person camps for children ages five-eight. 

“The camps take place completely outside and we have reduced the number of children to a maximum of six,” said Allard. “They are lead by enthusiastic naturalists and focus on fun, being active and learning about local plant and wildlife.”

She reminds participants to be ready for all types of weather that can change quite quickly in Lynn Canyon. Layers are great, she said. More details on Boisterous Birds, Forest Friends and Pollinator Party can be found here.  

There is one more offering that has recently opened at the Lynn Canyon. After several years of planning is a self-guided nature trail. The trail takes 15-30 minutes and uses a booklet ($3) available at the Ecology Centre. It begins to the left side of the centre and goes past almost all the park’s common trees and shrubs. 


More Lynn Valley options


Escape Adventures

The crew from Escape Adventures has put together Covid-19 protocols and an (almost) full roster of Spring Break camps. The camps for the smallest riders (3-5 years) are on hold because they require close contact. There are four camps running this March, and some have a number of different time slots. This late in the game the camps are full but there are waitlists available if you are looking for a last-minute possibility. 

Kudzu Studio

Jeri Sue Engen has pivoted to offer virtual camps this Spring Break. She has put together one-hour classes for kids and teens. Her classes feature a range of subjects and materials. Engen’s reputation for engaging, age-appropriate classes extends well beyond her roots in Lynn Valley. Details on her Spring Break programs can be found here

North Vancouver District Library

The NVDPL has added a handful of virtual programs for Spring Break focusing on cooking. There are two Teen Cook Alongs with Chef Mark March 18th and 25th. Whether you’re a whiz in the kitchen or a cooking novice, teens are invited for an afternoon of side-by-side kitchen help. Participants will receive a list of ingredients beforehand, and the library can assist in providing ingredients as necessary. Open to ages 12-18. Chef Mark of Crisp Cuisine has been a chef for 15 years. Details can be found here

The whole family is invited to join the NVDPL in helping the BC Parks Foundation rally kids of all ages in our community to become citizen scientists and take on the Foundation’s challenge to post the most observations in Canada. Becoming a NVDPL citizen scientist is simple: upload observations using iNaturalist and complete a NVDPL Nature Challenge activity booklet. Children have a chance to win a book prize. Details are here


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Mountain Market gives back

For more than 15 years Mary and Steve Choi have been doing business on Mountain Hwy – Mountain Market is an institution in Lynn Valley. Looking to brighten up your spring Mary is joining us with a flower giveaway.   


A community needs corner stores


Whether it is spending your hard found pocket money as a child or hopping out of your car to grab flowers or a desperately needed loaf of bread – a neighbourhood needs corner stores.

We have a few in Lynn Valley but the classic remains Mountain Market. For today’s parents, it is nostalgically frozen in time, a reminder of childhood 30 years ago. For local students, it’s essential to meet their daily “nutritional” needs. For families, many an occasion is celebrated with Mountain Market’s beautiful bouquets.

The Choi’s have been behind the counter of Mountain Market since 2005 – their kids growing up alongside. Frequently Mountain Market is fondly referred to a simply Mountain Mary’s. In those years they have been supportive of local causes – remember that amidst the early pandemic, dwindling shopping numbers, they stepped up to donate a trunkload of flowers to graduates of Argyle Secondary.


Community Blooms


Mary is back at it. She would like to make some homes a little bit brighter. As we flip the calendar marking one year of Covid-19 restrictions Mountain Market would like to recognize the hard work and sacrifice of our frontline and health care workers. For the month of March, they will be giving away two small arrangements each week – one for you and one to give to your Covid-19 hero.

We will be drawing a winner each week. Winners will need to pick up their arrangements at Mountain Market. Draws will take place Friday mornings. If your name is not drawn, it will remain entered for future chances to win in March.

To enter, please fill out the form below.


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Blooming on Sunnyhurst

After an inspiring conversation with a friend, Lynn Valley’s Alexia Stack has decided to harness her blooming passion for gardening to support a local charity and brighten her neighbours’ days.


Growing some good


If you have walked through the lane behind Sunnyhurst Road you know it’s bustling with activity, from a Little Library to a physically distant, preschool Halloween street party. There is a lot of life happening on that small stretch of pavement. Resident Alexia Stack is going to do her part to make it a little more beautiful. Following her growing success as a gardener, she will be offering flower bouquets and seeds from her new farmstand – all to support the North Shore Crisis Services Society

“I wanted to do it last year but I didn’t have a purpose beyond brightening up the days,” said Stack, a mom and behaviour analyst supporting children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. “Over the holidays I was thinking of a plan to donate the proceeds. I have a friend who has been supporting seniors in care homes through the pandemic and she inspired me and helped me think of it from a different perspective of what I could do and where the money could go. When I got the plan in place, I got really motivated to get started.”

She has been busy packing seeds to be the first offers at the new stand. She hopes to kick off sales – by donation – Family Day weekend. The stand will be located in the lane behind 3185 Sunnyhurst. 

“I will start with seeds available – I have sunflowers, poppies, cosmos, pincushions, and I will be harvesting once or twice a week in the summer and putting together bouquets in the alley. 

The box will be locked and a clear sign of where the donations are going – but you don’t have to donate but all the money is going to go to charity,” said Stack. “I think a lot of issues go unspoken about on the North Shore, we live in a really privileged place and things like domestic abuse are pushed under the rug and swept away. We don’t necessarily see it in the community. I think it’s an issue that is present and we can support locally here in the neighbourhood.”

Stack will post updates in local Facebook gardening groups sharing the stand’s offerings throughout the growing season. 


Just get your hands dirty


The thriving garden takes place in a small footprint – six beds surrounding her townhome. Stack said her success is rooted in trial and error and lots of learning with her former neighbour Tracy Romano.

“I wasn’t a gardener when I was younger – I had two black thumbs for sure.”

Eleven years into her self-education Stack loves getting her hands dirty.

“I love to get my hands in the soil,” she said. “I think it surprised me how good I felt working with soil. I have this tiny garden – just six garden beds but I feel so much more connected and grounded when I can get out and work with the earth.”

A feeling she thinks others could benefit from. 

“Growing a garden in whatever space you have keeps you moving in the direction of tomorrow: a fresh start, a new hope for something better, a belief life is ever-changing,” said Stack. “This belief is helping me make my way through this never-ending pandemic.”

For her – and most gardeners – the first step is planning. Pouring over seed catalogues and schedules. 

“I have already planted sweetpeas inside my office since the beginning of January,” said Stack. “This year over the holidays I used photos that I cut out into small squares and I have put together almost like a quilt that I have pasted into my garden book so I have a clear visual of where things are going to go and I have the dates assigned so I know when to plant. I am pretty keen with the schedules so usually go with the first suggested date of planting.”

She recommends poppies, sweetpeas, cosmos, and dahlias for the budding flower gardner. This year’s focus for Stack will be to encourage density and to extend the blooms throughout the season. 

“I also look at annuals that benefit from being cut, there are a whole bunch of flowers like sweetpeas that live to be cut and produce more and some like pincushions that just thrive,” she said.  

For more inspiration and to get updates of Stack’s farmstand join the two North Shore garden groups on Facebook. 


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.