Gardening 415 results

BIZNOTE: The Plant Store opens in South Delridge

Miles has a master’s degree in plant physiology and a passion for ornamental plants, so he has just opened a business to put his interests to work: The Plant Store is at 9428 Delridge Way SW, a little shop with a big selection of indoor plants. Some are familiar – cacti, succulents – some are exotic:

Miles also plans to use the shop as a hub for classes and consultations, and might offer a few outdoor plants – herbs, for example – by the time the next warm season comes along. The Plant Store is planning a grand opening event on Saturday, October 20th, but it’s already fully open – you can stop by 10 am-6 pm Tuesdays-Saturdays, noon-4 pm Sundays. (The Plant Store is closed Mondays.)

Stalking giant hogweed – and other noxious weeds – in West Seattle

(Photos courtesy King County Noxious Weed Control)

King County Noxious Weed Control Program specialists were in West Seattle again today – for the second time this week, removing an infestation of a plant that’s one of the most noxious they tackle: Giant hogweed.

We contacted them after two WSB readers suggested we follow up on TV reports about a patch of this weed getting removed in West Seattle earlier this week. Sasha Shaw answered our inquiry and explained, it’s not that West Seattle is a particular hotbed of giant hogweed, but rather, the TV folks contacted her looking for a local angle on a story from the East Coast about someone getting badly burned by this weed, and it just so happened that West Seattle was where their most-recent report of a giant hogweed happened to be. Here’s a photo from that first stop, in the Genesee Hill area, on Tuesday:

Shaw is the communications specialist for the program, which is part of the county Natural Resources and Parks department. She explains, “Our program has the big job of stopping the spread of state-regulated noxious weeds such as giant hogweed throughout King County, including in the cities. For the Class A noxious weeds such as giant hogweed, which are limited in distribution in the state, we offer to help people with the control work because of the huge public benefit to stopping these highly invasive and damaging plants from becoming established. Giant hogweed also poses a serious health risk because of the potential of the sap to cause burns and blisters.”

(Here’s their info sheet about giant hogweed, so you can find out more about it.)

She also clarified that the removals in Genesee on Tuesday and Admiral today aren’t the first discoveries of this scary weed in our area: “We have responded to locations of this plant in West Seattle many times. It isn’t the neighborhood in Seattle with the most giant hogweed, but we have found several hundred sites there over the past 15 or so years that we have been working on this plant. We typically find some new sites every year, but more locations are closed than opened as the plants get controlled.”

She points out that you can use the county’s map to “zoom in and see the locations of all the giant hogweed sites we have found in West Seattle, as well as other regulated noxious weeds.” Go to https://gismaps.kingcounty.gov/iMap/ – and, she advises, “turn on the Noxious Weeds layer, select ‘Most Widespread Noxious Weeds,’ zoom in to West Seattle and look for the little green icons that look like pine trees.”

She continued: “At this point, most of the giant hogweed in West Seattle, and other parts of the city, is out of sight in ravines, alleys and backyards. Typically we find new sites when people contact us either about their own hogweed or their neighbor’s plants. Hogweed spends several years as small plants and can be inconspicuous especially in areas overgrown with other vegetation like blackberry. When they flower they are 10 to 15 feet tall so that is often when people discover them. Sometimes people get burned by the sap while working in the yard and then contact us to find out what they have. That’s what happened in the case of the West Seattle homeowner that was featured on KING5 News, although they actually got burned last year but didn’t know why until they found a flowering plant in their alley and identified it online. … People do get seriously burned by this plant so getting the word out as widely as possible is very important.” Also note, this is already toward the end of giant hogweed’s season, and most of the plants are dying back.

This isn’t the only “big problem” noxious weed/invasive plant out there – “but few that are regulated noxious weeds, highly dangerous to people and very invasive,” Shaw notes. We’re going to take her up on her offer to talk with us for a separate story about other weeds you should watch for. (You can start reading about them all here!)

West Seattle’s High Point Market Garden farm stand starts 2018 season soon

July 2, 2018 6:16 pm
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 |   Gardening | High Point | West Seattle news

(WSB photo)

We just took that photo of the mini-farm that’s known as the High Point Market Garden, after the city Department of Neighborhoods sent word of the opening date for its farm stand – Wednesday, July 11th, 4 pm-7 pm, and every Wednesday thereafter through September 28th. The stand sells fresh-picked organic produce from the garden, tended by nearby residents. As the DoN announcement adds, the stand “accepts EBT cards and participates in Fresh Bucks, which double consumers’ SNAP dollars when they choose to spend them on fresh fruits and vegetables. … The High Point Farm Stand will again host ROAR, the mobile farm stand that sells produce to neighborhoods with limited access to healthy food.” It’s at 32nd SW and SW Juneau (map).

Seen on the 2018 West Seattle Garden Tour

Some stops along today’s West Seattle Garden Tour are more than just nice to look at … they are functional, too, for people and wildlife. Especially Suzanne Krom‘s garden southwest of The Junction, dubbed “An Oasis for Birds, Pollinators, and People.” This stop is educational, too:

Food is also part of the landscape at Nancy Ritzenthaler‘s “Sidewalk Orchard” in North Admiral – edible (including apple and pear trees) and decorative plants, mostly in the planting strip:

In Fauntleroy, one of the most eye-catching features of Alexis Zolner‘s “Collector’s Garden” is this sea of hydrangea blooms:

In a border, you’ll spot a sculpted peacock:

Twelve gardens are featured this year, listed in the ticket books that have been on sale since spring. Proceeds benefit seven nonprofits:

*West Seattle Junction Association, for mural restoration
*ArtsWest (for its Theater Education Program)
*The Arboretum at South Seattle College (for a new message hub and kiosk)
*Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden (for the design and construction of a Victory Garden)
*Little Red Hen Project (for an artistic and functional trellis in its “Winter Feast Garden”)
*PlantAmnesty (to help fund its 10th annual Urban Forest Symposium)
*Seattle Chinese Garden on Puget Ridge (to enhance it with three varieties of camellias)

Along with ticket proceeds, those nonprofits are supported by WSGT sponsorships – this year’s sponsors are listed here (including WSB sponsors WEdesign, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices NW Real Estate, West Seattle Thriftway, Budget Blinds, Dream Dinners, West Seattle Autoworks, Swedish Automotive, Ventana Construction, Stor-More, Menashe and Sons Jewelers, and Metropolitan Market).

P.S. Want to suggest a garden for a future WSGT? You can do that here.

SUNDAY: A dozen sights to see during West Seattle Garden Tour 2018

Planning your Sunday? We’re reminding you about one big event – this year’s West Seattle Garden Tour. A dozen gardens – including “Pocket Paradise” (WSGT photo at right) – will be waiting for you, open 9 am-5 pm to ticketholders on Sunday so you can tour at your own pace. Preview them here!

You can buy ticket books (which include location info about where to find the tour gardens) at Junction True Value (4747 44th SW) until 7 tonight, West Seattle Nursery (California/Brandon) until 8 tonight, or order yours online before 6 pm tonight and pick it up Sunday morning 8-11 am at Metropolitan Market (42nd/Admiral; WSB sponsor).

Proceeds benefit local nonprofits – here’s our April story listing this year’s beneficiaries.

Two more ways to meet your neighbors on Saturday – with free food!

Two more ways to meet your neighbors tomorrow!

BARTON STREET P-PATCH PIZZA PARTY: You’re invited to visit the community garden at 34th/Barton between 11:30 am and 2:30 pm on Saturday – not only can you take a self-guided tour of its dozens of plots, mosaics, and concrete sculptures, but they expert to be firing up the community pizza/bagel oven. Free, but donations accepted.

A few blocks east …

COMMUNITY BARBECUE AT ROXHILL PARK: Noon-2 pm at 29th/Barton:

Stop by to meet your neighbors at our first annual community BBQ in Roxhill Park, tomorrow June 9th from 12 noon-2 pm near the playground.

Free hot dogs for the first 100 people, local entertainment, & wetland tours on site. Share your ideas of what you’d like to see in the park. Event is free and open to the public – all are welcome! Join us!

Find out more by going here.

YOU CAN HELP! Chief Sealth IHS Green Team’s garden request

The photo and request are from Chief Sealth International High School student Zhen Williams and schoolmates working on a garden project:

I am part of Green Team, a committed group of student representatives that come together to ensure a healthy environment for current and future generations. Our student committee meets weekly and discusses environmental issues, spreads awareness, and works on environmental issues impacting the Puget Sound. Currently we are working on creating and maintaining a courtyard garden, located within Chief Sealth International High School (the school I attend), to promote the idea of community and increase the awareness and our impact on the environment as a school. It also provides an opportunity for students to understand concepts such as sustainability, how to improve our environment, and how students can make a direct change.

Currently, we have an irrigation system almost installed to keep the plants alive and healthy during the summer months. We still need plants for the garden, preferably flower and vegetable starts, native bushes, and potting soil and compost, to ensure that the plants are able to grow and be sustained over the summer when the students are out of school.

We hope that you will consider donating any plant starters or compost to help our courtyard garden. The Green Team relies heavily on the support and donations of our community members and believes in the power of local businesses.

Feel free to contact me with any questions about our club or our Courtyard Garden plans. I can be reached at williams.zhen@gmail.com. Thank you for considering!

UPDATE: West Seattle Junction flower baskets have arrived!

9:04 AM: Thanks to Ricki Brown for the photo – the West Seattle Junction Association flower baskets have arrived, and are going up all along the heart of The Junction this morning! This is the second year that The Junction offered the chance to “adopt” flower baskets as a fundraiser, and we learned recently from WSJA executive director Lora Swift that they have all been adopted – so you will again see plaques next to the baskets identifying the “adopters” (which include WSB). We’ll check back later for a look at the baskets once they’re in place.

ADDED 8:21 PM: Almost forgot to add the follow-up photo!

Jason Kibbey Design and Landscape: Welcome, new West Seattle Blog sponsor!

On this beautiful spring day, we welcome Jason Kibbey Design and Landscape as a new WSB sponsor. Here’s what they would like you to know:

Are you looking for an exterior space to match the detail of your home’s interior? Do you want to extend your living space out into the garden? Jason Kibbey Design and Landscape has distinguished itself in designing, installing and maintaining gardens that invite the visitor into their spaces and encourages them to linger, relax and unwind. Established in 2006 and based in West Seattle since 2014, Jason Kibbey Design and Landscape welcomes new homeowners and established West Seattleites as we continue to grow our roots deeper in the neighborhood. We work in gardens from Arbor Heights to Alki Beach.

With over 20 years of horticultural and design experience, we provide our clients with unique garden design that closely aligns with their desired aesthetic, style of home, and natural surroundings. Our work ranges from containers to mixed borders, estate gardens to urban oases. In addition to fine pruning, seasonal color updates, seasonal cleanups, garden restoration, garden coaching, design & installation, we also specialize in garden maintenance.

Once your new or restored garden is in place, you’ll want to keep it looking beautiful with regular maintenance. Our dedicated crew of gardeners will work closely with you up to and including garden coaching or will work completely independently. Trust in our knowledge and expertise to assess your garden at any time of the year, create a game plan, and implement it over time. Fine pruning techniques are used to whip neglected maples, rhododendrons, and other ornamentals into shape and keep them looking beautiful from season to season.

For those whose love of gardening exceeds the space that they have, let us tempt you with some lush and lovely custom containers. Check out the container portfolio on our website for just a few examples of containers that our clients love.

We at JKDL know that there are many landscaping companies out there and perhaps you’ve worked with one only to have been underwhelmed. Give us a call and let us show you what it means to work with a professional gardening company. Check us out on Instagram @jasonkibbeydesignandlandscape; look us up on Yelp, where we are a 5-star company; then head over to our website jasonkibbeydesign.com where you can see our portfolio and contact information. We look forward to meeting more of our West Seattle neighbors as we continue planting the seeds of great design.

We thank Jason Kibbey Landscape and Design 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.

Going on this year’s West Seattle Garden Tour? You’ll be helping with seven projects, including saving a Junction mural

April 15, 2018 6:14 pm
|    Comments Off on Going on this year’s West Seattle Garden Tour? You’ll be helping with seven projects, including saving a Junction mural
 |   Gardening | West Seattle history | West Seattle news

(WSB photo, taken this morning)

That’s the “Mosquito Fleet” mural on the east side of the city-landmark Campbell Building in the heart of The Junction – vandalized and fading, but now slated for some help. The West Seattle Garden Tour (coming up on June 24th) has announced its 2018 beneficiaries – the nonprofit efforts that will get grants from the tour’s proceeds – and one is the West Seattle Junction Association, with the money earmarked specifically for restoration of that mural. The other beneficiaries will be:

*ArtsWest (for its Theater Education Program)
*The Arboretum at South Seattle College (for a new message hub and kiosk)
*Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden (for the design and construction of a Victory Garden)
*Little Red Hen Project (for an artistic and functional trellis in its “Winter Feast Garden”)
*PlantAmnesty (to help fund its 10th annual Urban Forest Symposium)
*Seattle Chinese Garden on Puget Ridge (to enhance it with three varieties of camellias)

You’ll find more information about the beneficiaries are on the WSGT website. WSGT expects to raise more than $26,000 for the seven projects, through tour tickets (which you can buy online right now), the tour-day raffle, and sponsorship revenue.

West Seattle weekend scene: Getting greens in the ground at Puget Ridge Edible Park

(WSB photos)

The weekend weather improved just in time for one of the last spotlight events of the day – this afternoon’s planting party at Puget Ridge Edible Park (18th/Brandon – map).

Stu Hennessey (above center, standing) and other community members pitched the plan to Seattle Parks 8+ years ago, and the city bought the site with levy money. We reported on the site’s history back in 2011.

Today, volunteers were planting lettuce today; other greens planted earlier in the year are coming in. You can get involved both with tending PREP and sharing in the harvest – monthly work parties are always the second Sunday this time of year, 4-6 pm, so the next one is Sunday, May 13th – bring tools and seeds if you have them!

SUNDAY: Join the planting party at Puget Ridge Edible Park

April 5, 2018 9:31 pm
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 |   Gardening | Puget Ridge | West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

Another idea for your weekend, if you’re not out of town for spring break – one of West Seattle’s newest parks could use some help this Sunday. From Stu Hennessey:

Get an early start on Earth Week by attending the Puget Ridge Edible Park garden party this Sunday from 4-6 pm. We will be ready to plant a few beds of lettuces and other greens. We also will need some muscle to erect a grape trellis and move a table.

Peas, parsnips, and radishes are already up and doing well. This year we have over 40 planting beds so come help us bring local and nutritious food to Puget Ridge.

The park is at 5265 18th SW and has been years in the making.

DREAM COME TRUE: Arbor Heights Elementary garden party

Thanks to Krista for the photos and report on the garden party that just wrapped up at Arbor Heights Elementary:

Dream of teacher Marcia Ingerslev to see the new Arbor Heights Elementary school garden go in! Families, staff and community members were here working.

From left, teachers Marcia Ingerslev, Megan O’Neil, and Emma Cornwell:

AHES principal Christy Collins (below right) was there to dig in, too!:

Some backstory on the garden is here – including an explanation that the work was to include “creating a wheelchair accessible garden area, planting a sensory garden, transplanting shrubs, and weeding and mulching around garden beds.” (We’ve reported on Ms. Ingerslev’s garden projects in the past, long before AHES’s new school was built.)

See West Seattle Garden Tour’s winning 2018 art, ‘Garden Fantasia’!

(Images courtesy West Seattle Garden Tour)

Only three months until this year’s West Seattle Garden Tour – and today, the WSGT has just unveiled the art you’ll see on this year’s poster:

West Seattle Garden Tour announced today the artwork titled Garden Fantasia [photo above] by Edgewood artist Doreen Koch Allen [photo right] has been selected as the winner of this year’s annual art competition.

Ms. Allen is best known for her exuberant, color-infused paintings. Working primarily in watercolor and mixed media, inclusive of pastels and acrylics, her creations are often whimsical and playful. Ms. Allen’s deep love of nature and its offerings of detail, pattern, texture, and color are elements often found in her work. Frequently she listens to music while painting outdoors, surrounded by her extensive gardens, which will usually influence the direction of her artwork.

Her process for Garden Fantasia involved painting many successive layers to establish an interesting underpainting. From that point, she pulled out desired images through negative painting, bringing to the forefront the resulting positive shapes, blooms and botanical elements. The 40” high x 30” wide piece was painted in acrylics and uses a variety of found objects to imprint the canvas, replicating interesting textures found in nature.

Garden Fantasia will be featured on the 2018 Garden Tour’s official poster and ticket book. Ms. Allen will also receive a $500 cash prize. West Seattle Garden Tour will auction the artwork on the day of the tour, Sunday, June 24, 2018. Bids will be taken in one of the gardens from 9 am to 5 pm. Proceeds will benefit the year’s designated beneficiaries, which will be announced in early April.

CONGRATULATIONS! Multiple awards for West Seattle Nursery display at Flower & Garden Festival

That video tweet is just one of the tips we got about this big news – congratulations to West Seattle Nursery for winning multiple awards at the biggest gardening event of the year. From Marie McKinsey:

The Northwest Flower and Garden Festival is running now through Sunday at the Washington State Convention Center. We are happy to say that our display garden – Wabi Sabi: Embracing Flawed Beauty – was awarded the Founder’s Cup (best of show) award. We also won a Gold Medal, awards for Best Use of Horticulture, Best Use of Color and the Garden Design Magazine award. We are honored, happy and a bit overwhelmed!

You can read more about the display garden – including its plant list – on the WS Nursery website. For info about the Flower and Garden Festival downtown, go here.

SIGN OF IMPROVEMENTS: Peace Lutheran Church’s new RainWise sign

A new addition to the RainWise-enhanced grounds of Peace Lutheran Church in Gatewood – a new permanent sign explaining the stormwater-diverting program and the congregation’s commitment to it. In the photo sent by Pastor Erik Kindem is congregation president Michael Truog, who is also chair of the church’s Green Team. So next time you walk or ride by 39th SW/SW Thistle, take a look! You can also take a look at this PDF showing what’s on the sign. (The church celebrated its RainWise improvements at an event we covered last year.)

THINK SUMMER! West Seattle Garden Tour’s 2018 art contest is on

Though winter hasn’t officially begun (solstice is next Thursday morning), we already have a reason to think summer: We’re halfway between this year’s West Seattle Garden Tour and next year’s WSGT. And tour organizers have launched the annual art competition:

West Seattle Garden Tour’s annual search for talented local artists is under way! Your creative interpretation of the theme “The Art of Gardening” could win you prominence on the 2018 garden tour poster and ticket book, a spot in the West Seattle Art Walk, and $500 in prize money! Artwork must be submitted online by January 26, 2018. Get all the details at westseattlegardentour.org/artwork-competition.

Since its inception in 1995, West Seattle Garden Tour (WSGT) has been one of the premier garden tours in the Northwest, as well as a fundraiser for local non-profits. WSGT is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organized by a group of dedicated volunteers who meet every month to produce the tour. Annually the WSGT donates approximately $25,000 to local beneficiaries promoting horticulture, education and the arts. The next tour is on Sunday, June 24, 2018.

2017’s winner was Sarah Mottaghinejad.

SUNDAY READING: West Seattle garden gets Sunset showcase

November 12, 2017 12:33 pm
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 |   Gardening | West Seattle news

(Photo by David E. Perry)

So many people have observed that the fall colors this year are the most spectacular in memory. Even before this memorable season, one West Seattle garden was putting on such a great late-season show that it’s showcased in this month’s issue of Sunset magazine! Mark and Kathryn Daughhetee of Gatewood are the owners; Lisa Port is their landscape designer; and David E. Perry – also a West Seattleite – photographed their garden for the article, which you can see here. (Perry shared a bonus photo, which you see above, for us to publish with permission.) The Daughhetees chronicled the transformation of their garden with several updates on this personal website.

SATURDAY: Can you be part of building the Sanislo Sprouts Learning Garden?

(Sanislo Elementary students, Judah Nellis and Charlie Kestler measuring an old garden bed during first Sanislo Sprouts event)

So much happening tomorrow, it’s a good thing the next round of possible snow isn’t supposed to arrive until late tomorrow night! We’ve already previewed several major events. Here’s another one that could use your help, happening tomorrow morning at Sanislo Elementary on Puget Ridge. From Rebecca Evans:

The idea was of a school garden, STEM outdoor-learning program, sparked through teacher suggestions in a survey we ran at the end of last year, and a few fellow Sanislo parents recently began seeking ways to make it a reality. Before we knew it, there was an outpouring of support for this idea. Our principal, district projects coordinator, Pathfinder’s Earth Project, and a non-profit organization, Washington Green Schools have partnered with our garden committee and the PTA to literally build us a garden in an afternoon. Washington Green Schools offers two “Days of Service” a year wherein they help make green projects, like school gardens, come to fruition with the help of sponsors like construction companies and corporate donors.

It’s going to be a beautiful space, designed to facilitate hands-on learning, science exploration and curiosity! We also want to use our garden space as an opportunity to explore gardening in a way the matches our school’s diversity by growing herbs and vegetables that resonate with our school’s families and global food culture. We hope to generate produce that can be shared at snack times and harvested by our student community. We are so excited for the endless possibilities this brings for the students of Sanislo.

Our Day of Service will be held on Saturday, November 4th from 9:00 am to 12 pm. This is a family-friendly, all-welcome, garden-building event. Children are encouraged to take part in building their school garden. There will be volunteers from local businesses, Abbott Construction, Washington Green Schools, Pathfinder, Trinity Church and Sanislo Elementary.

We are so fortunate to have support from local partners to create the space, and hope more join in over time so we can create sustainability for years to come.

Sanislo is at 1812 SW Myrtle.

Been to the Arboretum lately? New interpretive signs installed

October 14, 2017 1:18 pm
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 |   Gardening | Puget Ridge | West Seattle news

Something new to see at the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) Arboretum! The photos and announcement were sent by Arboretum volunteer Marie McKinsey:

Until last month, only a few aged markers identified the gardens and habitat of The Arboretum at South Seattle College. But with a generous grant from the West Seattle Garden Tour, five new interpretive signs are now installed. 



The colorful new signage illustrates some of the Arboretum’s top features, with information on its history and decades of student-designed plantings. They mark the garden’s redwoods, the movement of the Arboretum’s wildlife, and the outstanding Coenosium Rock Garden, the Arboretum’s collection of rare and dwarf conifers.

David Olszyk, president of the American Conifer Society Western Region, said, “This is a beautiful melding of the obsessive collector and the artist. This place is truly a work of art.”

Terrie Shattuck, a former Arboretum intern and graduate of South’s Landscape Horticulture program, created graphics and text for the signage, which SeaReach Ltd of Oregon fabricated.

Members of the Arboretum’s advisory committee prepared the signage for installation by Brett Cureton. And the West Seattle Garden Tour’s gift made it all possible.

 The Arboretum at South is a public botanical garden destination, and people enjoy it all year — bringing the kids, walking the dog or just taking time out. Find the Arboretum at South Seattle College at the north edge of campus, 6000 16th Ave SW. It is open every day.

SWEET! Puget Sound Beekeepers at West Seattle Bee Garden for Kids’ Day

August 19, 2017 11:31 am
|    Comments Off on SWEET! Puget Sound Beekeepers at West Seattle Bee Garden for Kids’ Day
 |   Fun stuff to do | Gardening | High Point | West Seattle news

What better way to let your kids learn about bees and their vital role in our ecosystem, than by taking them to the West Seattle Bee Garden for Kids’ Day, presented by the Puget Sound Beekeepers Association? Above, you can watch the bees without getting too close. Earlier, it was story time:

Art activities are keeping other young visitors busy:

And the grownup visitors might be interested in buying honey to support the nonprofit PSBA:

The event’s on until 2 pm. The WS Bee Garden is on the north end of High Point Commons Park – scroll down this page for a map.

FOOD-GROWING FUTURE: Which way should Community Orchard of West Seattle go, to keep growing?

(WSB photo: Community Orchard steward Narcissa Nelson checking in on the crops)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

As all gardeners know, what you grow and how you grow it – whether from seed or start – will change. Not always according to plan.

So it has been for the Community Orchard of West Seattle, which is at a turning point. It’s going on eight years since the seed for COWS started to sprout.

And that’s the length of the first lease COWS has had for land at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor). It began on the campus’s south end, then moved to the northeast side.

The lease comes up in January, explains orchard steward Narcissa Nelson, and decisions need to be made.

One possibility that sprouted unexpectedly – though potentially, Narcissa says, serendipitously – is that the orchard could become a college project.

All along, one of the intentions for the eighth-of-an-acre plot has been that it would be involved with food security for the area. Eastern West Seattle is a known “food desert,” after all. Along with being a place for growing and harvesting food, the orchard has also been a teaching venue – including workshops on permaculture.

We talked with Narcissa this week at the orchard, within view of its espaliered apples (above) and raised beds growing everything from tomatoes to herbs to squash; earlier in the season, strawberries, collards, parsley, kale. She explained that the college has started a food-pantry program, with an interest in access to fresh food, and the need is increasing. This growing space could become part of that.

COWS already is part “giving garden,” with food harvested for and donated to the White Center Food Bank. Part of it also has been open for community “forage,” though its visibility is minimal – it’s between a fence and a forest, separated from the nearest public road – 16th SW – by SSC’s sprawling north parking lot.

What it really needs, Narcissa explains, is consistent support for maintenance. Student/school involvement could provide that.

In the early going, the thought was that COWS could become a large-scale food-production site for the community. Early involvement was strong, especially from Puget Ridge neighbors. But many of them, Narcissa has noticed, are now focused on growing their own gardens. “A lot of people who were inspired locally have moved on to their own thing, and it’s beautiful – we were a demonstration garden, hoping to inspire people.”

Another thing that has changed: The orchard at one point had a paid manager, funded by a grant. She moved away. What project funding there is, still stems from the original grant.

But the decisions to be made aren’t about money or a lack of it. They’re about the right future for the orchard/garden and its space, whether that’s as the Community Orchard of West Seattle or something else, Narcissa says.

It’s time, she says, for open discussion. “At one point, the community asked for this” (the orchard) – “a lot of people put work into it over the years. This is yours.”

So what do you think its future should be? For starters, you can weigh in via e-mail at info@fruitinwestseattle.org.

GROWING GIFT: West Seattle Garden Tour’s 2017 donation to nonprofits is its biggest ever

(Photo by Aubbie Beal)

If you had a ticket for this year’s West Seattle Garden Tour last month (WSB coverage here), you helped support six nonprofits, who officially received their share of a record-setting WSGT donation tonight. The announcement:

Tonight the West Seattle Garden Tour held their “Summer Finale” to thank the 2017 gardeners, sponsors, and committee members who produced the annual garden tour. The highlight of the evening was hearing from representatives of all six tour beneficiaries, who each spoke about how grants from the tour will fund their special projects.

This year WSGT donated the largest annual gift in the 23-year-old organization’s history — $26,800 was raised collectively for six beneficiaries. The non-profits to receive a grant in 2017 are City Fruit, Seattle Children’s PlayGarden, West Seattle Bee Garden, One Reel / Pianos in the Parks, Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association, and ArtsWest.

Since its inception in 1995, West Seattle Garden Tour has been one of the premier garden tours in the Northwest, as well as a fundraiser. In the last twenty-three years, the all-volunteer 501(c)(3) organization has donated $377,514 to local non-profits in support of their horticultural, educational, and artistic missions. The 2018 tour will be on Sunday, June 24.

In the photo atop this report, from left, are Jan Clow (West Seattle Garden Tour), Mathew Wright (ArtsWest), Chris Weber and Gaylynn Kiser (One Reel), Krista Conner (West Seattle Bee Garden), Sara Maxwell and Adana Protonentis (Seattle Children’s PlayGarden), Willard Brown (Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association), and Carrie Ferrence (City Fruit).