West Seattle, Washington
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.
(Photo by Clay Swidler)
Exactly two weeks from today, nine local gardens will be open to ticketholders who can wander all they want during the all-day self-guided West Seattle Garden Tour (with co-sponsors including WSB), 9 am-5 pm on Sunday, July 19th. You can take care of the ticketing right now so you’ll be ready to go when tour day arrives. In West Seattle, buy yours at West Seattle Nursery (California/Brandon) or Junction True Value Hardware (44th/Edmunds); online, you can get ticketed at Brown Paper Tickets. 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 (WSB sponsor). Bonus: As always, the tour’s net proceeds help local nonprofits (see this year’s list here).
Summer weather arrived early, and it’s led to an early opening for the High Point Market Garden Farm Stand, selling freshly harvested vegetables grown steps away, at 32nd and Juneau. Today is the first of the farm stand’s weekly selling sessions between 4 and 7 pm on Wednesdays – while there, we noted peas on sale for $3/pound and a variety of other veggies, including greens, leaf lettuce, and root vegetables, on sale for $2/bunch. We also were there for a blessing by The Venerable Soveth Mountain from Wat Dhammacakkaram Khmer Buddhist Temple, dedicating the stand’s season:
The words of gratitude, as printed on a commemorative card:
Thank you, earth, for this food,
Thank you to the gardeners who till this soil,
Thank you to the sellers who bring the food to market,
Thank you for this abundance,
Which we accept in grace and deep gratitude.
The stand is extra-abundant this year because of a new partnership with the urban farmers of ROAR (Roots Of All Roads), who are selling at a table by the stand – what’s there today is from Hillman City, we were told:
They’re also offering samples of a squash salad prepared with some of the items on sale today. Again, if you don’t make it there by 7 pm, stop by next Wednesday, 4-7 pm, and see what’s fresh. The Market Garden, by the way, is tended by community farmers, in partnership with the city Department of Neighborhoods P-Patch Community Garden program.
(WSB photo, looking eastward across the garden this afternoon)
It’s a mini-farm in the middle of a residential neighborhood – the High Point Market Garden. Every summer, its farm stand offers a weekly chance to buy fresh-grown produce steps from where it’s grown, and the city Department of Neighborhoods sent word that this Wednesday is opening day. Just-harvested organic produce will be on sale 4 pm-7 pm at the farm stand at 32nd and Juneau (map), every Wednesday from this week through September 30th. EBT cards are accepted and the stand participates in Fresh Bucks, doubling the first $10 spent on the card. The announcement adds, “A new feature at the High Point Farm Stand will be the ROAR mobile farm stand that sells produce grown by local farmers across Puget Sound. ROAR, which stands for Roots of All Roads, is focused on connecting community with locally grown produce and sharing new ways to enjoy it.” DoN oversees the High Point Market Garden (one of two in the city – the other is at NewHolly) as part of its P-Patch program.
TUESDAY P.S. We noticed the city webpage for the program had listed a later opening date, in July; the warm, dry weather that’s led so many gardens to bloom earlier has also accelerated food gardens like this, so the date was moved up.
One more scene from this month’s West Seattle Art Walk, this past Thursday: Winning 2015 West Seattle Garden Tour poster artist Gretchen Flickinger was honored. Her work was on display at West Seattle Windermere in The Junction; that’s where WSGT president Jan Clow presented her with the $500 check for winning. (That’s the poster art behind them.) This year’s WSGT (co-sponsored by WSB) is on Sunday, July 19th; your ticket book gets you admission to nine great gardens (and includes their locations) plus Phil Wood‘s midday lecture on garden design. You’ll soon be able to buy yours at West Seattle Nursery or Junction True Value.
In Westwood today, a spring ritual for the Barton Street P-Patch – the wood-burning masonry oven was fired up for a round of community bagel-baking.
The garden is in its fourth full growing season, and some of what’s grown is donated, too:
It’s one of eight community P-Patches in West Seattle, according to this city-created map.
The West Seattle Bee Garden is getting ready for its biggest season yet, despite a disappointing discovery over the weekend – vandalism against its student-and-teacher-made mosaic sign. We first reported it after hearing from garden volunteers on Saturday, and then went over to follow up, not just on the vandalism, but on what’s ahead at the garden.
Bee Garden founder Lauren Englund (above) tells us that they are gathering financial and time/skills support to fix the mosaic, but can still use more. Both sides were damaged when someone hit it with a brick – it’s a two-sided sign greeting Bee Garden visitors as they enter and exit on the south side of the garden, which is at 31st/Graham, on the north side of High Point Commons Park. This is the side not shown in our weekend coverage:
If you can offer help to restore it, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now, looking ahead: Besides the third annual West Seattle Bee Festival in less than three weeks, other activities at the garden this spring/summer include a series of storytimes, 10 am Tuesdays from June 16th through August 18th. On June 23rd, July 14th, July 28th, August 11th and 18th, a beekeeper will be there for a hive demonstration, too.
The bees at the garden now made it through the winter, and will soon be joined by more, as Lauren installs another hive this Thursday. Volunteers made big progress with the garden itself – weeding and planting – last weekend and plan to be out again next weekend.
In June, something new and big will be added to the garden, a pergola designed by Josh Chambers, the architect of the bee enclosure. Before then, seven more school field trips to the bee garden are planned – one all the way from Wallingford! The garden also is getting some enhancements including hive-monitoring equipment so that the garden can participate in research and you can track hive details online, plus sound equipment so that Lauren or beekeeper Krista Conner can narrate and answer questions during demonstrations.
In the meantime, plan to visit for the Bee Festival on May 16th – Deborah Vandermar of the High Point Events Committee is hard at work on that, Lauren says – and later in the summer, the Puget Sound Beekeepers Association will have a Kids’ Day, which Lauren tells us “will have lots of beekeepers onsite, providing activities for kids (scavenger hunt for pollinator-friendly plants, etc.) and multiple hive demonstrations.” Also assisting, Nathalie Gelms, the children’s librarian from the High Point branch. Keep track of all this by checking in at westseattlebeegarden.com.
(Photo courtesy City Fruit)
Got an apple tree? More than one, maybe? Don’t let its fruit go to waste! City Fruit, which harvested almost 14 tons of homegrown fruit last year, is hoping its new “Save Seattle’s Apples” campaign will keep even more from going to waste. Here’s what City Fruit announced this week – and scroll ahead to find out about the West Seattle event that’ll be part of it:
City Fruit is excited to announce the launch of the organization’s first ever Spring 2015 Save Seattle’s Apples Campaign. In partnership with Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle Parks and Recreation, Recology, Greater Good Granola, and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, this three-month pest prevention campaign will build awareness about Seattle’s urban canopy, the proper care and management of apple trees, and provide opportunities for the public to protect apples. Additionally, the project aims to reduce waste that unnecessarily ends up in the compost bin.
During 2014, City Fruit harvested nearly 28,000 pounds of fresh, edible fruit and donated the majority to Seattle’s emergency food system. During the same harvest season, the organization composted over 12,000 pounds of rotten fruit that had fallen to the ground due to insects, poor tree management, or neglect. Through education, outreach, and direct hands-on assistance to tree owners in protecting their fruit, City Fruit hopes to cut the number of pounds of composted fruit in half in 2015, adding 6,000 pounds of fruit to the emergency food system and feeding an additional estimated 20,000 families.
That’s Max, and he’s helping keep Puget Sound cleaner by building a raingarden at one of five homes just east of the Southwest Branch Library that are getting RainWise. That’s the Seattle/King County program offering incentives to eligible households to get off the storm-drain grid, so to speak, by installing raingardens and cisterns – at little to no cost, because of rebates.
This morning, RainWise team members invited neighbors and media to the 9000 block of 34th SW for a celebration as those five households ceremonially broke ground for their new stormwater-diverting setups. Fittingly, cloudbursts graced the gathering – but held off at photo-op time.
At left in that photo (with Lucy, Izzy, and Max) is John, whose company Home Grown Organics is one of many contractors working on the program. You can find out by going here whether you’re eligible for RainWise. Even if you’re not, the team would love to talk to you. You will find them at three upcoming public events:
APRIL 11: 11 am-2 pm, RainWise contractors’ open house at West Seattle Nursery (California/Brandon)
APRIL 25-26: 10 am-4 pm, RainWise info table at the Seattle Chinese Garden‘s Peony/Bamboo Festival (6000 16th SW)
MAY 9: 10 am-noon, RainWise Fair at Highland Park Improvement Club – see HPIC’s cistern, pervious-paver patio, raingardens, and art (12th/Holden)
Disclosure: RainWise is advertising on WSB to help get out the word about the program.
*An old library-catalog-style cabinet
*A place to host the Seed Library
The Tool Library would have loved to do it, Katie and Krista tell us, but they’re out of room. So the search continues: “We are hoping for a business that is open to the public during regular business hours, plus evenings and weekends and has good foot traffic already…something like a coffee shop, community center, etc.,” according to the full announcement about the search. If you have something to offer or suggest regarding either component of the search, please e-mail email@example.com – thanks!
P.S. As a prelude to the library launch, seed donations will be accepted as part of the Great Seattle Seed Swap on March 15th at the West Seattle (Admiral) Library.