Summer’s really not that far away. Funny to say as snow remains on the ground, but it’s true, and that’s why the West Seattle Garden Tour has just made two announcements about the 20th-anniversary edition of the event this year – first, the art contest, with a $500 prize and a deadline just four weeks away:
Our milestone garden tour, showcasing nine spectacular NW residential gardens in West Seattle, will take place on Sunday, July 20th 2014 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
We are also thrilled to announce our 2014 WSGT Poster contest. Over the last several years, the greater Seattle arts community has been encouraged to enter our annual poster contest highlighting Art in the Garden. This year’s contest entrants are encouraged to consider our 20th Anniversary when submitting their artwork. The deadline for entries is March 8th, 2014. (Submission guidelines and entry form here.)
2014 WSGT Guest Lecturer
The WSGT is pleased to present Susie Egan as our 2014 Guest Lecturer. Susie will speak to our garden enthusiasts at 12:00 pm July 20th at the Kenney Retirement Center in West Seattle. She is the owner of Cottage Lake Gardens, a private two-acre botanical garden and plant nursery located on Cottage Lake in Woodinville. In recent years Susie’s been focusing on the study and propagation of native and woodland shade plants particularly trilliums, an endangered wildflower. She is currently working toward establishing a National Trillium Collection at Cottage Lake Gardens whose purpose will be to conserve, grow, propagate, and make available the many species of trilliums.
As noted on its website, the WSGT raises money for local nonprofits. Tickets will go on sale in May.
(May 2013 photo by WSB’s Katie Meyer)
So what do you do for an encore after you launch a brand-new educational garden with a parade and festival AND win the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce Westsider of the Year award? West Seattle Bee Garden founder Lauren Englund sends word that even bigger things are ahead for the WSBG in the new year – and recaps some of what else happened along the way:
Guess what, the West Seattle Bee Garden (WSBG) crew made a last-minute decision to apply for another Department of Neighborhoods Matching Fund grant this year, and was awarded $18,000! Fantastic news!
This year has been great; not only did West Seattle come together and create the space from scratch in less than three months, but eleven field trips took place there, including a spectacular Seattle Public Library reading event which packed the place with eager learners.
The garden has also had a constant stream of visitors from near and far – really need a guestbook!
Also, local companies including Shipwreck Honey and Seattle Bee Works helped out by building the hives and hosting beekeeping classes at the space. Interested in beekeeping? Keep an eye out for more opportunities down the road!
Here are a few changes you can expect to see at the WSBG, and educational opportunities we hope to share beyond our Bee Garden borders:
Maybe while you were in The Junction for Sunday’s Harvest Festival – or some other visit to shop and/or dine – you noticed that newly planted mini-garden on the southwest corner of California/Alaska. You might remember when it was mostly just home to a tree stump:
Here’s the person you can thank for the transformation – Elois Gruenhagen:
The retired West Seattle teacher was featured here last June for her beautification work a bit further north, by Red Cup Espresso, whose co-proprietor Breanna Baillie sent along the photos and also this story of what Elois did and why; here’s our transcription:
‘Downtown West Seattle’ says the sign. Below was a stump used as a dump. Elois Gruenhagen has walked by that stump for 6 years hoping that someone would remove it. This spring, Elois vowed that stump would be gone by fall even if she had to sit on a little chair beside it so someone would notice.
She contacted Susan (Melrose, director of the West Seattle Junction Association). The process had begun. Elois says, “It may take many to accomplish a task, but only one to start it.”
A few weeks ago, a former first-grade student, now grown, told Elois that what he remembers about first grade was that he learned to love plants and gardening so he is teaching his daughter. One person can make a difference.
Take a walk by the corner of Alaska and California where the stump used to be and see the difference.
Thank you Elois, Susan, those who furnished plants, and Great Harvest for providing water when needed.
PLEASE DO NOT USE THIS PLANTING OR ANY OTHER AS AN ASHTRAY OR DUMP. THANK YOU!
And thank YOU, Elois.
P.S. Thanks also to Kerry, who e-mailed us a few days ago wondering if a “guerrilla gardener” was at work and sharing this photo:
We had just begun to investigate when Elois stopped by during the Harvest Festival to mention the project and promised information would be on the way.
You still have time to get over to West Seattle Nursery (California/Brandon) and meet the friendly folks working on The Little Red Hen Project - teaching and encouraging backyard farming in eastern West Seattle; they’re raffling off cool items and talking to people about the project, until 4. If you didn’t make it to today’s event – read more about the project and its work at Delridge Community Center by going here.
Another big event tomorrow – your chance to assist, and find out about, a new program to help turn the Delridge “food desert” into something more like a “food oasis.” Starting at 1 pm at West Seattle Nursery, it’s the first fall fundraiser for The Little Red Hen Project. Jen Dowell explains:
The Little Red Hen Project will provide the underserved Delridge community with a way to grow, maintain, cook, and preserve sustainable back yard food.
We are a new Seattle Tilth fiscally sponsored program located in the heart of the Delridge food desert at the Delridge Community Center. We have begun work at the DCC with the teens program and will continue our progress by encouraging community members to enter our teaching program to learn how to grow their own food. With the support of the Seattle Master Gardeners program, we have access to Seattleites in the Master Gardener program who are completing their volunteer hours by contributing to our need for strong teachers.
This will be going on all Sunday afternoon, so even if you’re going to the Junction Harvest Festival, head a few blocks south afterward. More details on the official Facebook event page for tomorrow’s event.
The stars of the show, the pumpkins – priced in small, medium, large – were arrayed as if they were the greeters when we stopped by the Lincoln Park P-Patch Pumpkin Festival about an hour ago. The P-Patch isn’t actually at the park – it’s at what was the Lincoln Park Annex before it was renamed Solstice Park, a little bit uphill from the tennis courts on the east side of Fauntleroy Way (look for the festively decorated sign before turning). Right across from the pumpkins, before you get to the plants, bulbs, and bake sale, is this quilt:
$2 gets you a raffle ticket, benefiting the P-Patch Trust. This is all continuing until 1 pm, so get there fast!
Continuing to spotlight some of what’s ahead, while also tracking what’s happening today – The Seattle Chinese Garden on Puget Ridge wants to make sure you know about its Kite Festival tomorrow (Saturday, August 10), 2-6 pm:
Come fly a kite at the Garden’s ridge-top site! Bring your own or buy one at the festival for a fun afternoon with family or friends. Activities for all ages include kite flying demonstrations, competitions, and kite painting. Put your own creative stamp on one you paint yourself — materials provided.
The festival also includes music and dance performances and a demonstration of eagle painting by artist George Yiqiao of Luoyang, China. Everyone will find something to enjoy at the festival, including refreshments such as Chinese bakery treats and tea.
The garden is on the north side of the South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) campus at 6000 16th SW.
Want free trees for your yard? Starting Wednesday, you can apply for up to four free trees from Seattle reLeaf‘s Trees for Neighborhoods program. The program also provides free watering bags for each tree, plus training on proper planting and care.
The application can be found on the program website starting Wednesday (July 31st), and program managers say the trees go quickly, so you shouldn’t wait to apply. Different species of trees are offered, including both large and small varieties that are well-suited for urban areas. This year’s offerings include Galaxy Magnolia, Emerald Sunshine Elm, Cascara, and mountain hemlock. Find the full list here.
Since 2009, Trees for Neighborhoods has helped Seattleites plant more than 1,000 trees each year. According to Seattle reLeaf, these trees help to absorb storm water, replace carbon dioxide with oxygen, and calm traffic. Learn more about the benefits of trees in urban areas, and how to take care of them, at seattle.gov/trees.
(Sea holly and bee, photographed for WSB by Nick Adams during 2012 WS Garden Tour)
One of tomorrow’s big events is less than 14 hours away – and you have all day to enjoy it, even interspersed with other Sunday fun: The West Seattle Garden Tour runs from 9 am until 5 pm tomorrow, and your ticket book gets you the locations of, and admission to, the nine featured gardens, plus the noon presentation by Debra Prinzing, “A Year in Flowers” (at The Kenney [WSB sponsor], 7125 Fauntleroy Way SW). In addition to a day of self-guided garden touring and learning, the WSGT also is a fundraiser; net proceeds go to local nonprofits chosen each year, and this year’s half-dozen beneficiaries are listed here. If you don’t already have a ticket book, you’ll need to buy one tomorrow; ticket outlets are listed here – we’re told West Seattle Nursery (California/Brandon) is a good bet, since it’s open at 9 am, which is when the tour gardens open, too.
Just announced by the city today: The P-Patch Community Garden Program’s High Point Market Garden Farm Stand opens July 10th, for weekly Wednesday sales, 4-7 pm, through October 9th. It’s at 32nd Avenue SW and SW Juneau, right next to the small “farm” where the organic produce is grown. Here’s the flyer with additional details.
The West Seattle Garden Tour is now less than one month away, and ticket sales are days away, starting this Tuesday (June 25th). Each ticket is $18 (children under 12 are free) and includes the noon lecture with author and outdoor-living expert Debra Prinzing. The tour is 9 am to 5 pm on Sunday, July 21st. Here are the ticket locations in our area:
Admiral Metropolitan Market, 2320 42nd SW
Junction True Value, 4747 44th SW
Village Green Perennial Nursery, 10223 26th Ave SW
West Seattle Nursery, 5275 California SW
To the right, you’re seeing the winning art for this year’s WSGT poster, “Blooming Palette,” created by Carrie Schmitt. Carrie receiving her prize check for $500 at Windermere West Seattle during last week’s June West Seattle Art Walk:
Posters will be sold for $10 during the tour, and Carrie’s original piece will be part of a silent auction during the tour on July 21st. The money raised, as well as other tour proceeds, will benefit these organizations.
One month ago, volunteers organized by Sustainable West Seattle planted a “Presto Garden” to grow food for those in need (WSB coverage here). Today – the first harvest! The photo and update are from SWS’s Stu Hennessey:
The “Presto Garden” was created at a four hour work party a little more than 4 weeks ago as a final to a community forum series presented by Sustainable West Seattle. The garden was built at the Westcrest P-Patch and is a designated food bank garden for the White Center Food Bank. The forum series focused on gardening with a permaculture technique referred to as lasagna gardening. The different layers of the garden foundation were built up from the existing ground and were layered much like compost layering, green brown, green brown. You can see the results.
The first Harvest today 6/20 netted 15 pounds of lettuce and spinach to the White Center Food Bank.
(High Point Market Garden; WSB photo from July 2011)
Starting next Thursday, a new season of organic produce will be available via the High Point Market Garden – and the easiest way to get your share is to subscribe. Here’s the announcement we received:
The Seattle P-Patch Market Gardens CSA (community-supported agriculture) program is accepting subscribers for its farm-fresh organic produce. Each week subscribers receive up to 15 items of seasonal produce grown at the High Point Seattle Market Garden, a city of Seattle program that helps to establish safe healthy communities and economic opportunity in low-income neighborhoods.
The cost ranges from $15 to $25 a week based on size of the share with prorated shares available.
The pick-up location (in West Seattle), dates, and times:
High Point Market Garden (32nd Avenue SW and SW Juneau Street): Thursdays from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., June 6th through October 17
Community members can subscribe now by completing and mailing an application or contacting Julie Bryan, P-Patch Coordinator, at 206-257-8257.
Here’s the application form, which includes the mailing address. If you can’t or don’t want to commit to a subscription, the HP Market Garden also offers a weekly farm stand with on-the-spot sales – we’re checking to see when that will open for the season.
If you have passed Highland Park Improvement Club along SW Holden lately, you probably noticed some of the asphalt lot dug up, close to the sidewalk. This is the long-planned HPIC rain garden, close to completion, as part of a partnership with Sustainable Seattle and King County. This Saturday (June 1st), you are invited to join in finishing and planting the new community-designed garden, which will help keep toxic stormwater runoff from making its way into local waterways. The official event announcement adds that it’s a chance for you to get inspired to do something similar:
On that day, HPIC will also be the host to many other ways that you can get involved at home. Join us for the Yards in the Neighborhood Tour:
• Take part in the planting of the rain garden
• Embark on a short, self-guided walking tour to learn about rain gardens and see demonstrations of green infrastructure
• Meet RainWise contractors learn about incentives and reimbursements for installing rain gardens and cisterns
• Visit booths and see demonstrations
• Learn five easy take-home actions to help the Duwamish River!
This is all happening 10 am to 1 pm Saturday at 12th/Holden, free of charge, everybody welcome, no minimum time commitment – stop by for a few minutes or all three hours, help plant if you can (or just cheer everybody on!).
The West Seattle Bee Garden is officially launched! As you’ll see in our video, Seattle Police motorcycle officers, the Sounders’ Sound Wave musicians, City Council President Sally Clark were part of the parade bringing the bees to the garden from West Seattle Elementary at midday today – along with lots of kids, from Roxhill Elementary as well as WSES:
(Photos by WSB’s Katie Meyer)
It was all part of a festival celebrating the start of the garden at High Point Commons Park, with a demonstration-beehive enclosure, a pollination garden, and more.
As with all of today’s big events, we have more photos of this one to add here later when this busy day calms down – check back!
ADDED 8:38 PM: As promised, more photos – starting with this one:
Viewing ensued after the beehives arrived in the back of the pickup truck seen at the end of our parade video, above. And then – on to their new home!
Yet more West Seattle volunteers were hard at work today getting the West Seattle Bee Garden ready for its closeup – tomorrow is the West Seattle Bee Festival, including the parade from West Seattle Elementary to bring in the bees that will be living in the structure you see here. We visited two months ago when nothing more than timbers were standing in the Bee Garden’s spot at High Point Commons Park (Lanham/Graham), and now, tomorrow’s the big day, one year after Lauren Englund first went public here with her dream of a demonstration beehive to show people how vital honeybees are to our survival. The festival runs 11 am-3 pm tomorrow, including a picnic and various festivities in addition to the 11:30 am parade – which you can be part of, by the way, as explained here.
At the time of last year’s Furry Faces Foundation plant sale, F3 leader and plant-raiser Teri Ensley‘s house still had damage to fix from a fire a few months earlier. Now – as the 2013 plant sale begins – Teri is back in her house after rehab and repairs by Ventana Construction (WSB sponsor), work she is so proud of that she’s even incorporated Ventana’s name into the plant sale:
The shelving holding plants on the south side of Teri’s house is dubbed “Ventana Terrace” now, signage and all. Today is the first of four days of the sale – till 4 pm, then again tomorrow 10 am-4 pm, and the weekend of June 1-2, 3809 46th SW. It all started with more than 1,000 plants on “Ventana Terrace” and in the front yard, including herbs, perennials, annuals, vegetables, more – and the F3 “Tag Your Pet” campaign is happening there; read about it all in this WSB Forums post.
Before we get to the big list of what’s up today, one more reminder of two community projects in which your participation, giving just a little time, can make a big difference – one starting this morning, one this afternoon:
PAINT IT OUT: A new graffiti-fighting effort gets going today and volunteer power is vital. Meet at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center at 10 am. Here’s our preview with more details. (4408 Delridge Way SW)
‘PRESTO GARDEN’: Also previewed here earlier in the week, this Sustainable West Seattle-led project will create a garden growing fresh food for people served by the White Center Food Bank. Today from 1 pm to 5 pm, they would love your help at the planting party for the garden, which is at Westcrest Park. (From the park entrance at 8th and Henderson, head up the road to the right to the parking area; you’ll find the garden in the P-Patch next to the play area at the top of the hill.)
A day before the West Seattle Bee Garden debuts with a celebration in High Point next Sunday, another new local community garden will debut in Highland Park on Saturday – a section of the new Westcrest Park P-Patch dedicated to growing food for the White Center Food Bank. The “Presto Garden” project is being led by Sustainable West Seattle, incorporating donations from local businesses and organizations listed in this update on the SWS website. Here’s where you come in: Many hands, light work. Be there on Saturday (May 18th) 1-5 pm for the planting party that will help make it happen. Westcrest is at 9000 8th SW (for those not familiar with the park, we’re tracking down specific directions to the planting site, and will add them here).
(Saturday photo courtesy West Seattle Bee Garden)
One year in the making, and one week remaining until the celebration of the new West Seattle Bee Garden, at next Sunday’s WS Bee Festival (May 19th). This weekend, writes Lauren Englund - whose dream, reported here in May 2012, started it all – the beehive enclosure is being finished, and you are welcome at a Sunday work party (starting at 10 am). And after that, it’s festival preparations. From Lauren:
For those who may not know, the High Point Neighborhood Association is hosting the West Seattle Bee Festival next Sunday, May 19th, to celebrate the opening of this space. It will include a picnic and parade! Here are some of the details:
Picnic Time: 11 am to 3 pm
Picnic Location: Commons Park at 31st Ave SW and SW Graham St
Parade Start: 11:30 am
Parade Start Location: West Seattle Elementary – 6760 34th Ave SW
Parade Route: North on 31st Ave SW from the WSE parking lot, across Morgan St, past the Bee Garden and into Commons Park. The total route is 0.5 miles.
Want to join the parade? Fantastic! Everyone is welcome. Set-up will ‘open’ at the West Seattle Elementary parking lot at 10:30 am. There will be face painting and an opportunity to make a flower for the parade. Look for a friendly face carrying a helium ballon for answers to questions. The Sound Wave marching band will be leading the way. Fun!
The picnic! Holy smokes some amazing people want to come hang out!
Remember the call for plant pots at Arbor Heights Elementary, for teacher Marcia Ingerslev and her farming first-graders – and the great response? The tomato plants – and some radishes too, we’re told – have been on sale after school this week and you’re welcome today as they sell plants one last time before Ms. Ingerslev has to haul the remainders off to be donated! The parent volunteer who shared the photo says it’s your chance to “be a proud new home to a grown-from-seed tomato plant (or radish) for a donation that goes fully to the farm program.” It’s a short sale window – about 3 pm to 3:30 pm, we’re told – but if you can make it over to Arbor Heights (37th and 104th), the plants await you, at a $2 donation each.
No word yet on any breakthrough in Wednesday morning’s arson at Longfellow Creek P-Patch in Westwood. But after a WSB commenter asked whether anything was needed to help the gardeners recover, we sought out an answer – and got it today from Minh Chau Le of the Department of Neighborhoods, who manages the community garden as part of the P-Patch program.
I was very pleasantly surprised to hear of the offers of help and support that came in, first via the posted comments of your readers and then via Lois Maag from DON, who has been fielding communications about the incident. It was so great to see that the types of community caring that we strive to foster within each P-Patch were coming to us from the greater community as well.
As reported by the Seattle Fire Department, the damages amount to around $500. The Longfellow Creek P-Patch, like every P-Patch throughout the city, is very much a community-driven effort. It currently does not have money or supplies readily on hand to replace the items lost. Should you continue to receive inquires from concerned neighbors who wish to help out in some way, please feel free to share this list of items that would be useful to the P-Patch as it begins the gardening season after having suffered the arson:
· 1 sturdy wheel barrow 3 cubic foot capacity or greater
· 1 Hori hori digging tool
· 2 digging shovels
· 2 digging forks
· Gift certificates in any amount to: Home Depot, TrueValue in the Junction, or McLendon’s Hardware.
The arson reward fund mentioned in the sign in our photo, by the way, does not involve public funds (we got a question about that too) – it’s from an insurance-company-supported foundation. If you have any information about who set this fire, call 800-55-ARSON. And if you have questions or other ideas about helping out, reach Chau via the P-Patch Program.
Story and photos by Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Sustainable West Seattle continued its “Successful Gardening with Nature” series Monday night with the second of three installments: “Designing the Perfect Garden.”
A walk-through of the Community Orchard of West Seattle included adding topsoil around existing fruit trees and planting seedlings that have been grown in South Seattle Community College’s greenhouse.
To demonstrate “companion planting” (placing plants that provide beneficial qualities within close proximity of each other) Stu Hennessey and Narcissa Nelson led forum attendees in a planting exercise.
The West Seattle Bee Garden is now five weeks away from its scheduled opening – with, as reported here last month, a parade and picnic to which the entire community is invited. Right now, it’s work party season: the photo above is from a blessing given during the first work party last weekend, at the Bee Garden’s site next to the P-Patch in High Point’s Commons Park. As Bee Garden instigator Lauren Englund noted, “We removed 3500 square feet of sod during the rainiest weekend on record at Sea-Tac since 1948! Woohoo!”
Lauren was planning to follow up on that work party by picking up the Bee Garden’s hives from Daniel Sullivan of Shipwreck Honey and procuring the bees from a beekeeper in Burien.
What’s also been happening is a revision of financial goals. Community donations are still very much appreciated, and what’s been received so far has enabled the project to reduce its fundraising goal – so it’s now a four-digit number instead of five. The IndieGoGo page for the project still shows the old goal rather than the reset $8,000; Lauren says they’re still looking to fund educational signs, beekeeping equipment, two additional locally built beehives with frames, a small solar panel, demonstration supplies, a webcam with wi-fi to place at the hive entrance, and refreshments for volunteers during ongoing work parties. You can help by contributing here; you can sign up for weekend work parties by going here; and you can also be part of the celebration May 19th, 11 am-3 pm – details here.
(Photo by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
Yet another great example of generosity: We wrote on Thursday about the call for one-gallon plant-pot donations for the tomato-growing project in which Arbor Heights Elementary teacher Marcia Ingerslev and her students learn, teach, and share – and about an hour ago, that call was answered, big time! Our photo includes some of the donors as well as excited tomato-farming students. (We’ll be adding a few photos from parent volunteers who were there too – THANK YOU!)
Spend this Saturday gardening, to help financially challenged families grow their own food! Seattle Tilth‘s Just Garden Project is hoping for more than 100 volunteers to join the “Spring Into Bed!” work party at more than a dozen backyards and community centers in High Point. The official announcement says this is meant to “empower families to become self-sufficient, grow their own food and make healthier food choices.” Just show up at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center, 6400 Sylvan Way SW, for garden-building 10 am-2 pm and a celebration afterward. RSVP by e-mailing email@example.com – and find out more at springintobed.org.
Story and photo by Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Sustainable West Seattle is taking a new approach to its monthly member meetings by focusing on a particular theme each quarter. Last night kicked off this quarter’s “gardening with nature” theme with a focus on soils.
Due to our region’s glaciated geological history, our soils can be challenging to work in, and often take time, energy and amendments to create an environment where plants can thrive. Stu Hennessey (right) demonstrated the work that has been done at the Community Orchard of West Seattle – site of part of the meeting – to improve the soil, taking it from a compacted lawn to a healthy, nutrient-rich soil supporting edible plants and fruit trees. Much of the resulting produce will be shared with the Delridge Grocery, announced last night as one of three SWS Green Grant Recipients (we reported on the grant recipients here, before last night’s meeting was over).
The healthy soil was created using a method called “layering” which is also known as “lasagna gardening.”
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