Together with the White Center Community Development Association, the White Center Food Bank is announcing that applications for raised beds at White Center Heights Park are now available.

The garden is located at 102nd SW and SW 7th across the street from White Center Heights Elementary School. Community members will have an opportunity to use a raised bed to grow own garden. Raised beds are free to garden for the season. Gardeners can also contribute a part of their harvest to feed the clients of the White Center Food Bank.

Now In its 3rd year, the garden will be a place where residents can come together as a community to grow food with neighbors, family and friends. White Center Food Bank is excited to be able to provide an opportunity to the community to increase self-sufficiency and celebrate the diverse cultures that make White Center a wonderful place.

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Photo credit: 
White Center Food Bank

Last growing season Long Nguyen grew all these crops in his raised garden bed. Raised beds are now available by application for the Community Garden at White Center Heights Park until March 30.

Dr. Doo, also known as the “Prince of Poo,” the “GM of BM” or the “Grand Poopah,” has been piling Zoo Doo deeper and higher all winter. This means the annual Spring Fecal Fest, the time of year when local gardeners have the chance to purchase Zoo Doo or Bedspread, is here.

According to a Woodland Park Zoo press release, Zoo Doo is the most exotic and highly prized compost in the Pacific Northwest, perfect for vegetables and annuals, composed of exotic species feces contributed by the zoo’s non-primate herbivores.

Bedspread, the zoo’s premium composted mulch, is like Zoo Doo but with higher amounts of wood chips and sawdust. It can be used for perennial beds and woody landscapes, such as native gardens, rose beds, shrubs, tree rings or pathways.

Zoo Doo and Bedspread are available only through a random drawing. For a chance to purchase either, gardeners must send in a postcard from March 5 through March 20.

Gardeners can enter both the Zoo Doo and Bedspread drawings, but separate postcards are required. Postcards should be marked “Zoo Doo" or “B.S.” for Bedspread.

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Photo credit: 
Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo

Steaming mountains of Zoo Doo await pickup by winners of a random drawing. Gardeners can enter to have a chance at purchasing the Zoo Doo from March 5 to March 20.

Visitors to the 2010 Northwest Flower and Garden Show, which opened Feb. 3, may be shocked by one of the gardens they see situated amongst the more prim, pretty and perfect gardens at the show.

"Viridis Veni Vidi Vici," created by Ballard High School agriculture students, is a depiction of nature reclaiming an abandoned school – a post-apocalyptic garden.

"People will either love it or hate it," said Emerald McAmis, one of the students behind the project.

The garden features graffitied walls, mangled books and broken desks being taken over by plants grown in the Ballard High School greenhouse and other collected plants, such as weeds and blackberry bushes.

"It's not going to be like anything else at the flower show," said India Carlson, who teaches horticulture and botany at Ballard High School and supervised the project.

The garden is part of the Northwest Flower and Garden Show's Funky Junk program, which allows high school students and nonprofit organizations to create garden displays using recycled and found objects.

Funky Junk was started a few years ago, but this is the first year Ballard High School students have participated.

Photo credit: 
Courtesy of India Carlson

Ballard High School teacher India Carlson (back left) and a few of her students pose with their entry – a post-apocalyptic garden – for the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. CLICK IMAGE FOR A VIEW OF THE GARDEN.

Ed. Note: This is a copy of a letter sent to Kellee Jones of Seattle Parks and Recreation.

I read the Feb. 5 Ballard News-Tribune article regarding the Jan. 28 Ninth Avenue Park meeting, in which a man at the meeting is quoted as saying nearby Whittier Elementary playground has nothing but swings and childrens' playground equipment.

That statement is absolutely untrue. Whittier has no swings, zero swings, and most of the area is open, paved surface, with one corner being playground equipment, and a few basketball hoops, a few maypoles and a dragon/snake sculpture across play area for climbing.

There are no public swings near the Ninth Avenue Park location, and there is a shortage of playground equipment in this area as well as a shortage of green space with lawns, flowers, shrubs and trees – a park for people to play and enjoy.

Ballard homes can provide their own garden spaces, no matter how small the yards.

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Photo credit: 
Courtesy of Site Workshop

Plans for a new park on Ninth Avenue Northwest include a P-Patch and an arch swing but no standard swings.

Crews started work early Jan. 21 to remove the large monkey tree from the property on the southeast corner of Northwest 60th Street and Ninth Avenue Northwest.

East Ballard resident Robert Donat was watching as the tree came down. For some people, the tree was a symbol of the neighborhood, he said.

Roger Smith, another observer, said the tree has been there since before most of the residents – at least since 1947.

Dawn Hemminger, president of the East Ballard Community Association, said she noticed them preparing to take the tree down on her way to work.

The tree removal company tried to convince the new owners of the property to simply prune the tree, as it was still very healthy, but they wanted to tear it out, Hemminger said.

She said she is upset the tree is coming down and thinking about the generations of children who spent their youth climbing it.

The Department of Planning and Development is looking into whether the removal of the tree went against a city ordinance requiring the removal of "rare, uncommon, unique or exceptional" trees on private property to be approved by the department.

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Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Crews remove the large monkey tree from the corner of Ninth Avenue Northwest and Northwest 60th Street Jan. 21.

North End Flower Club

First Friday of the month. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
The North End Flower Club welcomes prospective members. Programs are horticulture and flower design speakers. Annual membership is $20. Catered lunch at each meeting $20.


St. John United Lutheran Church
5515 Phinney Ave. N.
Phone: 206.324.0803

Oh dear. It’s that time of year again.

The pressure is on to do the impossible. You need to find a unique gift for that special someone. It’s got to be personable. It’s got to be heart-felt. And it’s got to inexpensive.

What can you do that is special that won’t cost an arm and a leg?

Did you know that you can make a one-of-a-kind gift quickly, easily, inexpensively and have fun doing it too? Did you know that you can even get the kids to make it with you if you want?

Miniature gardening is a very adaptable idea. I’ve mentioned before that it can be 4 inches wide, or it can be 40 feet wide. It’s the 4” wide gardens that can really hit home with that special someone this holiday season – or 6” or 10” wide…

Mini gardening is an idea can suit any personality. You can make just about any theme in a small pot with a few chosen plants and miniature accessories. Instead of spending money, why not spend a little time instead?

Here are some ideas for miniature gardens with “personality:”

For the “Foodie”

Photo credit: 
Janit Calvo

Create a tropical miniature garden for the bah-hum-bug person on your list.

I think we’re being watched.

I was on my annual search for things to use in our miniature gardens the other day and found out that our little hobby is quickly becoming a definite trend. I was scouting Michaels Crafts, and JoAnn’s Crafts to see if there was anything we could use, or adapt, for our mini garden holiday decorations.

I think they are on to us…

And it looks like our work is paying off, my friend! Miniature gardening is quickly becoming a favorite form of “going green” and the big box stores have finally caught up to us. After all, it’s the perfect blend of two favorite hobbies: miniatures and gardening.

Maybe somebody has been monitoring us along the way?

Browsing the aisles at Michael’s Crafts, there were multitudes of different miniature ornaments to use! Small nutcrackers, tiny wooden trains, satin balls, there was even a mini version of those collectible blown-glass ornaments for a little old world charm. (Pun intentional.)

Do you think there are spies watching our Facebook page?

Photo credit: 
Janit Calvo

The holidays give us another excuse to enjoy our favorite hobby, miniature gardening.

Crown Hill resident Drexie Malone spent five months, from June to October, picking weeds, trimming plants and removing cigarette butts in the gardens around the Ballard Public Library. She was a volunteer, but she was also an outlaw.

The library has a strict union contract that includes gardeners, so volunteers are not allowed to participate in upkeep around the grounds, branch manager Cass Mabbott said.

Malone said she was told when she started that her gardening was not allowed, but she proceeded under a "don't ask, don't tell" policy with the library, working early on Sunday mornings while the library was closed.

In late summer, a library employee told Malone to stop her gardening and leave the work to the union gardeners.

"I amiably indicated that those hard-working gardeners could use a little help since the gardens were obviously in need of maintenance," Malone said. "I did not stop, I just worked faster each week."

Malone said the same employee asked her to stop again and brought a union gardner to talk to her. She said the gardner agreed that she could keep gardening when the library was closed.

Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Drexie Malone stands near one of the Ballard Library gardens she stealthily maintained during the past five months.

“How do you know the plant is established?”

That is one of the more common questions that I get asked when I teach beginner-gardeners about the joy of miniature gardening.

Did you know that plants can only do one thing at a time?

Have you ever seen a plant multi-task?

Visions of plants texting, doing the laundry, while simultaneously having a conversation and cooking dinner come to mind, but, that’s not what I mean.

Plants can only do one thing at a time. When they do that one thing, they put all their energy into it. They get it done so they can move on to the next thing on their agenda: rooting, growing leaves, flower and fruiting, going to seed, being dormant or dying.

While this is a very generalistic way of describing how plants grow, it’s basically what they need to do in order to survive.

Why don’t we do that?

When I fell sick late last week, I didn’t stop. I kept on going. Oh, sure, I felt okay, but I wasn’t getting better – I was maintaining. I was multi-tasking.

Then I got sicker.

“Alright,” I said to myself, “I’ll check out for a day.”

Photo credit: 
Janit Calvo

Plants can only do one thing at a time. When they do that one thing, they put all their energy into it.

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