Sustainable West Seattle explores ‘Designing a Perfect Garden’

Story and photos by Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Sustainable West Seattle continued its “Successful Gardening with Nature” series Monday night with the second of three installments: “Designing the Perfect Garden.”

A walk-through of the Community Orchard of West Seattle included adding topsoil around existing fruit trees and planting seedlings that have been grown in South Seattle Community College’s greenhouse.

To demonstrate “companion planting” (placing plants that provide beneficial qualities within close proximity of each other) Stu Hennessey and Narcissa Nelson led forum attendees in a planting exercise.

Garlic and onion were placed around the fruit trees to repel voles with their odor, and other companion plants added included French Marigolds and vegetables from the Brassica family, including kale and broccoli, which also repel pests. A helpful chart to determine which plants make great companions can be found here.

An “Edible Yards and Structures” presentation by Stu Hennessey followed, providing members with information regarding starting an edible garden in the residential yard. Stu began by reflecting briefly on the tragic events of the day in Boston. He noted that when it comes to security — including food security, it’s not something we can take for granted. Food security is however, “something we can have control over.” This includes harvesting rainwater and creating your own compost, as well as edible gardening.

The big announcement of the evening was the winning site of the “Presto Garden” — an edible garden that will be built by Sustainable West Seattle Members in one day using lasagna gardening techniques and benefiting the community. The winning site is the Westcrest P-Patch in Westcrest Park. The garden will be tended by P-Patch members and produce from the Presto Garden will be donated to the White Center Food Bank.

Other upcoming events at the Community Orchard of West Seattle include Thursday’s Health & Harvest in the Orchard from 3-5 pm, and Explorer West Middle School’s Horsetail-pulling Contest on April 23rd.

2 Replies to "Sustainable West Seattle explores 'Designing a Perfect Garden'"

  • dcn April 16, 2013 (9:25 pm)

    Thanks for the companion plant chart. I am starting a vegetable garden this year.

  • Kate K April 17, 2013 (8:41 am)

    Lots of great information for planning my first garden and loved the hands on experience.

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