West Seattle, Washington
It’s a familiar sight if you walk, run, ride, or drive along SW Thistle in Gatewood – the garden outside Peace Lutheran Church (39th/Thistle). It’s not just for show – it’s part of the church’s RainWise installation, as are cisterns:
The church’s grounds are the setting for today’s RainWise info event – more West Seattle residents are eligible for rebates to lessen the load on our area’s stormwater system by capturing rainwater, so they’re getting the word out this spring. Even if you’re not, you’re welcome to stop by and talk about topics including wildlife habitat:
This is on until 1 pm – more info here. (And if you miss it, another round of RainWise events, in-person and online, is coming up soon – watch this page, and our calendar, for details..)
One of the 28 highlights on today’s West Seattle event list is continuing until 4 pm – the Giving Gardens plant giveaway at The Heron’s Nest. As explained in this preview, these are edible-plant starts, grown by volunteers; your part of the deal is to take them home, plant them, and donate produce to people in need.
Heron’s Nest Sprouts is not the only volunteer-powered project at The Heron’s Nest today – youth volunteers are focused on a drainage-related project today, as site restoration continues:
(You’re invited to Volunteer Land Stewardship events like this most Saturdays and Mondays – check this calendar.) One more reason to visit – one of The Heron’s Nest’s periodic outdoor markets is happening until 5 pm:
If you’ve never been to The Heron’s Nest (featured in this 2021 WSB report), it’s just uphill from West Marginal Way, south of the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse – here’s a map.
If you enjoy growing vegetables – and helping others – here’s a way to do both this spring. It’s a new effort called Heron’s Nest Sprouts, and it’s offering free plant starts later this month for would-be giving gardeners. Here’s how organizers explain what’s planned – and what’s been happening to prepare for it:
Feeding hungry people in Seattle involves a complex patchwork of programs and funding, but part of the work is simply growing vegetables! Seattle is dotted with “Giving Gardens,” many situated at our community P-Patch Gardens–including Delridge, High Point, Solstice, and others in West Seattle–and they are an important piece of this puzzle, growing fresh produce for those in need. Gardens in the Seattle Giving Gardens Network pledge their harvest for donation to community food programs. Last year, the growers generated 44,400 pounds of produce.
For 15 years, Ballard Sprouts volunteers have supported these gardeners, growing over 20,000 vegetable starts each spring and donating them to the Giving Gardeners. This year, a new sister project has emerged to supplement their efforts: Heron’s Nest Sprouts.
On Saturday, April 15 from 10 am to 4 pm, about a thousand plants will be available to pick up for the first time at Heron’s Nest, where 12 enthusiastic volunteers have been quietly growing seeds in the greenhouse since February. Pots of lettuce, chard, pac choy, mustard greens and kale will be available. Any gardeners interested in growing to donate to their community can come to get as many free starts as you need. Seattle Giving Garden Network will happily get you started in growing to give.
An added bonus to this happy occasion is the first Art Market of the year at Heron’s Nest that same day, giving space to Indigenous and other artists to display and sell their work. The public is invited to come visit Heron’s Nest, browse the art, and learn more about the Giving Garden program.
Heron’s Nest Sprouts hopes to continue next year and expand its production, because after next season, the Sprouts program will lose their Ballard location. The goal is to develop several new sites similar to Heron’s Nest Sprouts to continue the work going forward. Anyone with an interest in starting a Giving Garden, volunteering with Heron’s Nest, or who knows of an available greenhouse location elsewhere in the city should email the Seattle Giving Garden Network at email@example.com.
Heron’s Nest is located at 4818 15th SW [map]. Turn west onto Puget Way from West Marginal Way, south of the Duwamish Longhouse, and follow a short winding road to the entrance. The property is being restored by a passionate group of volunteers with the mission of community outdoor education. Besides the greenhouse, there are raised beds, a chicken run, the forested Duwamish Greenbelt, and space for community events such as the art market, outdoor movies, skill workshops, a tool library, and sustainable and traditional indigenous farming practices. The Heron’s Nest site is available by reservation for workshop space, classes, all-ages activities, cultural education, gatherings, meetings, music, art, and more. Check the Heron’s Nest events page for their updated calendar.
Heron’s Nest is accepting online donations to further their efforts, and volunteer help is appreciated as work continues at the site. Email HeronsNestOutdoor@gmail.com if you would like to volunteer or rent the space.
This year’s West Seattle Garden Tour is still more than two months away – June 25th – but in one important way, the WSGT is looking ahead to next year already. This announcement explains:
Each year the West Seattle Garden Tour, a 501(c)(3) organization, seeks out other non-profits whose goals fit our mission — to promote horticultural-based interests, educational projects, and arts programs — within West Seattle and neighboring communities, to provide them the funds they need to continue and complete their efforts. The purchase of garden tour and raffle tickets, along with the generous support of our sponsors, makes that goal possible.
For non-profit organizations interested in requesting a 2024 grant from the West Seattle Garden Tour, applications are now available. Application forms can be found on our website at westseattlegardentour.org/grants along with submission requirements and instructions. Completed applications are due to the West Seattle Garden Tour Grants Chair, Karen Fields, by July 15, 2023. Our Grants Committee will select 8-10 applicants out of all applications for furtheronsideration by our entire West Seattle Garden Tour Committee. Those selected 8-10 applicants will be notified by August 1 and will be scheduled to present their organization’s project at a committee meeting beginning in the fall. Non-profits who receive a grant from the garden tour will not be eligible to apply the following year, to allow more organizations to compete for funds.
P.S. If you want to see gorgeous gardens while contributing to the WSGT’s community giving, tickets for this year’s tour are on sale now via the WSGT website.
Friends of Roxhill Elementary can help you grow flowers and other plants this spring/summer, while you help them. Here’s the announcement. of this year’s Flower Power fundraiser:
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:
They have a variety of plants for every climate. If you know a Roxhill student, enter their name in the field “Give Credit For This Sale To” when you check out. The student with the most sales will get to pick any item from the Roxhill School Spirit Store.
How does it work?
Use the link above to choose from 50+ types of flower bulbs, seeds and accessories for your garden. Friends of Roxhill receives 50% of the profits from every order. Orders are shipped directly to the person placing the order starting April 1 (there is a $6.99 shipping fee).
100% Grow Guarantee
● You can shop with confidence when selecting bulbs with a 100% grow guarantee. If you are dissatisfied with your purchase, Flower Power Fundraising will send a replacement.
● All of the flower bulbs offered are for planting in the spring season for summer blooms.
● Zones 7-10 are encouraged to place orders Mid-March to Early April for delivery and planting early-Mid April as soon as orders arrive.
● Seattle is in Zone 8. See website zone map for other locations.
● No shipping to Hawaii or Alaska.
Order deadline is May 15, 2023. Thank you again for your continued support of Roxhill Elementary.
Congratulations to West Seattle Nursery for an award-winning run at the Northwest Flower and Garden Festival. The report is from WSN’s Marie McKinsey:
The crew at West Seattle Nursery is tired but happy today. Their display garden, “Shaded from Reality,” just won the Founder’s Cup – Best in Show Award at the Northwest Flower and Garden Festival. They also won the Beyond Beautiful Award from Fine Gardening Magazine, and a Gold Medal.
The garden featured a rustic greenhouse in the woods, built using reclaimed windows and other recycled materials. The structure was surrounded by shade-loving plants, including a stunning collection of hellebores, with a stream tumbling over rock near the entrance.
The Show opened on February 15th and closed last night.
It was held at the Convention Center downtown.
February showers bring thoughts of June flowers! Advance tickets are now available for this year’s West Seattle Garden Tour, and the WSGT has announced Brooke Borcherding‘s painting Magenta and Lemon as this year’s art contest winner:
Each year, West Seattle Garden Tour provides an opportunity for one talented artist to showcase her or his original artwork on tour marketing materials and to take home a $500 cash prize. We are pleased to announce Seattle artist Brooke Borcherding as the winner for our 2023 tour.
“Magenta and Lemon is inspired by everyday scenes. My work often illustrates a small slice of life in a unique way. This piece shows a variety of floral foliage against a wall depicted in my distinct style of energetic markmaking and bold color,” says Ms. Borcherding about this winning piece.
Magenta and Lemon (36”w x 36”h; acrylic) will be featured on the 2023 garden tour’s official poster and ticket book. Ms. Borcherding will also receive a $500 cash prize. West Seattle Garden Tour will conduct a silent auction of the artwork beginning at the May 2023 West Seattle Art Walk (at Capers Home store) and concluding on the day of the tour, Sunday, June 25, 2023. Bids will also be taken on tour day in one of the gardens from 9 am to 5 pm. Proceeds will benefit the year’s eight designated grant recipient non-profit organizations.
Magenta and Lemon, along with works by four West Seattle Garden Tour Art Competition finalists will be on view at Capers Home during the West Seattle Art Walk, 5-8 pm, May 11, 2023.
WSGT tickets are only on sale online for starters; in-person sales will be announced later.
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.
Thanks for the tips. Some of the hard work done by Seattle Parks gardeners and community volunteers at Alki last Friday was undone by thieves/vandals.
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.
(2019 photo by David Hutchinson) lo
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.
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