West Seattle, Washington
Growing plants this spring/summer? Two sales of note this Saturday, with special guests:
WEDESIGN @ SOUTH SEATTLE COLLEGE GARDEN CENTER: 10 am-3 pm Saturday, the Garden Center at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) opens for the second sale this season. The nursery is full of plants grown by students in the SSC Landscape Horticulture program – including natives, perennials, annuals, flowers, ground covers. vegetables, more. A member of the Horticulture faculty will be a special guest this Saturday, there to answer questions about anything from plant selection to landscape design to the SSC program itself – Michael Lockman of West Seattle’s WEdesign (a longtime WSB sponsor). More details in our calendar listing (and a reminder for plant buyers, the Garden Center is taking cash/checks only). The Garden Center is at the north end of the campus at 6000 16th SW.
MUSIC @ FURRY FACES FOUNDATION PLANT SALE: The pets-and-people nonprofit Furry Faces Foundation launched its first plant sale in six years last Saturday, and is continuing it this Saturday.
Here too you will find all kinds of plants – ornamentals and edibles, featuring lots of tomato plants! Sale hours are 11 am-4 pm Saturday at 3809 46th SW, and musician Tim Scallon will be there in the afternoon to serenade shoppers.
The report and photos are from West Seattle Garden Tour president Jeff Daley:
The West Seattle Garden Tour has missed not being able to hold our garden tour these past two years, which has kept us from being able to sponsor local beneficiaries. Today we were happy to once again come together as a group and support the local gardening community. This morning we helped tend the garden of one of our previous beneficiaries, the Seattle Chinese Garden.
Wishing everyone happy gardening, and we look forward to seeing you in 2022
The garden is open daily on the north end of the South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor) campus on Puget Ridge.
Big news for gardeners – the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) Garden Center will be open this season! First opening is next Saturday (May 8th), 10 am-3 pm. The Garden Center sells plants raised by SSC Landscape Horticulture students, including “unusual perennials, broadleaf and deciduous shrubs, some small trees, natives, and house plants.” This event is cash/checks only. The Garden Center is on the north end of the SSC campus, 6000 16th SW.
After years of community involvement with other local-food endeavors, a Delridge family has launched Weary Stone Farm. Here’s their announcement:
Interest in vegetable gardening and urban farming skyrocketed during the pandemic, but as we transition to a more normal state, many West Seattleites are finding less inspiration, motivation, and time to tend to this spring’s garden. Weary Stone Farm provides solutions to these problems. Whether it is our offering of one-on-one consultations in your space, classes at the Weary Stone Farm retail space, inspiration in the form of DIY solutions, or our crew of gardeners to tend your garden, we are there to help.
Weary Stone Farm exclusively services the West Seattle area and exclusively hires West Seattle residents for their crews. The business has been a long-time dream of Delridge residents Brent Curtis and Katie Kadwell and their daughters Willow and Grace.
Covid and at-home schooling forced Katie to take several months away from her day job to focus on home life. A Gardener Lead on the beautiful UW Seattle Campus and a Master Gardener and Native Plant Steward, Katie began transforming their home into an urban farm with multiple beds, trellises, an herb spiral and more. Alongside her day job, Katie has long volunteered as a garden teacher focusing on West Seattle in gardens at West Seattle Elementary, Pathfinder K-8, and as Program Manager for the Little Red Hen Project at the Delridge Community Center. She also taught classes at West Seattle Nursery and volunteered with Marra Farm in South Park, Cesar Chavez Garden in Beacon Hill, and Seattle Tilth in Wallingford.
Growing their own food was further inspired by Brent’s involvement as Board President of the Delridge Grocery Co-op, a position he held during the final build-out of the store through last November. The co-op, located across the street from Weary Stone Farm, had just finished building out their retail space when COVID struck and the long-awaited plans for a Grand Opening were delayed. While Brent and their daughters help deliver DGC Essential Boxes around West Seattle on Saturdays, and a store opening is slated for the end of this summer, the excitement over fresh produce in the neighborhood simply shifted as the family began to grow their own veggies. Brent brings a background in events to the business as former Executive Director of a non-profit art center in the Central District and Events Manager at the UW.
Capitalizing on his events background, this summer Weary Stone Farm will be opening a gallery and performance space – The Grange at Weary Stone Farm.
The next three classes Weary Stone Farm is offering at their space (5435 Delridge Way SW) are this Saturday (April 24th), starting lettuces, greens, and annual herbs; May 1st, starting a pollinator garden; and May 8th, “Introduction to Natives for Your Edible Oasis.” They’re also offering a discount on half-hour in-person garden consultations in their service area if you fill out this survey.
P.S. If you’re wondering, “Where does the name Weary Stone Farm come from?” here’s the backstory:
When Machu Picchu’s (Peru) builders couldn’t move a heavy stone all the way to the site, they abandoned it in the field and called it a saycuscai (weary stone). Brent and Katie named their urban farm Weary Stone Farm because, though they abandoned many stones along the way, it didn’t stop them from realizing the dream of growing their own food. For their own health, for the environment, and for their community. They hope to support others in moving past their own weary stones and build their dreams.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
You don’t have to have a sprawling valley full of farm fields to celebrate flowers.
The West Seattle neighbors who created “Gatewood Gardens” have done it with boxes and borders along a busy city street.
Walking in Gatewood, we had seen the flowers but didn’t realize they were part of a unified neighborhood project until an email from Krista Billinghurst. She explained that the pandemic stay-home time inspired neighbor Aaron Smith to plant tulip and daffodil bulbs along a 2-block stretch of California Avenue SW – including her corner (at SW Portland) where, she said, “he asked if he could plant some tulips in a garden box we had on our parking strip. It was an overgrown mess of weeds that I’m sure everyone was tired of looking at.”
The results drew attention from passersby.
In case you didn’t see it in our coverage of last month’s HPAC meeting or on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar – this Saturday morning (April 17th) brings another compost giveaway in the north lot at South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor). 9 am until it’s gone, bring your own shovel and container(s) for up to a half-yard of compost per household. Masks required.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Two weeks until spring. Daffodils are blooming. Tulips are on the way. Thinking about gardening this year? The most-recent meeting of HPAC – community council for Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge – was for you. Here’s what happened:
GARDENING: The spotlight presentation was all about growing food. Chris Hoffer, community-education manager from Tilth Alliance, was the featured speaker, with lots of ideas and inspiration.
Just in case you missed the original announcement last week … tomorrow’s the day for this giveaway:
(Here’s a map.)
If you’re planning on planting this spring – whether in a yard or in containers – here’s a way to help a local school group along the way. From Friends of Roxhill Elementary:
Spring Flower Fundraiser for Friends of Roxhill Elementary
We are partnering with Flower Power Fundraising to sell flower bulbs, kitchen garden herbs, sprouts, seeds and more to bring some joy to your home garden or window sill this spring.
Check out our fundraising website: friendsofroxhill.fpfundraising.com
Order deadline is May 15, 2021
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions
Announced at tonight’s HPAC meeting (full report later): A chance to pick up free compost in West Seattle in a week and a half. It’ll be in the north parking lot at South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor) on Saturday, March 6th, 9 am-3 pm – or while it lasts. Each household gets up to a half cubic yard; it’ll be in bulk, so bring your own shovels/scoops and containers. It’ll be distanced, masks required, and you’re advised to be ready to wait in line. The giveaway is co-sponsored by Seattle Public Utilities.
Just three and a half weeks until spring. Two gardening/growing notes:
HPAC TALKS GARDENING/COMPOSTING TONIGHT: As previewed here, HPAC is focusing on gardening/composting during its 7 pm monthly meeting online tonight. Viewing/participation/call-in info is on the HPAC website.
HIGH POINT NEEDS FRUIT-TREE HELP: From community builder Ella McRae:
City Fruit is bringing more Fruit Trees to High Point in partnership with SHA/HOA/OSA and Neighborhood House. Are you interested in joining the High Point orchard planting? If yes, see the opportunities below:
We have two opportunities for volunteers to support!
1. The first opportunity will involve planting bare-root fruit trees. Bare-root trees are not stored in soil; instead, their roots are kept in damp wood chips or sawdust. The benefit of bare-root trees is that once planted, they establish themselves quickly and grow prolifically. However, the drawback is that these trees have to be planted earlier in the season. So, the planting of these trees will actually take place in early March — either Tuesday, March 2nd, or Tuesday March 9th.
2. The second opportunity falls on Earth Day, April 22nd. Although most of the trees for the orchard will be bare-root (and thus will be planted in early March), we will still have some volunteer opportunities related to installing signage and a few potted-tree plantings.
Interested? Contact Tiare, email@example.com, or email Ella @ Ella.McRae@seattlehousing.org.
Ever since the West Seattle Bridge closed 11 months ago, transportation topics have dominated most neighborhood meetings. But this Wednesday, HPAC – the community council for Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge – has a palate cleanser: Gardening. Here’s the agenda for the online meeting at 7 pm Wednesday (February 24):
Announcements – learn about upcoming free compost giveaway events!
Report from Waste Management on best compost practices
Presentation & Discussion:
Your Pandemic Garden 2.0: “You started it last year, now what?”
Led by neighbor gardener and Seattle Tilth Alliance Community Education Manager Chris Hoffer. Learn more about starting and maintaining a garden to grow food in the city. Meet other neighborhood gardeners and share ideas and inspiration!
Chris will take us through:
Getting Started: Beds, Boxes and Containers
Plants for Success
Tips for Long-term Success
Resource sharing + Q&A
Participation info is on the HPAC website.
Weather notes – and some cool photos from this morning that came in too late for our daily preview:
Something else you might see tomorrow and beyond: Smoke. The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency warns that a plume of smoke from California wildfires is headed this way,. Tomorrow it will be overhead and likely to have minimal impact, but if it lingers through the weekend, we could have air-quality challenges. On the bright side, the weather is expected to be warm through Labor Day!
Temperatures may get into the 80s tomorrow and Tuesday, and highs are forecast as “near 80” for the days inbetween.
Tomorrow morning’s moonset is 7:48 am.
Back in July, we told you about City Fruit‘s “Fruit for All” pop-ups, offering free homegrown fruit to anyone who wants it. Two more are coming up in West Seattle – this Wednesday (September 2nd) and two weeks later (September 16th), both at the 32nd/Juneau community garden in High Point, 4 pm-6 pm. Free fruit is first-come, first-served (unless you are a City Fruit member, in which case you can reserve some!). Two High Point pop-ups have happened already, and City Fruit’s Lisa Miyashita tells WSB, “We are usually joined by the P-Patch gardeners (pending the availability of their produce) who offer FREE veggies from the community garden. Together, we are making sure people in our community have access to fresh, nutritious food.”
Just in from West Seattle Garden Tour organizers:
It is with great sadness, disappointment and an abundance of caution, we announce the cancellation of our June 28, 2020 West Seattle Garden Tour due to the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our wish to protect our gardeners, volunteers and ticket holders is of paramount importance.
Anyone who has purchased tickets for this year’s event will be issued a refund.
Since 1995, the West Seattle Garden Tour has been inviting you to visit some of the most beautiful and unique gardens right in our own backyard. We do it for the love of lush, inviting spaces, but that’s not the only reason. We celebrate our neighborhood. We make connections and foster relationships.
Besides showcasing beautiful and creative gardens, we shine a light on local non-profits working hard to make our community a better place, and donate the net proceeds from the tour, about $25,000 each year, to those non-profits whose goals fit our mission—to promote horticultural-based interests, education, and artistic endeavors. Our all-volunteer organization is driven to provide them the funds they need to continue their important missions and create an exciting and enriching garden tour experience to our supporters.
For 25 years, we have found joy in growing community and all of this is made possible by you—our ticket buyers, and the generosity of many sponsors and donors. From the bottom of our heart, we thank you for supporting the West Seattle Garden Tour and hope to see you next year during our 2021 West Seattle Garden Tour.
West Seattle Nursery – the only business of its kind on the peninsula – has decided to close, though it wasn’t required to. Thanks to Marie and Nicole from WSN for sharing their message to customers:
We have made the difficult decision to close West Seattle Nursery until Thursday, April 9th. However, any curbside pick-up or delivery orders (that were) received by 5 pm today (Sunday, March 29th) will be fulfilled over the next few days.
We need to do our part to fight this thing and to not invite our customers to take unnecessary chances during this critical period.
The nursery may be closed, but we can’t wait to see you again and get back to gardening together.
Thank you so much for your patience, loyalty, and love!
Take care and stay safe.
The West Seattle Nursery Team
As spring approaches, it’s a great time to plant, and that’s why fifth-graders from Taproot School were out helping this morning with a new pocket garden at Kilbourne Ravine, by the historic Fauntleroy Schoolhouse. Above, Fauntleroy Watershed Council volunteer Mike Arizona was helping guide them. They had nine species of native shrubs and ground-cover plants to work with:
The pocket garden is meant “to demonstrate the use of beneficial native plants in any landscape,” Judy Pickens, also from the watershed councll, tells WSB. It’ll hold an interpretive sign too.
Volunteers have worked for six years to restore the ravine, with the help of a $70,000 grant from the King Conservation District. The pocket garden’s funding comes from a $4,000 grant from the 2019 West Seattle Garden Tour; maintenance will be funded by donations to the Fauntleroy Watershed Stewardship Fund.
Set your calendar for 2-6 pm Sunday, March 1st, when you’re invited to join in the fun at Puget Ridge Edible Park (5265 18th SW). From Stu Hennessey:
Hello friends and neighbors.
The dark and short days are behind us and spring will be here soon. Even though, if you have not been to PREP lately, you may be surprised at the progress made over the winter months. As usual the first Sundays of the month, March-October, we invite the greater community and PREP family to join us in a celebration of nature and our methods of permaculture techniques and learning opportunities. March is the time to really get going on the cold-loving plants before it is too warm to enjoy them. Planting beds are being prepared for direct sowing and seedling plantings. Come see how to turn “overwhelming” invasive growth into a fertile and abundant food oasis.
From the West Seattle Garden Tour:
Only 3 weeks left in our annual West Seattle Garden Tour Art Competition!
We’re still accepting submissions through November 22nd and the winning artist will have their artwork featured on the 26th annual West Seattle Garden Tour through promotional materials like bookmarks and posters, our website, and the admission ticket book cover to this year’s event. $500 cash will be awarded to the artist for the winning submission. Winning and honorable mention artworks will be featured in West Seattle at Capers Home during West Seattle Art Walk on May 14 and HomeStreet Bank June 11, 2020.
Additional information including the competition rules and our entry form can be found on our website at www.westseattlegardentour.org/call-for-artists. Artwork submissions are accepted online and any questions on the competition can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Next year’s tour is on June 28th.
Two garden parties that might interest you this weekend in West Seattle:
SATURDAY AT BARTON STREET P-PATCH: 4-7 pm in the community garden at 34th/Barton:
Need last-minute plans for dinner? Want to get outside and enjoy the last sunny evening of the summer? Then please come and join us for an early evening of handcrafted and wood-fired pizza at the esteemed Barton Street P-Patch in West Seattle. This fundraiser benefiting GROW is organized as an inclusive, family-oriented social gathering to bring gardeners, their families, and the community together while also supporting a nonprofit organization that advocates to keep green spaces and p-patches in our neighborhoods. Check out the creative art and garden beds hand-crafted by the dedicated Barton Street gardeners while feasting on wood-fired pizza and music by Citizens of the Earth.
Tickets are available online or at the garden when you arrive.
SUNDAY AT PUGET RIDGE EDIBLE PARK: Sunday, you’re invited to tour the park at 18th/Brandon for this free event, 2-5 pm:
We would like to share with you the work being done for the 3rd season at PREP (Puget Ridge Edible Park). .. Growing local and eating seasonal is one of many things we can do to combat the threat of the climate crisis. This is not a work party but if you pull a weed or two, we won”t mind.
Thanks to Jessica for the photo and word of local kids at 34th/Elmgrove, celebrating Labor Day by selling the fruit of their labors – literally! “They are selling lots of produce out of their home gardens which include beans, apples, tomatoes, cucumbers, flowers and lemonade,” for at least another hour or two.
After 35 years, Mark Smith, owner and founder of West Seattle Nursery, is retiring.
His last day on the job will be September 30th.
This business has come a long way from the Christmas tree lot where it began, back in 1984.
Mark has been a great boss and we will miss him. We hope you will stop by this month and wish him well.
We caught up with Mark Smith at the nursery this morning.
He confirmed the announcement and stressed that WSN customers will NOT see a change in operations – he’s working with staffers on a plan for them to take over the nursery. Meantime, he’ll be on the job for another month. Watch for word of a retirement celebration.
(2013 aerial of Dragonfly Garden/Pavilion, by Long Bach Nguyen)
As that aerial view shows, North Delridge’s Dragonfly Park doesn’t just get its name from the pavilion structure, but also from the garden beds.
The volunteers of Friends of Dragonfly Park were preparing for a new season of work when they got startling news from the Parks Department, as Laura Bruco explains it, “that Parks plans to turf the gardens over and put an outline of the wings in crocuses.” Those, as you probably know, are short-lived early-spring blooms, so most of the year, the garden’s distinctive shape would be lost.
“This park is just too unique and special to replace with an outline of crocus bulbs,” Bruco says. “Our group worked really hard to prepare those beds to take new plantings last year, but Parks kept delaying. They said back then that they were working on figuring out who needed to approve the plans for native plantings that are lower maintenance with the artist Lorna Jordan.”
And then suddenly came the news of the Parks plan to just put in grass.
Bruco asked Parks for a chance to discuss this before it’s done, and that meeting is set for next week, open to anyone who’s interested. We asked Parks why the change, and spokesperson Karen O’Connor replied:
We have been working with the community that has provided many hours of volunteer time to keep the garden maintained along with the support from our SPR landscaping crew. We have concluded the planting and gardening design is not sustainable with the current level of volunteer and staff support.
After much work and consulting with the Office of Arts and Culture, our Sr. Landscape Architect has put together a design that is respectful of the Dragonfly Pavilion original design intent. The plan calls for the large areas of bark mulch to be replaced with grass and consolidate the plants that are doing well into the garden beds along the wall. We plan on planting crocus bulbs throughout the lawn so that there would be a bloom time in the spring where different colors would pop under the dragonfly sculpture. Having grass within the butterfly wings will allow us to mow the returning horsetail along with the other invasive weeds.
The garden dates back to the early 2005, with Seattle Public Utilities originally involved. The garden sections now scheduled to be replaced with grass are an integral part of the original intent, as explained here:
… Dragonfly Pavilion is the entrance feature to SPU’s Longfellow Creek Drainage and Habitat Improvement Project and serves as a creek overlook and outdoor environmental education facility. The artist-designed Dragonfly Garden, which surrounds the pavilion, is a landscaped area demonstrating salmon friendly and water-wise gardening techniques and is crucial to SPU’s mission and educational message at the site. …
Bruco is taking the case to Parks higher-ups as well as Councilmember Lisa Herbold and the aforementioned city Office of Arts and Culture, “and whomever else I can find who may have the power and influence to do something.”
If you’re available at 12:30 pm next Thursday (August 22nd), that’s when Bruco and other Friends of Dragonfly Park volunteers will meet with Parks reps at the park to try to save the garden, and all are welcome to be there (28th SW & SW Dakota).