West Seattle, Washington
On this perfect sunny Sunday, today’s annual West Seattle Garden Tour drew hundreds to 10 homes. We stopped at three:
In the upper Arroyos, the southernmost WSGT stop was the “Off the Grid” bluffside home with a showstopper Puget Sound view that almost overshadowed the garden. Almost, but not quite:
The home was called “Off the Grid” rainwater-storage-and-circulation system and solar power were the draws; the water system supplies indoor uses in the rainy months, as well as garden irrigation when needed.
From there, we headed north to Westwood/Sunrise Heights, and the “Little City Farms Hideaway” home:
As described in the Tour guide, this is “a Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired home surrounded by copious fruit and vegetable gardens”:
Statuary in a corner offered, and brought, a smile:
ALKI GARDENER’S RETREAT: None of our stops were sprawling gardens at mansions – all were at relatively small homes, inspiring dreams of what could be done with even the smallest of spaces.
This home was billed as belonging to “a botanist who was head gardener at Seattle Center for 20 years and goes to plant nurseries for entertainment.”
That was easy to see, with unusual plants and memorable color combinations:
Also from Alki:
WHAT IT TAKES TO GET READY: Local arborist and photographer Michael Oxman sent this photo of the honey locust tree that towers over another stop on today’s tour, “Whitecap,” as Robert Oxman climbed it to prepare it for its day in the spotlight:
The West Seattle Garden Tour is a fundraiser for local nonprofits. And because gardens are peaking earlier these days, next year’s tour will be in June, not July, according to information circulated to volunteers; thanks to Mike for the tip on this.
From “the small garden of a botanist who was head gardener at Seattle Center for 20 years” to “a tranquil space for authentic connection to the land” to a garden at the home of the person who created the white-rocks ALKI sign on Admiral Way – that’s what you’ll see on this Sunday’s West Seattle Garden Tour. Your ticket gets you self-guided visits to 10 gardens between 9 am and 5 pm Sunday as well as the lunchtime lecture at The Kenney featuring Steve Hootman, curator of the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden in Federal Way. With three days to go until tour day, you’ll want to buy your ticket book in advance, at Junction True Value or West Seattle Nursery. Or you can buy online – but you’ll have to pick up the book on tour day (the BrownPaperTickets.com page explains where and when).
Need help with a garden/plant problem? This weekend, you’ll have a chance to find that help at the Delridge P-Patch. 10 am-2 pm Saturday (June 11th), it’s hosting a Master Gardener Pop-Up Clinic – one of just four sites around the city chosen to host one, according to Ta Pemgrove from the P-Patch. You can of course just show up to ask for advice, but it’ll be really helpful if you can answer this poll to provide information on what you need help with. The garden is at 5078 25th SW.
The second and final day of the first-ever Westside Plant and Garden Art Fair is on! We stopped in just as the gate opened at 11 am and were pointed to the sign you see above, celebrating what a huge success Day 1 was. If you get there soon, you’ll still find some plants:
But there’s lots else to see and do, including kids’ activities. This is all happening in the lot outside Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation at 7141 California SW in Gatewood.
Before you go, browse the official website!
Lots of excitement back in February when the first-ever Westside Plant and Garden Art Fair was announced. Now, it’s just a few weeks away, and organizers have sent the highlights of what you’ll find during the event, 10 am-4 pm Saturday, April 30th, and 11 am-3 pm Sunday, May 1st:
This community event will be held at the Westside Unitarian Universalist Church, 7141 California Ave. SW, and promises to have something for adults and children alike, including:
*Hundreds of perennial, herb, veggie and berry starts.
*Garden art created by local artisans Sarah Barrick, Brian Brenno, Terri Goodwin, Carol Farnham, Elaine Moore, and Linda Thorson.
*Gardening advice from local Master Gardeners as well as from Jenny Mandt, Garden Coach at West Seattle Nursery.
*An opportunity to sample OMG! Artisanal Olive Oils & Vinegars, the perfect accompaniment for the season’s fresh greens. Phil Harris, creator of Seattle’s OMG! Flagship Store, will be on hand to share his recipes.
*A “low-mileage” garden tool, accessory and book sale which will also include sustainable freshly cut local bamboo stakes in 6’ and 8’ lengths.
*A Garden Cafe serving fresh baked goods each day.
*Creative children’s activities.
And much more … For further details and schedules, visit WestsideGardenFair.weebly.com.
No matter what size your garden, if you’re growing plants from seed, this is big news: The grand opening of the West Seattle Seed Library is set, one year after the original call to help make it happen. Here’s the cabinet where you’ll find the seeds at The Healing Tree (3225 California SW):
You can join the celebration 2-4 pm on (corrected) Sunday, March 13th, and it’ll be open to the public Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, 4-7 pm. Krista from Terraganics, who along with Katie from Seattle Farm School is making this dream come to life, says, “Access is free to public to take and receive seeds! No membership required. This is the 4th location of the King County Seed Library with more already in work. Types of seeds available are edible and flowering. We are so excited to have this resource available locally!”
That’s the winning art chosen for this year’s West Seattle Garden Tour poster. Here’s the announcement from tour organizers:
The West Seattle Garden Tour received nearly 30 art submissions in response to this year’s artist competition. We are pleased to announce West Seattle artist Cynthia Turner as the winner for her piece entitled “Wild, Wild Flowers.” Her original artwork using a medium of cut paper, gel medium, acrylic on canvas board, will be auctioned on the day of the tour (July 17) to benefit WSGT’s 2016 designated beneficiaries. Cynthia’s art work along with several other ‘honorable mentions’ will also be on display during the June 2016 West Seattle Art Walk.
From Turner’s artist statement: “Using my personal ethos of using mostly up-cycled and re-purposed materials, as well working within the West Seattle Garden Tour’s theme of ‘The Art of Gardening,’ I set out to make a piece that was slightly mid-century in feel, using paper that I found or already had on hand. With this piece, I tried to create a feeling of a wild garden that was designed by nature and happenstance, yet is also clean and graphic.” Read more about Turner and her work here; find out more about this year’s tour here.
New this spring: The first-ever Westside Plant and Garden Art Extravaganza! Just out of the WSB inbox, here’s the announcement:
West Seattle garden-related merchants, clubs, & other organizations are invited to be part of the Westside Plant & Garden Art Extravaganza.
The event, sponsored by the Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation, will be held on Saturday, April 30, and Sunday, May 1, 2016, and will feature:
*perennial, vegetable, herb & berry plants perfect for NW gardens,
*garden art created by local artists,
*advice from local garden experts,
*information on sustainable gardening practices & ways of sharing our garden bounty with those in need.
*representatives from local garden-related community organizations, businesses, & clubs
This event promises to be an enjoyable opportunity for gardening enthusiasts as well a terrific way for local merchants and organizations to promote their products, activities, services and upcoming events. Displays, brochures and portfolios, as well as live or digital demonstrations are encouraged. All participants will also be showcased on the Garden Extravaganza website, soon to be published.
Booths/tables are available both inside and outside for either one or both days. There is no charge for businesses or organizations providing information only; however, there is a $75 booth fee for artists who wish to sell their work at the event.
To secure a booth/table at the the event, please contact Alice Britt at email@example.com as soon as possible. Space will be allocated on a first-come basis.
WSUU is at 7141 California SW.
We are exactly one month away from spring and four months away from summer. No better way to celebrate the approaching longer days than to get ready to garden. Whether you’ll be growing in a planter on a deck or a stoop, or a patch in a yard, or some other venue, if you plan to grow something from seed, you might want to be at the West Seattle (Admiral) Library (2306 42nd SW) tomorrow afternoon, 2-3:30 pm, for the second annual Great Seattle Seed Swap. It’s free, whether you have seeds to swap or not. Find out more on the Seattle Farm School website (if you haven’t already seen the listing on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar).
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Tending a community garden requires more than planting, weeding, harvesting.
This week, members of the Barton P-Patch community gathered to talk about problems and solutions.
The meeting was mediated by neighborhood district coordinator Kerry Wade of the city Department of Neighborhoods, which runs the P-Patch Community Garden Program and worked with local gardeners to turn this site from dream to reality four-plus years ago. It’s full of special touches, not the least of which is its community pizza oven, which has been at the heart of neighborhood events.
That photo courtesy of West Seattle Nursery is a view from their original building, looking at the crane that has arrived for their expansion project next door. Today’s milestone: The walls are starting to go up. (See more photos on the WSN website.) It’s been a little over two months since work started in earnest, with demolition of the small old house on the lot to the north of the current nursery (they offered to give it away to anyone who could move it, but nothing worked out). The expansion, designed by LD Arch Design and built by Ventana Construction (both West Seattle businesses and WSB sponsors), is expected to be done by spring; find more details here.
(WSB photo from one stop on this year’s WSGT)
While this is the dormant season for many gardens, it’s a busy time of planning for the next West Seattle Garden Tour, which is now inviting artists to get ready to enter next year’s poster contest:
The West Seattle Garden Tour provides an opportunity for local artists to showcase their original artwork on marketing materials, including the cover of the WSGT ticket book and promotional poster. The winning artist also receives a $500 cash award. Winning and honorable mention artworks will be featured during the June 2016 West Seattle Art Walk.
Please accept this invitation to submit your original artwork to the annual WSGT Poster Competition. Submission rules and entry form are available on our website.
The West Seattle Garden Tour (WSGT) is one of the premier garden tours in the Northwest, as well as a fundraiser for local non-profits promoting horticulture, education or the arts. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organized by a group of dedicated volunteers. Since its inception in 1995, the WSGT has donated nearly a half million dollars to local beneficiaries.
Entries are due in early February.
That’s a rendering of the new expansion building that West Seattle Nursery is about to start work on next door. We reported on the expansion plan early last year. Nursery owner Mark Smith owns the old house on the site and had hoped to give it to someone who would be interested in moving it to another location, but that didn’t work out, so it will be demolished next Monday. The expansion is designed by Parie Hines of LD Arch Design (WSB sponsor) will include “a new houseplant and gift shop; a coffee bar; a classroom; storage; and office space.” (Find more details of the building, especially its sustainability features, on the LD Arch Design website.) This will clear the way for the original WSN building to have an expanded garden center with more tools, accessories, and furniture. The project – to be built by Ventana Construction (also a WSB sponsor) – is expected to be finished by the end of March.
(WSB photo from 2015 WS Garden Tour)
You love gardening … you love helping others enjoy gardening … how about helping grow a 2016 >West Seattle Garden Tour that will inspire and delight? From the WSGT:
The West Seattle Garden Tour is looking for new committee members to join the West Seattle Garden Tour to help produce our July,2016 Garden tour.
We have open volunteer opportunities, including PR & Marketing, Sponsorship, Graphic Design as well as several administrative positions. We’re a lively committee that meets monthly to discuss the business processes of moving the West Seattle Garden Tour forward toward our July, 2016 tour day that benefits many local non-profits.
For more information, please call Clay Swidler — PR Chair at 206-669-4653.
Once again this year, the city has trees in search of homes – maybe even your neighborhood. From Katie Gibbons:
Could your yard use a beautiful new tree? You’re in luck! Through the City of Seattle’s Trees for Neighborhoods project, Seattle residents can apply for up to 4 free trees for their yard or planting strip. Participants receive free trees, water bags, mulch, and planting and care instruction.
While many of this year’s small ornamentals have sold out, you can still apply for 1 of 5 gorgeous conifers that will add beauty and grace to your yard. If you have the space, consider planting one of three native conifers we’re offering this year: the grand fir, the western hemlock, or the western red cedar. For small, narrow spaces, plant the graceful Serbian spruce. Consider the deciduous bald cypress and enjoy its changing color and soft beautiful foliage. Bald cypresses are excellent urban trees because of their adaptability, even winning the Society of Municipal Arborists’ Tree of the Year award!
To learn more about this year’s species, space requirement, and to apply, go here.
Monetti Landscape Design and Construction, LLC, is reopening in West Seattle, and has rejoined the WSB sponsor team. Here’s how they’re sharing the news:
As some of you know, Mitch Monetti, owner of long-time West Seattle Blog sponsor Monetti Landscape Design and Construction, LLC, moved to Vermont two years ago with his family. While they all agree that it was an interesting adventure, Mitch says West Seattle is home and he is thrilled to be back with his family. Two cross-country moves (in two years) is enough for a lifetime, and he is ready to focus on helping West Seattleites transform their yards into outdoor living spaces.
If you dream of a water feature, a planting bed, a fire pit, a deck, a wall, a fence or a patio, we can do it all. With 15 years of experience, you have likely seen some of our projects in your neighborhood. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 206-938-5400 to discuss your landscaping needs.
Lauren reports, “It was jam-packed with learning and fun – kids were engaged in all of the activities (bee anatomy game, flower/pollination worksheets, pollination simulation, waggle dance, scavenger hunt, and especially the bee demonstration).”
She adds, “Good times and great people – I was very impressed by everyone’s eagerness to learn. Many thanks to the Puget Sound Beekeepers Association!” You can visit the Bee Garden any time on the north side of High Point Commons Park at 31st and Graham.
(Photo by Ann Anderson)
Where would we be without bees? Your favorite kid(s) can learn more about them at the West Seattle Bee Garden on Saturday, during the first-ever Kids Day presented by the Puget Sound Beekeepers Association! WSBG founder Lauren Englund shares the news:
Beekeepers from the Puget Sound Beekeepers Association are gearing up for the first PSBA Kids’ Day!
The day will begin with a story time hosted by the Seattle Public Library, followed by a variety of science activities. Kids will join a group and rotate through a live hive demonstration, scavenger hunt, and activity booths.
Booth themes will include Waggle Dance, Pollination Simulation, Bee and Flower Facts, Honey Tasting, Meet the Beekeepers, and Crafts.
Participation is free – we hope everyone can come join the fun! We recommend arriving a few minutes early to get assigned to your group before the Story Time begins. Registration/Sign-in will begin at 9:30 am. Parents/Chaperones, please plan to enjoy the event along with your attendees
Know if you can make it? Great! Please register here. Not sure? That’s ok. Walk-ins will be welcome too!
Registration helps them figure out how many kids to plan for, but again, it’s not mandatory. You can find out more about Kids’ Day on the WS Bee Garden’s website; if you’ve never been there before, here’s how/where to find it.
That painting by JoEllen Wang will soon be a familiar sight – it’s on posters for the West Seattle Urban Farm Tour that’s just been announced by WS-based Seattle Farm School, whose Katie Stemp shares the news:
I’m organizing a one-day tour of urban agriculture sites all around West Seattle. It will be Saturday, August 8 from 10 am – 3 pm and include more than 15 locations including private homes, community gardens, school gardens, and organizations that promote and support urban farming here in our community! It’s only $12 for adults and FREE for all kids under 18! Very family-friendly!
Buy your ticket online here, where you’ll also find more info about the tour.
FIRST REPORT, 12:42 PM: Nine local homes have hundreds of visitors trekking through their front and/or back and/or side yards today on the West Seattle Garden Tour, continuing through 5 pm. We just visited a featured stop north of Morgan Junction, where even this bit of water looked invitingly cooling.
Wherever you go, stop to admire the smallest details – like the mix of colors here in this tiny patch of peppers:
The WSGT (with co-sponsors including WSB) is a unique fundraiser – proceeds are split among local nonprofits; this year’s beneficiaries will be ArtsWest, CityFruit, Plant Amnesty‘s Urban Forest Symposium, Seattle Chinese Garden Society, Lettuce Link, Southwest Seattle Historical Society, and the West Seattle Farmers’ Market. (Arts-, horticulture-, and education-related nonprofits can find out here how to apply for consideration.)
SECOND REPORT, 5:31 PM: We stopped by another garden on the tour, this time in Westwood. Many wonderful touches, both in the plants and the art/decorations:
One of the signature features of the West Seattle Garden Tour is that so many of the featured gardens are charming yet not imposing – you can appreciate the creativity and take away an idea or two.
This year’s tour is now over – watch for word of 2016 plans!
Before today gets too much busier, a quick reminder about a big event tomorrow (one that we’re proud to be co-sponsoring) – the West Seattle Garden Tour, 9 am-5 pm on Sunday, with nine fabulous local gardens on display, to be explored at your own pace. You do need a ticket – so buy one today at West Seattle Nursery (California/Brandon) or Junction True Value Hardware (44th/Edmunds). As organizers note, “Along with admission to all nine gardens, your ticket includes award-winning spotlight lecturer Phil Wood‘s talk about residential-garden design at 12:30 pm on tour day at The Kenney.” Last-minute tickets will be available tomorrow morning ONLY at Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor), 8:30 am-11:30 am, but don’t wait – just go get yours today at WSN or True Value.
Four West Seattle urban farms are on the list of 25 that you can tour around the city on Saturday, during Seattle Tilth‘s Chicken Coop and Urban Farm Tour – and one of them, “Buried Treasure,” has won a pre-tour award! Buried Treasure (whose urban farmers are shown in a Tilth-provided photo above) have received the “Garden to the Max” award for attributes including efficient use of space. Theirs is one of four West Seattle stops on this year’s tour, which is already in our calendar, but if you haven’t caught it there yet, here’s the description from the Tilth announcement: “Meet people who are incorporating animals and unique gardens into their home landscapes on a self-guided tour. See unique coops, see goats, ducks, bunnies, and bees, and learn what it takes to have a dynamic urban farm. Go on an urban adventure! Tickets are just $12 and $5 for kids, with discounts for groups, bicyclists, and Seattle Tilth members.” Go here to find out more.
P.S. For a sneak peek at all the award-winners, including more photos from the one West Seattle winner, go here.