West Seattle, Washington
Like many places, West Seattle has more than a few “best-kept secrets.” Is the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) Arboretum one of them? That’s what the Arboretum Advisory Committee hopes you can help them find out. Even if you’ve never heard of it, they would love to have your participation in this quick one-page online survey, as they gauge community awareness while working toward celebrating the Arboretum’s 40th anniversary next year.
3:33 PM: The greening of Gatewood Elementary‘s schoolyard continues. This afternoon, volunteers are working to build and install raised garden beds – and Sandy Lennon tells us about two chances for everyone to get a look this week at what else is going on:
We’ve been working hard and are gaining momentum in improving our playground and learning garden at Gatewood Elementary.
*To support our learning garden, our online fundraiser through Seattle Seed Co. continues through this week. Order organic seeds and/or other garden-related goodies here. (See the flyer here.) Gatewood receives 50% of proceeds. Thanks for your support!
*We recently won a $5,000 Small Sparks grant from the City’s Department of Neighborhoods to complete design and construction documents for improvements in the southwest corner of our playground (our playfield).
*We’ve been working this school year to gather information and ideas and confirm the school’s priorities for that space, and we have a few draft design sketches ready for community viewing and feedback. We’ll be posting the sketches at our PTA meeting on Monday night, March 13, 6:30-8 pm in the school library, and at our Art Walk / Open House on Thursday, March 16, 5:30-7 pm on the main floor of the school. Community members are invited to stop by, take a look, and leave comments that will be considered as we finalize the design. For a preview, you can go here.
Gatewood Elementary is at 4320 SW Myrtle.
ADDED 5:55 PM: “Here’s what our group of volunteer students, parents and teachers accomplished today,” Jeannie wrote, sending us this “after” photo:
Village Green Nursery at 10223 26th SW, closed last year by longtime owner Vera Johnson, is reopening under new ownership. Noah Trutzschler and Sarah Young (photo at right) contacted us to say they’ve taken over and are getting ready for a grand opening next month. Right now, they say they’re “in the process of setting up the nursery to its former beauty, and plan on continuing the tradition of providing the community with healthy and beautiful plants.” They also plan to feature garden art and are looking for artists. You can see their full announcement on our partner site White Center Now.
That’s “The Sower” by West Seattle artist Sarah Mottaghinejad, just announced as the winner of this year’s West Seattle Garden Tour art competition:
The winning piece features cherry veneer, acrylic, watercolor, mica, and hollyhock seeds on a clay panel measuring 18” x 24”. The artwork will be featured on the 2017 Garden Tour’s marketing materials, including the official poster and ticket book. Ms. Mottaghinejad will also receive a $500 cash prize.
Ms. Mottaghinejad says she is a storyteller before anything else. As a letterpress printer and bookbinder, she mostly works with paper, but will use any medium that best tells the story. She has a master’s degree in Linguistics, but very little formal art training. She currently works as an instructional designer, practicing her art and craft on the weekends.
Read more about her and her work on the WSGT website. This year’s tour will be earlier than recent years – June 25th; the winning work will be auctioned in one of the gardens that day, with proceeds going toward this year’s nonprofit beneficiaries, which WSGT organizers plan to announce next week.
Thanks to Katie Kauffman for the photo from today’s event at the Community Orchard of West Seattle. She reports that neighbors gathered to learn about sheet mulching, “a no-till technique for soil building.” The orchard is on the northeast side of the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus. As previewed on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, Glenn Herlihy, co-founder of Beacon Food Forest, was there for the “talk and mini-work-party.” Within the next month or so, the Community Orchard will restart its annual series of meetups/work parties, so keep watch on its website (and on our calendar) for that news soon.
Until 3 pm – as previewed in today’s list of calendar highlights – you’re invited to stop by Highland Park Improvement Club to learn more about raingardens with RainWise, to help maintain the raingardens and related areas at HPIC, and/or to pick up free tree(s) for your yard! We took the photo while leaving HPIC after this morning’s Delridge Bus Triangle Park workshop (separate story coming up later).
Meantime, HPIC sent out this announcement today for its new art initiative:
Highland Park Improvement Club is looking for art teachers!
2017 brings new programming ideas to HPIC that showcase the artist talents of our neighborhood. Starting in February, we’re kicking off an art night at the club! HPIC will serve as a venue for local artists to teach a class, as well as offer a community art room. And yes, the HP bar will be open!
Are you interested in sharing your craft? All ideas are welcome! Sewing, knitting, a DIY project, jewelry making, pottery, painting, collage, making dream catchers, etc. Our pilot painting class in December – Bottles & Brushes – was a sold out success!
Please come to our info session to learn more about the opportunities to teach your classes at our neighborhood club!
Date: Tuesday February 7th at 7 PM
Location: HPIC (1116 SW Holden)
Come share your talents, interests and ideas! If you have any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Something else you can do today — create art for the West Seattle Garden Tour. The volunteers behind the WSGT asked if we would remind you one more time about the annual competition, because turn-in time is now just two weeks away – February 10th-12th. The theme is “The Art of Gardening” and the winner is showcased on the poster and ticket-book cover as well as during the West Seattle Art Walk, as well as receiving a $500 prize. This year’s WSGT, by the way, is on June 25th.
New program in The Junction this year: You can “adopt” one of the 95 flower baskets that adorn light poles in the business district from May through September. The program just announced by the West Seattle Junction Association offers “a name plate affixed to the historic light pole [adjacent to your basket] showing who adopted the basket” – in your name, someone else’s as a gift, or in memory. A $145 donation – yes, WSJA is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization – gets you sponsorship of one basket. It’ll be professionally planted and designed, and WSJA takes care of watering and maintenance. Lots more info is here – along with a form you can use to adopt and pay online right now (or scroll down that page for info on adopting by postal mail).
West Seattle Nursery‘s holiday open house – on until 5 pm – is your first chance to get a look inside its just-completed greenhouse building, full of plants and gifts just in time for the holidays. The nursery’s outdoor grounds are especially festive, too:
The first trees – mostly Noble fir – arrived a few days ago.
But back to the new building: Shortly after walking in, we found its architect, Parie Hines of LD Arch Design (WSB sponsor), who demurred that it was an “easy” project.
Here’s an Instagram-video spin around inside:
Go see for yourself and enjoy treats and presentations – California/Brandon, until 5!
Four months since this year’s West Seattle Garden Tour, eight months until next year’s WSGT – but NOW is the time to start thinking about its poster/ticket-book art, chosen via competition. Just out of the WSB inbox this afternoon:
Call for Artists: West Seattle Garden Tour Art Competition
West Seattle Garden Tour’s annual search for local talent is under way! Your creative interpretation of the theme “The Art of Gardening” could win you prominence on the 2017 garden tour poster and ticket book, a spot in the West Seattle Art Walk, and $500! Original artwork may be submitted in person February 10-12, 2017, so start creating now. Get all the details and an entry form at the WSGT website.
West Seattle Nursery‘s new greenhouse building has been taking shape at California SW/SW Brandon, and now it’s almost ready to be shown off. WSN is starting to move in, and has announced: “The first chance for the general public to see it will be at our annual Holiday Open House on November 19, from 2 – 5 pm. We’re celebrating with good food, fun activities and pictures with Santa.” (Full details here.) Work on WSN’s expansion (designed by LD Arch Design and built by Ventana Construction, both West Seattle-headquartered and both WSB sponsors) started in October of last year; the plan was announced in spring 2014.
Back in August, we published an invitation for you to get involved with Gatewood Elementary‘s quest for a “green schoolyard.” It’s moving ahead, despite a recent setback, and your involvement is still heartily welcomed, says Sandy Lennon:
We’ve posted the final permaculture design proposal for a Gatewood learning garden/outdoor classroom (here). Take a look! We are currently soliciting feedback on the design from our school staff, community, and the school district.
· If you’re interested in the Gatewood project, or generally interested in green schoolyards, learning gardens, or permaculture in schools, you can sign up to follow our conversation at: gatewoodgreenschoolyard.org
· We learned recently that we were unfortunately not awarded a Neighborhood Matching Fund grant for green playground design work in this round of funding. We will be meeting this week on Thursday, November 3, 5:00-6:30 pm in the school library, to de-brief on City feedback, review the 2006 Gatewood conceptual master plan, discuss our current vision and possible staging of work, and determine next steps for both the playground and garden. Our principal, PTA leadership, and a representative from the school district will be participating. Gatewood families and interested neighbors are encouraged to join us.
Gatewood Elementary is at 4320 SW Myrtle.
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 – email@example.com. 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.