An open grassy areaa looks out at Fishernan's Wharf, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest garden

James Bay Rain Garden

Once upon a time (way back in the 90’s) I went to the park on the corner of Superior and St. Lawrence streets to enjoy a game of softball.  The sun was shining, the game was fun, but the temperature was several degrees below the rest of town.  Despite the gorgeous site at Fisherman’s Wharf, it was one of my least favourite parks to hang out in.

new life for the park at Fisherman's Wharf
photo by SVSeekins

Recently this park has climbed up several notches in my esteem.  The city of Victoria has completed a massive makeover.

rolling hills & wandering trails circle the rain garden
photo by SVSeekins

Now it’s a leap to imagine the flat sports field.  Brand spanking new hills block views of the urban streets & buildings.  The varied landscape creates a feeling of privacy.  It makes the green space seem larger than it really is.

Wandering pathways lead to several garden rooms.  I especially like with the emphasis on native plants & trees.  A walk along one of the trails feels so much more peaceful than one on the sidewalk just a few yards away.

excess water will flood into the storm drain (far left)
photo by SVSeekins

Part of the new design is a rain garden.  By coincidence  the same folks that created the Atrium rain garden that I like so much, also came up with this design.

The James Bay project has a much larger retention pond than the little boulevards at Yates and Blanchard streets.

It’s engineered so that the local streets & parking areas provide the runoff water for the large rain garden.  Notice how deep the pond can get before excess water flows into the raised storm drain.  I’m so curious to come back to see the ponds in the peak of rainy season.

in homage to the shoreline & sandy beach of years ago
photo by SVSeekins

A stone wall winds around the park, showing where the natural shoreline used to be.  In one place, The Victoria Parks Department has even gone to the length of adding sand, grasses and logs reminiscent of the past beach.  Isn’t it charming?

the playground near Fisherman's Wharf
photo by SVSeekins

Being near all the boats at Fisherman’s Wharf, it seems suitable that the playground matches with a shipwreck at its entry gate

An open grassy areaa looks out at Fishernan's Wharf
photo by SVSeekins

And for folks that really do want to throw around a baseball, there still is a wide open grassy area.  My imagination has an active game of Frisbee tag keeping me warm against the cool sea breeze.

© copyright 2013 SVSeekins

7 thoughts on “James Bay Rain Garden”

    1. You know – that’s a darn good question… mosquitoes aren’t much of an issue around here. We don’t even use window screens against the critters! But in a circumstance like this big pond…. hmmmm… My understanding is mosquitoes grow in standing water. The theory of rain gardens is to make the pond big enough to hold the rainfall from the local streets (instead of taxing storm drains)… and then the standing water easily soaks into the soil, rejuvenating the local water table; instead of disappearing to wherever the storm drains take it. Perhaps the water won’t stand long enough for mosquitoes to breed? Perhaps when we have the real wet in winter, it’s too cold for mosquitoes to breed (We’re hovering around 0 to 5 degrees C most nights…) I’m just guessing. Anyone have more insight??


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