West Seattle, Washington
That’s one of the 93 new flower baskets you’ll see hanging in The Junction starting in late May. It’s bigger and heavier than baskets used in past years; West Seattle Junction Association executive director Chris Mackay tells WSB the company that previously grew and maintained the baskets couldn’t do that this year, so they found a new grower – Van Wingerden Greenhouses in Blaine – and a local firm to keep them watered and maintained., Though the new baskets are bigger, they’ll require less water and less fertilizer. The Junction is again covering part of the costs by offering the baskets for “adoption,” $189 per basket – if you’re interested, go here. (The Junction is a nonprofit, so it’s a tax-deductible donation.)
It’s the only “edible park” in West Seattle – Puget Ridge Edible Park – and it’s right here on the peninsula. A recent arrival to Puget Ridge who has been chronicling her family’s journeys on YouTube, Melissa Smith, discovered PREP (18th SW and SW Brandon) and wanted to tell its story. After she sent us the link to the resulting video (embedded above), we asked her for the backstory about her storytelling:
Since summer 2022, we have been traveling by van across the West Coast from Santa Cruz, California, where I first converted a 1/10 acre property into a micro food forest. As former middle-school science teachers, my husband and I decided to pursue our dream to start a regenerative farm and are now on the road searching for where to buy land and immerse ourselves in a community with our farm and education center.
In late October, we decided to settle for the winter and looked around the Seattle area. We fell in love with West Seattle after experiencing the Halloween bash downtown. We found a furnished space to rent and have started to explore areas locally. I just so happened to walk by PREP and immediately fell in love. I met Stu [Hennessey] and asked if it would be possible to share all he and this community have done to create such a powerful place.
It is a dream to help others create similar spaces like PREP in their communities.
PREP itself is the fruition of a dream dating back into the ’00s, finally funded in the ’10s by the city Parks Levy Opportunity Fund, transformed and maintained by community volunteers,
Once again this year, it took a village – actually, a block of Upper Morgan neighbors – to help Trevor load up a giant pumpkin so it could be taken to a weigh-off. He sent photos, first as they were headed out this morning, including one showing just how big the pumpkin is:
He says the seed for this mega-pumpkin was planted indoors in mid-April. Last year, Trevor grew a quarter-ton pumpkin. This year’s came in at 403 pounds:
That won tenth place at the regional event in Kent, where Trevor’s was the only Seattle-grown pumpkin!
Summer’s not officially over yet … but the √West Seattle Garden Tour is looking ahead to next summer already, starting with its annual art competition. Here’s the invitation:
The West Seattle Garden Tour is one of the premier garden tours in the Northwest, as well as a fundraiser for local non-profits promoting horticulture, education or the arts. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organized by a group of dedicated volunteers. Since its inception in 1995, WSGT donates about $25,000 annually to local beneficiaries.
In addition to supporting non-profit organizations, the West Seattle Garden Tour provides an opportunity for local artists to showcase their original artwork on tour marketing materials, including the cover of the WSGT ticket book and promotional poster. The winning artist also receives a $500 cash award. Winning and honorable mention artworks will be featured during the May and June 2020 West Seattle Art Walks.
Please accept this invitation to submit your original artwork to the annual WSGT Art Competition. We look forward to receiving and reviewing your submission! Submissions accepted (now through) November 13, 2022.
Submission rules and entry form are available on our website
As featured in our daily preview list, West Seattle Nursery (5275 California SW) welcomes you to an open house this afternoon, with food, classes, and discounts, It began with a special celebration for owner Marcia Bruno (introduced in the clip by Bill Hibler), who took over the nursery almost three years ago but really hasn’t had a chance to properly celebrate. She shared some memories from starting there 21 years ago just to “get out of the house” while raising two small children, and working her way up to taking over after Mark Smith retired in fall 2019. (Along the way, she managed the expansion project that featured construction of a greenhouse/retail annex, designed and built by two WSB sponsors, LD Arch Design and Ventana Construction.) She expressed appreciation for her staff – who surprised her with a plaque – and customers, and enthused, “We have such a good time here.” The open house continues until 3 pm.
One of our area’s most beloved business open houses is back – tomorrow (Sunday, August 28th) West Seattle Nursery throws the gates open for the return of its annual open house. And this one has a pre-funk of sorts – just before the open house begins, Marcia Bruno – the longtime manager who bought WSN almost three years ago but really hasn’t had a chance to celebrate – will be officially introduced as the nursery’s owner, and will offer some words on plans for its future. That’s at 11:30 am, followed by a lunch buffet with food from local businesses, including Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering, Husky Deli, Flying Apron, and Baked. Then noon-3 pm, it’s open house time. That includes two free classes – at 12:30 pm, “How to Plant a Sedum Bowl,” and at 2 pm, “Building a Bouquet from Your Late Summer Garden.” The nursery’s summer clearance sale continues too. Haven’t been to WSN? It’s at 5275 California SW.
After James Tilley sent us photos including that one, we checked with Parks’ southwest-region crew chief Kristy Darcy, who confirms that about 110 plants were stolen. That’s about a tenth of the plants Darcy had told the Alki Community Council she had ordered for the annual planting, and some were left over after Friday, so one of her new gardeners is busy now replacing the ones that were taken.
SIDE NOTE: A commenter had asked about the watering plan for the plants, following our work-party preview last week. Darcy explains, “We are going to have to water them manually to start, as the irrigation is still not quite ready. We are waiting on the plumbers to come and fix a main line break on that system. Once that is complete we can then repair the heads on that one zone that are broken. … We are prepared with all of the heads and nozzles we need though, and should be able to get it up and running pretty fast once the water is on.”
In case you missed the mention in our coverage of last week’s Alki Community Council meeting, we’re only two days away from a volunteer-assisted planting party on Alki. Jessica, who’s been leading monthly community cleanups at the beach, sent a reminder to be sure you know, if you have time to spare on Friday afternoon. The newly hired Seattle Parks gardeners have been working to prepare the beds where hundreds of annual flower plants are waiting to go in, and would love lots of help noon-4 pm Friday (June 24th). No RSVP needed – just show up on the east side of Alki Bathhouse (60th/Alki), and give whatever time you can spare.
If the weather’s kept you out of the garden, no worries, it’s not too late to get set up for a productive summer! Friends of Roxhill Elementary has extended its fundraiser until May 24th – five more days to order. In case you missed the original announcement in March:
We are partnering again 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.” Go here to shop. You can support a specific Roxhill student by writing their name in “Give Credit for This Sale to” at checkout. Friends of Roxhill Elementary gets 50% of the profits from every order. Questions? firstname.lastname@example.org
If you appreciate some color in this gray-sky spring, consider visiting the Seattle Chinese Garden as this year’s Peony Festival continues tomorrow. Today, the color wasn’t just from the flowers, but also from Lion Dancers who performed at noontime:
They were a hit, especially with young festivalgoers. Other performances are planned tomorrow, but you can also just go to admire the flowers:
Festival hours tomorrow are 10 am-4 pm. The garden is on the north end of the South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor) campus on Puget Ridge. The garden’s worth a visit even when there’s no special event happening – here’s its history.
If you’ve looked at our West Seattle Event Calendar for this weekend, you know this weekend has a long list of possibilities. If you’re planning to spend extra time with your mom on or before Mother’s Day, one standout option is the Peony Festival at the Seattle Chinese Garden. The garden’s at the north end of the South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor) campus. The festival’s happening both days this weekend, 10 am-4 pm Saturday and Sunday, with live performances noon-3 pm, starting with a noon Lion Dance on Saturday. The first day also includes a tree-peony sale (while they last). More info here!
It’s the time of year when gardens are just starting to show their color, from spring blossoms to foliage. Observing, celebrating, and being artistically inspired by what’s growing around us is the subject of West Seattle writer/artist/gardener Lorene Edwards Forkner‘s new book “Color In and Out of the Garden.” You can talk with her about it right now at Click! Design That Fits (4540 California SW; WSB sponsor). She’s there until 2 pm today, signing books and answering questions. (Click! asked her a few for this preview.) Do some Mother’s Day shopping while you’re there!
While you’re in The Junction on Sunday for the West Seattle Farmers’ Market, take a side trip into Click! Design That Fits (4540 California SW; WSB sponsor) for the first event there in many months – a book launch for West Seattle artist/gardener/author Lorene Edwards Forkner. 10 am-2 pm on Sunday (May 1st), she’ll be at the shop to sign her book “Color In and Out of the Garden” and “chat color and gardens,” as Click! describes the opportunity. The shop’s event preview quotes the author as explaining that her book “is a memoir in plants and color. It’s about looking out and looking in,” sparked by a daily practice in observation. She hopes “that readers will be inspired to look closely with great heart at the world around them.”
Today we welcome Keeping Up With The Roses as our newest sponsor! Here’s what owner Dominic Vigil would like you to know about what he offers:
Keeping Up With The Roses offers full-season rose care subscriptions that will ensure that you will have beautiful roses all season long. Each subscription includes pruning, fertilizing, deadheading, winterizing, and specialized care for each of your roses. I also offer a variety of other gardening services, such as bulb planting and installation of micro gardens.
I’ve lived in Seattle for more than 16 years. In that time, I’ve learned the rhythms of the seasons, from the surprise sunshine days of March to the last mild weeks of October until the winds come up. My connection to our climate means that I’m intimately aware of the right times to prune, to plant, and to pause. Seattle neighborhoods have their own microclimates and over the years I’ve learned how to work with them. I have over 36 beautiful rose bushes of my own that I love taking care of.
Clients seek me out either because they’ve purchased a house with neglected roses or because they want to add roses to their yard. I can see the “bones” of an old rose and with some time and care I can bring it back to full blooming beauty. For clients who are adding new roses, I like to spend time with them in their yard finding the right site for their rose that will be a good growing spot for the plant but also provide joy to the owner.
Each of my clients receives customized rose care for their specific roses, ensuring a full season of incredible blooms. My clients love that I keep their roses blooming and all season long. My “set it and forget it” full-season rose care subscription allows my clients to pay just once a year or monthly. This year I’ve added a summer sunflower package and my clients are really excited to expand their gardens.
Keeping Up With The Roses clients have a new appreciation for the roses in their yard and the roses they see when they’re out in the neighborhood. They’ve told me that they can enjoy the view guilt-free because I’ve taken an uncertain chore off their list! If you’ve got roses that need some sprucing up, I’d love to chat with you – email@example.com or 206-351-8459.
We thank Keeping Up With The Roses 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.
Something else you can do today in the sunshine – visit “Gatewood Gardens”! Sally Hardwick sent the photos and report:
Aaron Smith and Michael Starling have been bringing neighbors together on a stretch of California Ave SW between SW Portland Street and SW Monroe Street and through their love of gardening. The whole neighborhood got together and planted bulbs on a few cold rainy days last fall—and the effort and wait was worth it!
This is the second year of daffodil and tulips putting on a spectacular show. I have people stop all the time gushing about the beautification of my parking strip, or “boulevard” as Aaron calls it. As one passerby commented, “We’ve got our own tulip festival right here this year, who needs to go to (Skagit)?!” It really is jaw-dropping, especially considering how it looked before Aaron and Michael stepped in to help. Their planting enthusiasm and generosity is beyond measure!
I am really fortunate to be a part of this group of people who have formed a tight community on a busy street as result of Aaron and Michael’s gardening projects, which included a recent succulent-planting party, summer perennial-planting projects, and of course the star of the show, spring tulips and daffodils! I feel a real sense of community since these efforts began. One neighbor just said, “I love it that we all look out for each other”. We have formed a group text chat, which allows us not only to talk about upcoming plant projects, but also ask “does anyone have a cup of sugar?” when in a pinch. It really is wonderful.
Go for a walk or a drive to take a look, or check out the Instagram page for gorgeous photos!
We also reported on the displays last year, after hearing from another neighbor.
Gardening season is here – and if you have surplus plants, here’s a garden whose tenders would be happy to give them a new home: The Arbor Heights Elementary School Garden! Here’s the request – with an invitation – sent to us so we can share it with you:
Do you have any plants or herbs to donate to the Arbor Heights Elementary school garden? The students and garden volunteers are looking for plants (especially pollinators) to hold down the new soil and prevent erosion for the new berms (raised beds) they will be building at the upcoming garden work party on Sunday, April 3.
Spring is a good time to divide and move perennials, so if you have any divisions to share from your home garden, we’d love to have them. You can bring any plants to Arbor Heights Elementary during school hours (7:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.) and leave them by the front entrance — or stop by on Sunday, April 3, from 10–11:30 a.m. for the garden work party. If you’d like to join the party, bring a pair of gloves and weeding tools. The more, the merrier!
If you have any questions, please reach out to Amy West, 3rd-grade teacher, and school garden fairy, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The school is at 3701 SW 104th.
Here are our ways your dollars can go further by helping local schools:
BOOK FAIR FOR BOREN STEM K-8: Today through Sunday, shop at Paper Boat Booksellers (6040 California SW) and mention Louisa Boren STEM K-8 at checkout – part of the proceeds will benefit the school. Organizers note, “Paper Boat has a great selection to choose from in stock, and any special orders you make for out-of-stock items can also benefit the school if they are pre-paid during this week.” Store hours are 10 am-6 pm Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11 am-5 pm Sunday.
FLOWERS & MORE FOR ROXHILL ELEMENTARY: This one’s for gardeners:
Friends of Roxhill Elementary says, “We are partnering again 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.” Go here to shop. You can support a specific Roxhill student by writing their name in “Give Credit for This Sale to” at checkout. Friends of Roxhill Elementary gets 50% of the profits from every order; deadline is May 15th. Questions? email@example.com
MISSION CANTINA DINE-OUT FOR MADISON MS: This Wednesday (March 23rd), dine in at, get take-out from, or buy a gift card for Mission Cantina (2325 California SW) and part of the proceeds will benefit Madison Middle School – details and links here. Mission Cantina will be open 4 pm-10 pm that day.
MARINATION MA KAI DINE-OUT FOR ALKI CO-OP PRESCHOOL: Here are the details on this benefit:
The wonderful folks at Marination ma kai are hosting a Dine Out to support Alki Co-Op Preschool on Tuesday, March 29th! Come say aloha and enjoy some delicious tacos or kimchi fried rice for lunch and/or dinner (11 am – 8 pm) and Marination will donate a percentage of the day’s total sales to the school. There are food options for the kiddos too. Gift cards and take-away orders also count, but let’s hope for some sun to enjoy a cocktail on the big outdoor patio. Marination ma kai is located at 1660 Harbor Avenue SW.
Got a school or nonprofit fundraiser to share with the community? Let us know – thanks!
Two days after another fire ravaged the shed at Longfellow Creek P-Patch, the gardeners are grateful – to the community, for donations that will enable them to keep growing in a garden that also gives back, with food-bank donations. Here’s the update from Christina:
Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of the West Seattle community, we now have all the tools and equipment we need for the upcoming season. West Seattle Blog readers are truly amazing! We are still accepting monetary donations to help us rebuild our shed. If readers want to help us rebuild, they can donate online at grownorthwest.org and designate that the donation is for “Longfellow Creek” P-Patch. We are also working with Seattle Police to help prevent future incidents of arson.
They’re storing tools and equipment offsite in the meantime.
11:28 AM: SPD and SFD are investigating after another fire at the Longfellow Creek P-Patch shed at SW Thistle/25th SW. We were passing by when we saw Engine 11’s crew, and the smoke, around 10:20 am, and pulled over to see what was happening. Firefighters were extinguishing what had been major flames. This is the third fire at the shed in the past week; here’s our report from last Friday.
Even before this morning’s fire, we were planning to publish a followup today, after hearing from Christina, one of the P-Patch gardeners, who told us via email, “We lost a lot of tools and equipment in the fire and through repeated acts of vandalism and theft. We are hoping to replace that lost equipment and are looking for donations of shovels, rakes, pruners, a gas-powered lawn mower, hoses, or wheelbarrows.” She adds, “We are community gardeners and donate fresh produce regularly to the West Seattle Food Bank as well.” If you can help, donations are being coordinated by Kristin, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Meantime, we’ll be following up the the fire investigation.
ADDED WEDNESDAY NIGHT: We still haven’t heard back from SFD regarding the fire’s cause. Since the P-Patch, while managed and gardened by community volunteers, is on city land, we asked the city Department of Neighborhoods, which manages the P-Patch program, about the situation. Here’s the response from spokesperson Sam Read:
We are devastated to hear of another fire at the Longfellow Creek P-Patch. We share in the community’s grief and frustration and our P-Patch staff are working closely with the garden community and City partners.
The shed is not considered city owned, but rather managed and funded by community with occasional support and guidance from P-Patch staff. As such, the gardeners will need to come together to fund any rebuild or repairs.
P-Patch staff are coordinating with Seattle Parks and Recreation on developing a plan to remove garbage and cut trees from the area. In addition, P-Patch staff are coordinating with Seattle Police Department around these incidents. The Southwest Precinct’s Crime Prevention Coordinator has offered to work directly with our staff to organize a personal safety training for Long Fellow Creek Gardeners if there’s a collective interest.
ADDED THURSDAY MORNING: SFD tells WSB the fire”was ruled as ‘incendiary’ (intentionally set). Information was provided to the Seattle Police Department for follow-up. The shed was heavily damaged by fire, and partially collapsed.”
Want a free flower basket? The Junction’s seasonal hanging baskets have just been taken down and West Seattle Junction Association executive director Lora Radford just sent the photo – she says the unclaimed baskets are available for pickup in Junction Plaza Park (42nd/Alaska) while they last.
You enter it in the Elysian Brewery Great Pumpkin Weigh-Off, of course:
That’s what Trevor did, after growing the pumpkin in his Gatewood garden:
He says “sunshine, good seeds, a lot of water, and some special care – that may be unique to the pandemic” enabled the pumpkin to swell to 500 pounds.
So then there was the matter of how to get it to Georgetown for the weigh-off. Trevor says his entire block on 37th SW came together to help:
The pumpkin contest was a prelude to Elysian’s Pumpkin Beer Festival. The winning pumpkin was 1,575 pounds. But Trevor’s was no less impressive, He credits family support, too,
(Thanks to Trevor for sending the photos and report!)
Changes continue at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market. Tomorrow, Master Gardeners return:
WSU Extension Master Gardeners will return to the West Seattle Farmers Market this Sunday, July 11.
We can help identify plants that you have in your garden, and the problems that may trouble them – bring along a photo on your phone or a sample flower or leaf.
And if you are new to gardening, we have lots of ideas to help get you started.
Master Gardener volunteers are trained para-professionals who will provide you with information that is RESEARCH-BASED and focused on environmentally friendly gardening practices.
You can also ask gardening questions via email at email@example.com
More information about the Master Gardener Program can be found here.
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.