West Seattle, Washington
Denny International Middle School‘s learning garden got a re-launch today with the help of dozens of volunteers.
Denny science teacher Anastasia Sanchez is the staff leader on the project, and West Seattle-based Little Red Hen Project is helping get the garden growing again. The key word here is “help” …
Volunteers of all ages were there to help today, and the goal is to get regular work parties going. So watch for word on how you can dig in! The garden is expected to be a great resource for lessons from biology to food justice and more.
Perfect pumpkin-carving weather as the Solstice Park P-Patch gardeners host this year’s Fall Festival, until 5 pm. They’re also selling everything from dried herbs to plants to treats – this is just one of the tables:
And if you wander uphill into the P-Patch itself, you can admire fall flowers like these:
Like all P-Patches, this one is managed by its own (volunteer) gardeners, but not all have special events like this one. The plants, by the way, include starts for your own garden as well as perennials – go see for yourself next to the tennis courts at 7400 Fauntleroy Way SW before the afternoon ends!
This will of course be on our Saturday highlights list but in case you’re up tonight looking ahead to tomorrow … the Solstice Park P-Patch gardeners rescheduled their Fall Festival because of last weekend’s weather worries and are hoping to see you, 2-5 pm Saturday. Everybody’s welcome! Karen from the P-Patch says, “We’ve worked really hard on making it great this year. We have wonderful plants and fall garden starts. Also, really unique organic produce and herbs for cooks, that can’t be found in the markets.” The hillside garden itself, across from the north end of Lincoln Park, is a sight to see, too.
(2012 photo from Denny garden’s early days)
Tomorrow is a big day of volunteering around the area. If you’re not already committed elsewhere – the Little Red Hen Project and Denny International Middle School Science Department invite you to join them in the work of reviving the school’s Learning Garden. As one parent put it:
The Denny Learning garden will provide our kids with more than just tomatoes. In this garden, kids will have a hands-on learning experience, giving a real, tangible understanding to the lessons that are taught at their desks.
Kids and parents at Denny will reap the rewards of community building as the lessons of biology mix together with the lessons of teamwork and patience. Departments will “adopt” the garden for a month to maintain the upkeep, as the Little Red Hen Project (LRHP) provides the consulting toward growing a garden that can teach our kids the lessons that can’t be taught with an iPad.
High School Students can earn service hours on campus by taking on leadership positions. After school programs can be held in the plaza at the garden, or in the amphitheater, which faces a native bioswale.
If (when) we get the project infrastructure in place, we may also be able to provide a place for troubled students can option, rather than detention, so instead of staring at their thumbs in detention hall, kids can watch their thumbs turn green.
The Little Red Hen Project also points out that this is about food justice, one of the great divides in our area and elsewhere, “a problem that impacts our youth the most, as kids go to school without proper nutrition, which leads to a decline in grades and mood. The Little Red Hen Project is dedicated to reaching our community families to teach each other how proper food can lead to a better future.” The community’s help is needed, LRHP notes, “to make this garden grow.” Denny is at 2601 SW Kenyon, and tomorrow’s work is scheduled 11 am-4 pm – so there’s time to drop in even if you’re going to be at a Duwamish Alive! work party until 2.
2:22 PM: Another report of plant theft, and this one adds insult to injury for Harris, who already was going through a tough time:
I just moved out of my rental house (Arbor Heights area) on the 1st. We were suddenly asked to move out so the house could be sold. The move has been difficult and stress filled.
There were large plants in containers that had to be temporarily left at the house so placement could be arranged. When I returned to the house to get them on the 2nd, the plants were gone. The house was vacant for one day. In that time someone stole the only plants I had intended on keeping. Some have extreme sentimental value to me. The retail value of the plants and containers is over 300$, but it’s not about the money. “They are just plants,” people say. To me, it’s like someone stole my pets. I’ve cared for them for many years and had intended on keeping them in my life. It’s so upsetting. It would be wonderful to have them back but I’m not keeping my hopes up.
Losing more and more faith in humanity everyday. Karma is going to come back around and get this person. Who steals plants? Seriously despicable!
The noticeable plants would be: 2 tall glossy black cylindrical pots. Overflowing with sedums/succulents, one has a weeping Alaska Cedar, the other has Black Bamboo. If they or any other plants in black pots are found discarded anywhere, please contact me, I would be very grateful!!!
Harris can be reached at harrisblakestarr (at) gmail (dot) com.
3:47 PM: Good news just in from Harris: Plants found several houses away. “Misunderstanding,” not theft.
(Photos courtesy Jane Taylor)
After 10 years and five tons of donated food, this is the last year that Jane Taylor and Kristen Parsons are able to lead the Lettuce Pray program. They’re looking for volunteer(s) to take it over so it doesn’t die on the vine, so to speak, at the end of this season. Here’s what’s involved, as explained by Jane:
Lettuce Pray is a summer food-bank collection program set up informally through many of the churches of West Seattle.
Five churches — Alki UCC, St. John the Baptist Episcopal, West Seattle Unitarian Universalist, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, and St. Bernadette’s Parish — are participating this year; in some years that has been as many as nine, depending on what other priorities the churches have. The churches mobilize their home gardeners to bring spare home-grown produce to church every Sunday morning during the harvest season (this year July 3 – October 2) and put it in specially marked Lettuce Pray boxes or baskets. We make the rounds, collect the produce, and put it in cold storage at the West Seattle and White Center Food Banks.
We have been doing this for ten years and have collected over 10,000 pounds of fresh produce. It can be done by one person, but we find it’s more fun when two people do it. It’s the easiest possible volunteer gig and allows so many people to make numerous small contributions that make a big, big impact.
Anyone who is interested is welcome to reach out to Jane Taylor – firstname.lastname@example.org. Our final collection will be October 2, and it would be great to bring a new volunteer on before we finish up so they can see what we do.
What you see in the top photo is what the average week’s haul takes – about 120 pounds of food, and it all fit into Jane’s Honda Insight hatchback. That’s Jane and Kristen in the second photo, by the way, with part of this week’s Lettuce Pray haul – “fresh corn and juicy plums.”
The photo by Nancy Wilcox is courtesy of the WSGT, whose Aubbie Beal reports:
The West Seattle Garden Tour’s Summer Finale was held this evening at the home of Maryanne Tagney and David Jones. There were about 100 people in attendance, including this year’s gardeners, sponsors, committee members, and the six beneficiaries whose projects have been funded by proceeds from this year’s tour. In total, the tour donated $24,500 to six non-profit organizations this year.
Pictured L to R: Wendy Ann Morgan of Highline Botanical Garden Foundation, Steve Hootman of Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden, Laura Lee of ArtsWest, WSGT president Pam Stusser, Cass Turnbull of PlantAmnesty, Liz Bullard of Seattle Children’s PlayGarden, Heather Foss of South Seattle College Foundation, and Terre Shattuck of the Arboretum at South Seattle College.
The West Seattle Garden Tour is now in its third decade.
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.