Street Library Parade

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Street Libraries have been in the news for a few years now. I’ve shown a few that I’ve run across (see the end of this article for a list of past posts). They’re so sweet, I’ll often stop to photograph them when I spot ’em. After my last article, I’d planned to write a couple more as I’d run across 2 new little libraries in our ‘hood. But then I kept finding more… and more. So I reckon it’s just time for a post of all the other little libraries I know of (& add to it as I find more.)

There are several Little Free Libraries on the southern slopes of Mt. Tolmie.

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

I reckon the folks who protect this door-less library are pretty kind to put the books into plastic boxes during the rainy season.

I quite liked how our neighbours created a library that matched the colours of their house. A year or two later, the house was sold & demolished. The little library disappeared shortly after. Maybe the new home that is built here will get a mini-me little library, too?

There’s one at Doncaster Elementary.

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Another on the way to my dentist on Finlayson.

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

There’s even one at the Church where my garden club meets.

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Fernwood is on my cycling route to get downtown. It’s a friendly community with several Free Little Libraries.

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by svseekins
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSEekins
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

I especially like the one just north of the Belfry Theatre.

The folks on Ten Mile Point even supplied fresh water for the dog bowl. 🙂

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Cycling along the Lochside Trail through the Blenkinsop Valley, I found this Little Free Library. It’s especially nice of these folks to supply a path over the ditch & seats to rest on.

SP showed me this one in Vic West.

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

This one is near Bow Park. I wonder if the construction crew built the Little Library at the same time as the house so they could match materials?.

These are from Oak Bay.

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
Photo by L.Hume
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
Photo by L.Hume
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
Photo by L.Hume

Even a restaurant at Fort & Foul Bay Rd has a library

This one is from Langford.

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by L. Hume

Another friend took these when she decided to donate her spare books to Little Free Libraries instead of selling them to the 2nd hand bookstore. I think she searched them out via a local map of Little Libraries.

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by S.McMillan
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by S.McMillan
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by S.McMillan
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by S.Mcmillan
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by S.McMillan

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest

I’m pretty sure she’s dropped some books at this library, too. It’s in her neighbourhood & she’s the one who first showed it to me.

It seems we come across new little libraries every couple of weeks. Someone has even thought to put in a Little Food Pantry.

What will be available to exchange on our next walk?

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P.S.  Here are some of the street libraries I’d already found:

Building A Privacy Trellis

Clematis montana on fence, mountain clematis, Himalayan clematis , garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

When we first moved to our corner lot, it was surrounded by a rickety fence hosting a pretty, spring-blooming clematis. I liked the clematis, but the fence was on borrowed time. As traffic came down the hill and around the curve, drivers could see right into our yard. We wanted more privacy than the fence could give. A trellis would obscure drivers’ views, provide the vine with a better opportunity to climb, AND snaz up the garden with a bit of Architectural Detail. 🙂

build a privacy trellis, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

After the fence demolition, C dug 2 precisely spaced foundation holes. Two 4 foot long pieces of 2×2 angle iron were drilled for lug bolts and painted with primer against rusting. Instead of setting wooden posts straight into the ground, the angle iron supports were concreted into the holes instead. The posts bolt onto the supports about 6 inches above soil level. This structure won’t collapse in a few years because the posts rot out!

A beam spans the posts with an extra overhang on either side. Two corner supports beef up stability & increase the load the trellis can carry. Rafters and purlins top the beam.

build a privacy trellis, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
build a privacy trellis, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

After that, the lattice was built & installed. The vine now has lots of opportunities to spread out, scramble & climb. The yard is not nearly as exposed. There’s a feeling of privacy without the claustrophobia of hiding behind a fortress. I like it.

I reckon the Clematis montana likes it, too. The roots nestle into the moist soil on the north side of the trellis, yet the vine basks in the sunshine.

build a privacy trellis, Cematis montana, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Hooray for the carpenter! Happy plants – happy gardener.

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Winter Iris

In the first week of February, I cycled past this lovely front yard. Basking in the winter sunshine are some very early flowers. I know about snowdrops blooming in January & snow crocus flowering by Valentine’s Day… but iris? These aren’t the dwarf iris reticulata we have in our garden. These are different.

iris unguicularis, winter blooming allgerian iris, winter iris, Iris stylosa, Joniris stylosa, Neubeckia stylosa, Siphonostylis unguicularis, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

These are Iris unguicularis… aka Algerian iris or winter iris. This evergreen is native to dry Mediterranean regions. We have a very similar climate in the Pacific Northwest, so it can grow here, too. It might be set back by the occasional snowstorm, but it pulls through.

Blossoms start opening as early as November & continue until spring. An unusual feature is that the flowers nestle, protected, near the base of the leaves. Look closely: in this yard, the gardener trims the leaves to the same height the flowers bloom at. Better to see the blooms.

iris unguicularis, winter blooming allgerian iris, winter iris, Iris stylosa, Joniris stylosa, Neubeckia stylosa, Siphonostylis unguicularis, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Back in January (2016), at the Horticultural Centre of the Pacific, I saw Iris unguicularis with full leaf. The flowers bloom inside the clump, almost hidden. To my mind, the clump looks a little messy.

It’s a tough call – trim back the leaves or not? Letting them grow natural is not as showy but probably better for overwintering insects. I reckon I can put up with messy if it means the beneficials are snug & warm, and I’m still seeing flowers in January.

iris unguicularis, winter blooming allgerian iris, winter iris, Iris stylosa, Joniris stylosa, Neubeckia stylosa, Siphonostylis unguicularis, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Here’s the same clump 5 weeks later. The winter aconites are almost done. The Hellebores are blooming like mad. The narcissi are opening. And the winter iris is still blooming. 🙂

That’s enough to prove to me Algerian iris is a keeper. But there are even more reasons why I’m a fan:

iris unguicularis, winter blooming allgerian iris, winter iris, Iris stylosa, Joniris stylosa, Neubeckia stylosa, Siphonostylis unguicularis, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
  • The flowers are fragrant.
  • It’s deer & rabbit resistant (probably because it’s poisonous).
  • It’s happy in part shade under deciduous trees – or the sunny base of evergreens.
  • It survives our summer drought.

Wouldn’t it make sense that every garden in Victoria would have some Algerian iris? I suppose most nurseries don’t carry it because most shoppers don’t show up in winter to purchase plants. By the time we show up in April & May, this iris looks inconspicuous amongst the jewels of spring.
My bad.
I want to find some anyway. It’s my new mission.

-30-

Other January gems in the Pacific Northwest:

SVSeekins

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