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 firstname.lastname@example.org - 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.
(Photo from a harvest day last year; courtesy Jennifer Babuca)
This next season of gardening at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church will be even more fruitful than the last one. In addition to being part of the coalition growing food to donate via Lettuce Pray, the garden is expanding its mission, and kids are invited to help make that happen, starting this weekend:
St John Episcopal Church and the Seattle Farm School are partnering to transform St John’s Just Gardens into a children’s learning garden on the St John’s grounds. We are inviting children and their adults to learn how to plan, start and grow their own organic garden, with workshops, tasting events and other fun events to be held throughout the spring, summer and fall months. We will also have dedicated beds for kids to pick and sample some of their produce as they visit or pass by the gardens. Our hope is to physically expand the gardens over time so that this can become a resource for the community for many years to come.
We are inviting all to a Garden Kickoff Party on Sunday, February 22, 12 pm at St John the Baptist Episcopal Church. Come hear all about the garden plans, sign up to volunteer at the garden, organize, do artwork, and so much more! Bring your kids!
Then, on Sunday, March 22, 12 pm: Garden planning and seed starting! Learn all about square foot gardening, help plan the garden boxes and do some hands-on seed starting for the garden!! Bring your kids!
Both events will be in the youth room at the church, 3050 California SW, adjacent to the south side of West Seattle High School. A light lunch will be provided to participants. More backstory’s on the Seattle Farm School website.
This little punkin was photographed by one of the gardeners who’s at the Lincoln Park P-Patch in Solstice Park until 1 pm for the gardeners’ Pumpkin Festival, where you can buy: “Pumpkins, fresh rhubarb, fresh herbs (shiso, bay leaves, lavender, etc), homemade applesauce, plants and pottery. Behind the Fauntleroy tennis courts.”
If you’re driving, riding, or walking, turn uphill at Webster from Fauntleroy, on the south side of the courts, and you’ll find the sale.
The showers that moved through earlier didn’t stop some of the hard-working volunteers on the West Seattle High School campus for a morning of special attention from volunteers with Washington Green Schools. WSHS was chosen as a location for volunteer help on a statewide day of service, with visitors “including highly skilled gardeners and carpenters” and donated materials including chips and lumber, according to the announcement we received. Along with WSHS volunteers, the WGS visitors worked on planting areas around the campus. Our photo is from the sign fronting California SW, a site that will be part of the Steps at Stevens project.
A new distinction for the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) Arboretum will be celebrated tomorrow, and you’re invited. SSC shared the photo above and this announcement:
On Saturday, October 11, the Coenosium Rock Garden feature at South Seattle College’s Arboretum will be inaugurated as an American Conifer Society (ACS) Reference Garden, with a dedication ceremony running from 1-3:30 p.m.
The celebration starts with welcome messages from Seattle Colleges Chancellor Dr. Jill Wakefield and Van Bobbitt, lead faculty member of South’s Landscape Horticulture program. To follow, special recognition will be given to individuals who helped make the Coenosium Rock Garden possible. The feature is known as one of the largest dwarf conifer collections in the United States. The inauguration will wrap up with remarks from David Olszyk, president of the ACS Western Region, followed by refreshments and tours of the Coenosium Rock Garden.
South’s 5-acre arboretum, established by the South Seattle College Foundation in 1978, functions as a living laboratory and outdoor classroom for the college’s Landscape Horticulture students. Professional horticulturists, hobby gardeners and other college programs are often found exploring the free garden sanctuary as well.
Thanks to Elizabeth MacKenzie for sharing three photos taken today at Barton Street P-Patch - one week before its Fall Festival. She explained that she was walking there today “when I encountered Kate Farley and Keith Brewer of Farley Landscape Design. They were finishing up their 2 years of work on the pizza oven and counters! I so love the Barton P-Patch and I was so happy to tell them how much I admire the work they have done on it.” In the top photo, Elizabeth says, Kate was “placing the very last stone, which was the final bit to be done on the entire project.”
About that festival: Next Saturday (October 4th), noon-4 pm, you’re invited to come enjoy music, wood-fired pizza (bring your own toppings), homemade dessert pies (available for donation, as is the pizza), kids’ activities, as announced in the flyer. And of course – the beauty of what’s growing in the garden:
Barton P-Patch is on the southwest corner of 34th/Barton in Westwood.
If you were part of this year’s West Seattle Garden Tour – gardener, attendee, organizer, sponsor, etc. – you had a hand in the donation celebrated last night at The Kenney (WSB sponsor). Every year, local nonprofits are chosen to share the tour’s proceeds, and the 2014 beneficiaries gathered with tour reps last night. Alan Vinson, sponsorship chair for next year’s tour, :
Representatives from ArtsWest, Barton Street Community Garden, Highline Botanical Garden Foundation, Plant Amnesty Forestry Symposium, Seattle Children’s Play Garden, West Seattle Bee Garden, West Seattle High School “Steps at Stevens,” and the West Seattle Tool Library received their checks, which collectively accounted for the large check being held by beneficiaries and Garden Tour Committee members.
They’re already planning next year’s tour, so it’s a great time to get involved! WSGT contact info is on the right side of their home page.
Do you know “the gray-haired plant lady”? We don’t know her name, but she had a friend forward these photos and reader report expressing appreciation for West Seattle’s individual green spaces, so we are in turn sharing her words and pictures with you, which she sent under the heading ‘West Seattle Loves Green’:
With all the concrete and steel coming into our community, the citizens of West Seattle are creating their own green spaces. Have you noticed all the new plant containers in front of the local stores? The merchants also contributed to the beautiful hanging baskets. Even the new buildings are adding greenery in front of their buildings. In front of the stores you will find pots, boxes and even a wagon.
The old stump on the corner of California and Alaska has been replaced by a tree and a planter. A couple of days ago, I walked both sides of the street from Admiral Way to West Seattle Nursery. I found over 1,000 pots and planters and over 1,000 plantings. I didn’t count all the deck plants and patios.
I have been asked many times if I do the landscape in front of Hope Lutheran Church. A group of people help weed, mow grass and deadhead plants. The Loren Sommer family grows and plants the whole landscape. Loren, Rachel, and Bernadette spend many hours growing and planting. If you see them, say “thank you!” Omar Sommer, grandpa, helps with the watering system.
I just can’t resist adding that I was Loren’s and Rachel’s first-grade teacher.
‘The gray-haired plant lady’
A peaceful, beautiful landscape including stone and water features is one of the nine residential stops on this year’s West Seattle Garden Tour, under way until 5 pm. This is where you’ll find renowned photographer Art Wolfe, who is there talking with visitors (below, in sunglasses) as well as selling and signing his books.
Also open for Garden Tour visitors, the 35th/Barton P-Patch.
Its masonry oven was in action this morning, baking fresh bagels:
Other stops on the tour – listed and mapped in the ticket book but not online – range from Admiral to Gatewood. It’s self-guided, so you don’t have to go in any particular order, as long as you complete your tour by 5 pm – ticket-book locations are on the right side of the WSGT home page.
The West Seattle Garden Tour is about the gardeners as well as the gardens. On this year’s WSGT – 9 am-5 pm tomorrow – the nine residential gardens includes one belonging to someone who is world-renowned for his amazing images of our Earth’s beautiful creatures and places – photographer Art Wolfe. You can see a preview on his Facebook page. Your WSGT ticket book also gets you in to Susie Egan‘s lecture at The Kenney (WSB sponsor) at noon. If you don’t have your ticket book yet – it includes the gardens’ addresses – you should be able to get one in the morning before going on the tour at locations that are open on Sunday, including Metropolitan Market-Admiral (WSB sponsor) and West Seattle Nursery (all ticket locations are listed on the right side of the WSGT home page).
It doesn’t get much fresher than a stand selling organic produce right next to the big garden where it’s grown, and that’s what’s happening until 7 pm at the High Point Market Garden Farm Stand (32nd/Juneau), during this season’s first weekly opportunity for public purchases. Here’s the produce/price list for this week:
High Point is one of two Market Gardens that are part of the city Department of Neighborhoods community-gardening program. The produce stand will be open to the public every Wednesday, 4-7 pm, through the end of September.
(2011 WSB photo from High Point Market Garden)
This Wednesday is your first chance to buy fresh organic produce picked steps away from the point of sale – opening day for the High Point Market Garden Farm Stand, just announced by the city. It’s at 32nd/Juneau (map) and it’ll be open 4-7 pm Wednesdays, July 9th-September 24th. The first harvest is expected to include spinach, carrots, leafy vegetables, new onions, peas, turnips, and radishes. The city announcement adds that the stand and its counterpart at NewHolly “accept EBT cards and participate in Fresh Bucks which doubles consumers’ first $10 spent on the card.
It’s a big year for anniversaries and the West Seattle Garden Tour is part of it – celebrating its 20th anniversary! We are now exactly two weeks away from the WSGT, which is a self-guided tour, 9 am-5 pm Sunday, July 20th. Ticket books are on sale, including the addresses of the nine residential gardens that are featured – along with the West Seattle Bee Garden in High Point – and the WSGT notes that among the nine is the garden of world-famous nature/culture photographer Art Wolfe, who will be there to talk with visitors and sign books. Your WSGT admission includes the guest lunchtime lecturer, Susie Egan, speaking at noon on tour day at The Kenney (WSB sponsor); she owns the private two-acre botanical garden/nursery Cottage Lake Gardens near Woodinville. WSGT is a nonprofit and its net proceeds in turn benefit other local nonprofits – see this year’s beneficiaries here. You have seven places/ways to buy your ticket book right now – here’s that list.
Rain makes a garden grow, and it didn’t stop the gardeners of the Barton Street P-Patch from throwing a community pizza (and more) party today as promised.
We stopped by this afternoon for a quick look, and found Brad making the wood-fired-oven magic happen.
The season kickoff started with bagel-baking this morning and continues with pizza until 5 pm; as for future open-to-the-public dates, we’re told that’s still under discussion. The community-created garden is in its third full season at 34th and Barton.
A community garden badly in need of TLC got it thanks to West Seattle Boy Scouts; now, it’s your turn to show some love. Julie Nugent-Carney shares the photos and this report:
(Last) weekend, Troop 282 restored the Longfellow Creek Community Garden/P-Patch, which had been vandalized and fallen into disrepair. This was organized and led by my son (Jacob Carney) as part of his Eagle Project.
There were more than 40 volunteers, and 800 pounds of garbage was hauled away. They spread a dump truck’s worth of new bark on all the paths and installed a new sign. We’re hoping people will take notice and start using the P-Patch again to discourage the vandals.
The garden is at 2500 SW Thistle, just east of where the creek borders the Chief Sealth International High School parking lot.
Barbecue grills might be the official outdoor-cooking appliances of summer, but you can break the mold by joining in wood-fired baking with the Barton Street Community Garden and P-Patch, which invites you to drop by sometime this Sunday:
The 2014 gardening season is underway! To mark the start of summer, the Barton Street Community Garden and P-Patch will fire up its wood-fired masonry bread and pizza oven. Architect and designer/builder Chris Luthi, who led the project construction, will host. He’ll introduce the use of traditional community ovens as well as masonry oven cooking techniques. Neighbors are invited to join the event, which will feature baking bread and bagel in the morning and pizzas in the afternoon. Participants are encouraged to bring cheese, sauce and toppings for pizzas, and a limited amount of dough for bagels and pizzas will be provided. This informational and fundraising event is open to all.
WHO: Barton Street Community Garden and P-Patch
WHAT: Fire It Up! Bread and Pizza Oven Season Opener
WHERE: Barton St. Community Garden and P-Patch, SW Corner of SW Barton Street and 34th St. SW
WHEN: Sunday, May 25, 2014, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
WHAT TO BRING: Cheese, sauce, pizza toppings, drinks, chairs
Donations are warmly welcome!
This is the garden/P-patch’s third full growing year.
What once was something of an eyesore is getting beautified, bit by bit, reports Barry White with Friends of Morgan Junction Parks, who also shared the photos:
A delegation from Peace Lutheran Church again joined Friends of Morgan Junction Parks in our ongoing restoration project of the Junction triangle property. The two groups first teamed up last September to clear brush and weeds from the overgrown site. The groups continued that work (on Sunday) and began the process of arborizing some of the many shrubs that sprang up from the fruit of the strawberry tree (arbutus unedo), with the long range plan of training the shrubs to match the structure of the parents and create an extensive shaded canopy on the site. A sunny afternoon aided the labor of the small but dedicated group and we accomplished nearly every task on our list. Thanks to everyone who turned out.
See more photos on the FoMJP Facebook page.
More fun this Saturday: 9 am to noon, it’s a combined garden party at the Boren Building campus for the two schools that will share it for the next two years, K-5 STEM (now permanently housed there) and Arbor Heights Elementary (moving in while the new AHES is built). You don’t have to be a parent, student, or staffer to help out – they’ll welcome the entire community. Scroll through the flyer above for info (or see it here as a PDF), and just be there on Saturday morning, 5950 Delridge Way SW (map).
On West Seattle’s Puget Ridge, this house demolition happening now is big news – it’s the long-awaited removal of the house on the future site of Puget Ridge Edible Park (18th/Brandon). Thanks to Stu Hennessey for the photo and word that demolition has begun. PREP has been in the works for years – here’s our March 2011 report about volunteers working on the plan after the city agreed to buy the 3/4-acre site with Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund money. As noted on the project page, the vision for PREP is “to create an urban community farm which is a neighborhood meeting place, a community food garden and a test site for environmentally conscientious sustainability.” We’ll be following up on where the park-development plan goes from here, now that the site’s being cleared.
The announcement just in from Clay Swidler of the West Seattle Garden Tour:
The West Seattle Garden Tour is thrilled to announce Sue Madill as the winning artist chosen for the WSGT’s 20th Anniversary Poster! The original painting will also be for sale at one of the nine gardens featured on this year’s July 20th garden tour. (Location to be announced.) Congratulations, Sue!
This year’s tour is on July 20th – more info here.
In a month – as announced here – it’ll be time for the second annual West Seattle Bee Festival. But first, the centerpiece of the celebration, the WS Bee Garden, needs you:
Looking to participate in a Community P-Patch?
The West Seattle Bee Garden, located in the Commons Park P-Patch, could use your help!
We are seeking gardeners to help with weeding, watering, planting and general maintenance of the grounds. Come be part of the pollination-garden team!
To become a Pollination Gardener, please contact Lauren Englund at email@example.com, or 616-502-3182
Also, everyone is invited to join us at our work party Saturday April 12th from 10 am-2 pm.
Sign up here.
More information about the garden here: westseattlebeegarden.com
The pollinators, plants and fellow gardeners thank you!
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.
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