(Photos courtesy Karrie Kohlhaas)
In the months ahead, rain gardens will be part of at least two government-led projects in West Seattle. A private project that’s already in place in North Delridge continues to draw interest – including a school field trip for which Karrie Kohlhaas was the neighborhood liaison today. She shared photos and this report:
This morning, Chief Sealth International High School brought 25 ninth-graders on a tour of the Rain Garden Demonstration Cluster on 25th Ave SW between Brandon and Findlay (10 rain gardens in the front yards of 10 neighbors on 25th).
The students have been learning about storm water and how it impacts the environment and nearby waterways. Students visited Longfellow Creek before walking 25th Avenue to learn about rain gardens for the first time.
I met with students and teachers to explain how a rain garden works and to show them the different types of plants in a rain garden. We talked about why someone might want to plant a rain garden — how it can both absorb excess water in the winter and be a low maintenance landscaping in the summer and most importantly how it filters toxic pollutants before the water makes its way to local waterways like nearby Longfellow Creek.
As expected, some of the students were more interested than others. I told them that this might not be so fascinating right now, but when they have a home one day, they may stop and think about planting a rain garden instead of grass, which is not beneficial to the environment. They are finding out about grass alternatives much earlier than I did. I only discovered rain gardens a couple years ago. I told them they are way ahead of the curve.
Since we installed 10 rain gardens on our block in 2011, we’ve had many visitors. Many gardeners, a local Muslim school, curious West Seattle and Delridge neighbors, and even people who heard about the project on NPR and PBS in other states have made our block part of their visit to Seattle. I’ve enjoyed spreading the word about rain gardens and the benefits to homeowners, the environment, and the community.
If anyone wants to come check out the gardens, they are welcome to walk the block. It’s a great example of neighbors and non-profits working together to improve the community. While here, you can also see the street improvement on our block, where we collaborated with SDOT and Stewardship Partners to augment a drainage solution in the street by adding, yep, more rain gardens as well as native plants in the planting strips up and down the block. This spring will be a great time to come and check it out when everything is blooming and budding.
Here’s a map to the neighborhood.
ADDED SATURDAY: Chief Sealth social-studies teacher Noah Zeichner tells WSB that this was one of 10 “field experiences” taken by ninth-graders on Friday as part of the multidisciplinary WEST Project (Water, Ecology, and Sustainability Team). The destinations also included:
• Renton Water Treatment
• Cedar River Water Shed
• Water 1st
• Seattle Biomed
• Duwamish Boat ride
• Solid Ground
• Rainier Urban Farms and Wetlands
• Urban Gardens with Composting
• Gates Foundation Visitor Center
Local and global water issues continue to be a focus at Sealth, and this year’s World Water Week is coming up – at which time, among many other activities, students will present their projects to students at adjacent Denny International Middle School. More on WWW coming up in another WSB story this weekend – meantime, here’s previous coverage, including a note about this year’s keynote address, to which the community’s invited.
(Photo from 2012 West Seattle Garden Tour, by Nick Adams for WSB)
Before hundreds of people spend next July 21st wandering beautiful West Seattle gardens – the West Seattle Garden Tour will again celebrate “The Art of Gardening” with its second annual poster-art contest! With less than a month till the deadline, the WSGT is recirculating its call for artists. Not only will the winner’s work be seen by thousands – there’s a prize: $500. There’s also a list of rules/guidelines for entries, so if you’re interested, check out the contest details here (the entry form is linked on that page too).
You still have till 3 pm to get to one of the first holiday open houses of the season – the always-popular event at West Seattle Nursery (California and Brandon). Though it’s a spectacularly sunny day, the biggest draw, during our stop, was the wide array of holiday decor inside:
Along with free espresso and snacks, WSN also has had a slate of presentations – including cider-making with Matt Pope from CityFruit.
Three dozen fruit trees on trellises at the Community Orchard of West Seattle are in need of somebody special to plan their care and their future. Here’s the announcement from COWS:
The Community Orchard of West Seattle, located at the South Seattle Community College North Entrance (6000 16th Ave SW), is currently seeking an Intensive Fruit Trellis Volunteer Coordinator.
Did you know the 1/8-acre Community Orchard site contains 36 dwarf trellised fruit trees? These trees must be weighted and pruned in a very specific manner to stimulate fruit production. When done properly, the trellis can produce incredible apple yields in just 3 years time!
COWS is seeking someone to help plan the next steps for our intensive fruit-tree trellis and other fruit-bearing trees.
The perfect volunteer would be a landscape/horticulture student or experienced gardener with knowledge of fruit=tree care and maintenance.
This person will help to research high-intensive trellis care, and develop a plan for the long-term management of this important resource.
For more information about this volunteer position, please contact the Community Orchard @ firstname.lastname@example.org
One more hour to join the revelry at Barton Street P-Patch in Westwood, finishing its first full spring/summer season and still growing strong:
The Harvest Festival/Potluck is on till 3:30 pm. If you haven’t seen the garden yet, go check it out … this time last year, they were still in the midst of construction, and now, it’s down to the finishing touches.
If you followed the garden-design saga last year, you’ll recall the successful campaign to save the big tree in the background of that view. The garden’s at 34th and Barton, east of the 7/11 and biodiesel station, south/southeast of Tony’s Produce.
Out of the WSB inbox tonight:
ROSES, MORE ROSES, AND STILL MORE ROSES from 9 AM until 3 PM on Saturday, October 20th. The roses are available at SW 61st and Beach Drive SW, the former home of Rich and Ruth Fandek. This lovely rose garden has graced the West Seattle waterfront for years and years. It is presently being partially dismantled. About 60 rose bushes are still available.. It’s a “YOU DIG” event. It will be helpful for you to bring your own shovel, pitch fork, pruner, and bucket. Rose bushes are available for a suggested donation of $!0. The activity is sponsored by the Mary-Martha Bible Study Circle of Hope Lutheran Church. All donations will be given in support of a professional Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod church worker student. Questions? Contact Irene Gehring at 937-9180
The photo above, from county property records, doesn’t do justice to what the rose garden looked like at its peak – our first residence in West Seattle was a rental a block away, in the early ’90s, so we remember the summer colors very well – but that photo’s all we could find.
Thanks to Bryan and Janet Jones for photos from the grounds of the former Genesee Hill school, where the community gardens are getting some TLC from neighborhood and Seattle Pacific University CityQuest volunteers. That work’s going on till about 2 pm.
But it overlaps with another event you can join in, too – from 1 till 3 pm, make mosaic stepping stones with Bright River Studio artist Terri Goodwin. Just bring “a colorful old plate or tile to break up for the mosaic” and “dress for mess.” You’ll get to keep your finished creation.
ADDED: Afterward, Janet sent out this summary:
Today was a gold star day at the school, with several long-awaited tasks accomplished, as follows:
Four new basketball nets installed
Some playground sweeping
All summer debris transferred to the dumpster
Ivy pulled from the Dakota hedge
Wildlife area tidied
Wood chips wheelbarrowed to beds – wildlife area and behind play structure
Two and a half trash bags of litter picked up.
Photos with story posted to the wsblog
Stepping stone art
Thank you one and all!
If you bought a ticket for this year’s West Seattle Garden Tour, then that big ceremonial check is in part from you! Tuesday night at the Duwamish Longhouse, the WSGT celebrated this year’s eight beneficiaries – by presenting them with a grand total of $24,705, following what not only was a well-attended tour but was its most successful yet at drawing revenue from sponsors (including WSB again this year). Individual photos ahead, along with details on how the $ will be spent!
Remember Lauren Englund and her idea for an “observational/educational beehive” in High Point, where she lives? We featured her pitch here back in May – and she’s just e-mailed to say “We got the space!” Next Tuesday, everyone interested in the project is invited to a design meeting. Ahead, excerpts of the e-mail she sent to supporters, including the meeting time/date/place: Click to read the rest of Followup: Lauren’s bee project gets the green light…
Five weeks from today, school starts. But there’s still a whole lot of summer left to enjoy – and today, blue sky and bright sun graced a high-profile work party at the garden on the Denny/Sealth campus. Above, new Seattle Public Schools superintendent José Banda joined Seattle Storm guard Svetlana Abrosimova in getting some plants in the garden’s raised beds. That was just one of the tasks tackled today:
And we do mean tackled. As in football. Participants included former Seahawks – like Forey Duckett:
And school leaders too – here are Sealth’s principal Chris Kinsey and vice principal Lupe Barnes with superintendent Banda:
Sustainability was the theme here – new planting beds were built from recovered cedar, for example; both schools are certified Washington Green Schools. And after a few hours, everybody was ready for a “zero-waste lunch”:
The produce was all grown in the Denny/Sealth garde and consumed with compostable utensils.As big as this was, it was actually just a prelude to an event next month, the nationwide “Green Apple Day of Service” sponsored by the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council on September 29th.
The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council, Washington Green Schools, Seattle Public Schools, Seattle Mariners, Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Storm will join community volunteers and students from Denny International Middle School and Chief Sealth International High School to spruce up the Joan Allen Memorial Garden at Denny school. During the Wednesday, Aug. 1 event, work crews will build raised planting beds from recovered cedar, plant fall crop seedlings, weed existing planting areas and improve the school’s garden storage shed.
The district says new Superintendent José Banda will be there, too.
(Photos by Nick Adams for WSB)
The clouds made the colors and patterns stand out just that much more during today’s 18th annual West Seattle Garden Tour. WSB contributing photojournalist Nick Adams visited some of the nine featured gardens; above, Barbara Post and Margie O’Coyne walked through the Pollinators’ Paradise (Davis & Plucinski) garden, admiring the fireglow. Also from that garden:
Participating gardener Sarah Cecil Martin answered Chris Porter‘s questions about a rose bush in her garden (Urban Growth), which is also where visitors saw this glass/stone path:
Another splendid stop: The Rohwer garden:
This one, for the tour, was dubbed “Perennial Plush”:
In the Houghton/Wong garden, tour-titled “North by Southwest,” a bee headed for the sea holly:
Another view from NxSW:
WSB co-sponsored the WSGT again this year; net proceeds go to local nonprofits (here are this year’s beneficiaries).
That’s the whiteboard for what’s available right now at the High Point Market Garden Farm Stand, open for the first time this year, Wednesdays 4-7 pm. The farmers took a quick break for our photo:
Their plots are literally next to the stand – so it’s as farm-fresh as you can get – 32nd and Juneau (map).
Last year, her garden was part of the West Seattle Garden Tour … this year, author/gardener Lorene Edwards Forkner is the guest speaker, and her presentation on “The Handmade Garden” is included in your ticket to the WSGT, one week from today. The centerpiece is of course a guide to, and admission to, nine fabulous West Seattle gardens. The map’s in your ticket book, which you can buy at local outlets OR reserve online right this very moment (go to this page on the Brown Paper Tickets website).
Proceeds support local nonprofits, which in turn is why the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce named the WS Garden Tour “nonprofit of the year” this year. The ticket book and poster art (right), as mentioned before, is by local artist Sheila Lengle, and during the tour, you can meet her at the Pollinators’ Paradise garden, noon-4 pm, where she’ll be happy to sign your ticket book or tour poster (many asked if the poster’s for sale – this year, it is!). She’s also displaying her work and selling some of it through a silent auction. If that’s not enough, you can also check out this year’s raffle – $5 ticket for a chance at a 5-foot granite bench, cooking class for up to 10 people, garden-design consultation, and more (here’s the full prize list). We’re so enthusiastic about the Garden Tour, we’re one of the sponsors again this year. Even if you’re planning a West Seattle Summer Fest visit that day, you can tour the gardens before and after – 9 am to 5 pm, next Sunday, July 15th.
Got one or more fruit trees but unable to pick/use this summer’s crop? City Fruit would love to hear from you, so they can come harvest it and get it to people in need. This year, they’re expanding to West Seattle, as well as serving South Seattle and Phinney Ridge, and they’re looking not only for trees, but also volunteers. From Betsy at CF:
City Fruit promotes the cultivation of urban fruit in order to nourish people, build community and protect the climate. We help tree owners grow healthy fruit, provide assistance in harvesting and preserving fruit, promote the sharing of extra fruit and work to protect urban fruit trees. City Fruit works neighborhood by neighborhood to harvest extra fruit and distribute it to food banks, meals programs, senior centers, schools and others who can use it. In the past three years we have harvested nearly 30,000 lbs of fruit. If you have extra, please join us in this effort.
To donate fruit … If you have unsprayed, healthy fruit to donate, contact City Fruit at email@example.com. Give us your name, address, type of tree and a way to reach you. We will contact you about scheduling a harvest.
…If you have a fruit tree that has a problem (disease, bad fruit, etc.) and you would like to be on our list of fruit trees needing help, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the details of your tree.
Lots more information on their website at cityfruit.org – including how to support City Fruit by becoming a member (Betsy says there are perks, including a thank-you discount offered by West Seattle Nursery). Betsy says their local beneficiaries include both area food banks. (Photo courtesy City Fruit)
Though we’re still short on golden sunlight, the other colors of summer are spilling forth in West Seattle gardens big and small as July arrives. As a returning co-sponsor of the West Seattle Garden Tour, we’re taking a moment to remind you it’s exactly 2 weeks away: 9 am-5 pm on Sunday, July 15th, you can wander 9 West Seattle gardens (preview them here) at your leisure. Your ticket also gets you into The Kenney at noontime to hear author Lorene Edwards Forkner talk about “The Handmade Garden.” And there tend to be other surprises in your $15 ticket book – which also helps the WSGT donate net proceeds to local nonprofits (here are this year’s 8 beneficiaries). You can buy yours now at 8 locations (including WSB sponsors Metropolitan Market and Village Green Perennial Nursery), or get a voucher online.
Almost 5 years after the first known “West Seattle Art Attack,” the mysterious leaver-of-glass-gifts has “struck” again. We received photos this morning with word that they were from WSAA visits to three local P-Patch community gardens. So if you’re tending a plot today, keep an eye out!
The art isn’t ALL hidden among the stalks and leaves at the Barton, Genesee, and Charlestown P-Patches:
This is the first time we’ve heard from/about West Seattle Art Attack since a WSAA/YarnCore collaboration inside a local café more than a year ago.
Thanks to Suzanne Krom for catching the photo of George Capestany (right) and son Brannden Nokes, as they walked through her neighborhood with goats Bama (with Brannden) and JJ. She learned, “George keeps them as pets and they earn their keep by eating blackberry vines and other invasive vegetation. It turns out that George uses them instead of using pesticides. He’s considering renting them out to others for this purpose. The goats are super-friendly and easy to walk. Very dog-like.”
West Seattle Garden Tour volunteers are starting to deliver WSGT ticket books to the places you’ll be able to buy them … to give you plenty of lead time to buy yours for the July 15 tour (co-sponsored by WSB). Yes, that’s Sheila Lengle‘s winning poster art on the cover (here’s our coverage of the ceremony honoring her during last month’s West Seattle Art Walk)! WSGT’s Jane Watson tells WSB the first places to get ticket books will be Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor), West Seattle Nursery, ArtsWest, and Junction TrueValue; the deliveries will continue with Village Green Perennial Nursery (WSB sponsor), and three nurseries outside West Seattle/White Center: Furney’s, Swanson’s, and Wells-Medina. (You can reserve a ticket book online by going to this Brown Paper Tickets page.) Garden Tour tickets are $15, and proceeds benefit local nonprofits.
The sun arrived in West Seattle at mid-morning, just in time for Northwest gardening celebrity Ciscoe Morris‘s scheduled visit to West Seattle Nursery – the setting today for his live weekly two-hour KIRO-FM radio show. His first interviewees were from the WSN team. Before sitting down at the microphone, he mingled with shoppers:
If you missed today’s West Seattle-based Ciscoe-cast, keep an eye on this page, which should eventually have the archived audio files. This was Ciscoe’s second visit to this area this spring; on April 15th, he was at Village Green Perennial Nursery (WSB sponsor).
The annual seed swap is on at the West Seattle (Admiral District) branch of the Seattle Public Library. They want you to know:
If you have seeds you would like to share with your neighbors, bring them to the West Seattle Branch. Small envelopes will be provided. While you’re at the library be sure to take some seeds to try out in your garden and browse our collection of gardening books. The Seed Exchange is free and will run through Saturday, June 9. Happy spring!
Find the branch’s hours and location here.
Considering a yard makeover as summer approaches? Today we welcome one of our newest WSB sponsors, My Garden Coach, with this message for you:
That’s why hiring a Garden Coach is such a great idea! In just one visit, you get a landscape designer to look at your yard and help you see not just what it CAN be, but also help you make a plan for how to get there.
You may want to do the work yourself but you need a designer’s eye to help you see your yard’s potential. Or, you just don’t like your yard and you want someone to help you create a whole, new design. Some people need motivation to start, some need a vision, and others just need a list of priorities of what to do next. That’s where a garden coach can be a perfect fit. A 2-hour walk-through of your yard is really all it takes to get started.
After their yard makeovers, My Garden Coach customers can’t believe how little it took to transform their dull or overgrown yard into an impressive garden. They also say they spend more time in their yards, take more pride in showing it and know their investment has improved their property’s value. Let’s take a walk, talk about your goals and create a design that transforms your plain old yard into a beautiful garden!
Find My Garden Coach online at mygardencoach.net, or call 206-550-5501.
We thank My Garden Coach for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.
From 13th and Florida on Harbor Island, a dramatic set of before and after photos – first, the “before”:
And the “after” – though the story’s not entirely over yet:
Here’s the news release we received, explaining what’s going on:
A small group of Harbor Island employees joined forces to improve the neighborhood by creating a green space in their industrial environment. Naming themselves “Harbor Island People for the Environment” (HIPE), they arranged for a non-profit youth organization to paint murals for a warehouse and they built planter boxes for foliage to brighten and clean the air.
Festivities to celebrate installation of the murals and garden spot will be held June 1 at 4 PM at the north end of Harbor Island, 1731 13th Avenue SW. Sponsoring companies: Crowley, PCC Logistics, Rolls-Royce Commercial Marine, Vigor Industrial LLC.
Urban ArtWorks is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering at-risk youth through professional opportunities in the arts, to learn a variety of skills, and to use their creative talents in a positive way. Seven young artists and their mentors created eight mural panels for display on the side of a warehouse facing 13th Avenue SW. The maritime theme of the murals begins with a depiction of the land some hundred years ago, when it was inhabited by the Duwamish people, evolving gradually to the industrial era of today.
The garden design was developed by Spirit Garden Design owner, Lucinda O’Halloran. The planter boxes were donated and built by employees of PCC Logistics. Volunteers from the four sponsoring companies held a work party on May 18 to plant flowering trees and shrubs in the planter boxes. Company volunteers also participated for the fifth year in City of Seattle’s annual “Spring Clean” by picking up litter in the area.
Harbor Island is a busy work environment with shipping, shipbuilding and repair, railroads, trucking, engineering firms, and more, all squeezed onto a narrow manmade island co-existing with the Port of Seattle’s cranes, which constantly load and unload container cargo. The HIPE committee has plans for continued focus on developing green spots for a sustainable environment.
The murals mentioned in the announcement will be arriving later this week, and we’ll check back. Thanks to HIPE for the before/after photos included above!
From left, Payton, Caleb, and Sasha are among the young gardeners whose work is on sale right now at the annual West Seattle Montessori/WS Academy (WSB sponsor) plant sale, till 3 pm at 11214 15th SW. The school website even has a list of what they’ve been growing for the occasion. Leading the project: teacher Clary Gasper:
Proceeds from the sale – which also includes plants donated by Village Green Perennial Nursery (WSB sponsor) – are going toward greenhouse equipment and pre-primary botany.
Maybe “cash flow” would be a better term for what happened at Village Green Perennial Nursery (WSB sponsor) this afternoon, more than “cash mob.” When the appointed hour for the latter event arrived, around 2 pm, certainly there were a lot of shoppers. We counted about 20, between a few who came early because 2 pm didn’t work for them, and some who said they were definitely there for the “mob,” which, as reported here 3 weeks ago, was the idea of social marketer Michael B. Maine of Menrva Labs, after meeting VG’s Vera Johnson at a conference:
So in all it was a good day for the rambling nursery in the unincorporated area between West Seattle and White Center. An afterparty was planned at Company in WC, and Vera was scheduled to head to Vashon Island, invited to speak about her consumer-rights activism tonight at Michelle Shocked‘s “Roccupy!” performance.
Northwest gardening guru/broadcast personality/author Ciscoe Morris drew more than 100 people to Village Green Perennial Nursery (WSB sponsor) this afternoon, which meant big smiles all around, especially for him and Village Green’s Vera Johnson:
In our 8-minute clip below, Vera introduces him by explaining how they met, and then after showing off prizes he planned to give away during his talk, he explained his trademark phrase “Oh-la-la”:
The quiz questions that netted attendees the prizes, by the way, centered on hummingbirds. We’ll have video of his entire talk linked on partner site White Center Now later; one major topic, the trouble these past three winters have caused with many Northwest gardens, including his own.
During last month’s World Water Week at Chief Sealth International High School, students and staff worked on a campus garden project; one of our photos showed a KING 5 crew there to cover it. This morning, CSIHS teacher Noah Zeichner, who coordinated World Water Week again this year, sends word that KING’s story has just appeared online, as one of the newest clips for “Gardening with Ciscoe“; the show’s namesake (who’s in our area today) narrates.
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