Welcome to laura's sandbox!
I love to play in the garden and want to share here what I know about growing plants - flowers, fruit and vegetables - in the city. Most of what I know about plants and growing them I have learned by doing, by listening to friends and, much less, by reading books. This seems like a good place to record what I have learned in the hope that others will be interested and inspired.
Preparing the ground
Leaves, grass, vegetable scraps, manure, ... any of these materials can be used to make the ground more hospitable to plants. The process of composting is not a new one, but it has been "newly discovered" in Canadian (and no doubt many other countries') cities. Blessed with excellent growing conditions and lots of water, these materials are easily available in and around Victoria. Victoria (B.C. Canada) has a Compost Education Centre  that spreads knowledge and advice about composting for city residents.