The ninth annual Ballard Art in the Garden Festival is scheduled for July 18 this year from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The event takes place on Northwest 85th Street and 25th Avenue Northwest. There will be 10 musical acts, 24 artists, beer garden, wine cheese and bread for refreshment.

Admission and parking are free.

Those arriving between 10 and 11 a.m. will get free coffee and doughnuts while supplies last.

The Ballard Art in the Garden Festival is organized by the Ballard P-Patch Community.

For more information, visit Special thanks to Kelly Ryan for sending this in.

Photo credit: 
Photo courtesy Kelly Ryan

A family takes in the scent of blooming flowers at last year's Ballard Art in the Garden Festival. The event takes place this year July 18. CLICK IMAGE FOR MORE PHOTOS.

“You’re not going to blog about a piece of wood!”

“Oh, yes I am, because it’s not just a piece of wood.”

I have this tiny bit of wood on my inventory shelf. I know it’s from one of my miniature Adirondack chairs. I just don’t know which one.

‘Cause it’s gone. To the customer. Sometime over the last month.

Do I email everyone that bought a miniature Adirondack chair, “Hey, it’s Janit. Are you missing a rung?”

My husband said to not worry about it. For me, it could mean an incomplete order and a disgruntled customer. Or, it could just be a piece of wood.

Over the years, I’ve been working on letting my perfectionism go. It’s taken a long time to be this position where things are done well – not perfectly, but well. It’s a process of forgiving oneself and, well, getting too busy to be stubborn about some things.

“Your ‘pretty good’ is better than most people’s ‘best,’ get on with it.” An art instructor once told me.

But there is that little piece of wood ~ surely I would have heard from the customer if the chair had arrived incomplete. Surely?

Just Ask.jpg
Photo credit: 
Janit Calvo

A miniature Adirondack chair gives you a place to sit in your mini garden. The chair is 3.5 inches in height, 1 inch scale.

Farmers market

Sundays, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Check out the new Ballard Farmers Market blog at to see what’s new. To see our fresh sheet, go to

Volunteer opportunities

Meet on the fourth Monday of each month. CAN (Carkeek Area Neighbors) is a committee of the park Advisory Council, and is open to the public. Call Jack Heavner at 782-7054 for info.

I often get little notes from my fellow mini gardeners saying how much they enjoy their gardens, and sometimes I get photo essays from my customers, too.

I received this one the other day from Cindy Sapore in Spokane, Wash., and I thought you might like to see it. It looks like she had a bit of fun with her fairy garden:

“This is Cindy in Spokane. I heard you speak at The Inland Empire Gardener’s Meeting last year. You gave me the great start to my own Fairy Garden.

Alas, the winter was tough and killed my trees, so I anxiously waited for you to arrive this year at the Garden Expo here in Spokane. Well everything is set up and here are my pictures. I am looking forward to adding to this and expanding on it. Tell me how these come out, if they do :) Happy gardening and thank you for the inspiration...Cindy.

“Three years ago, I bought this great art piece: a table made out of birch wood/branches with a planting box. When you came in 2008 to visit our garden club, I knew exactly the purpose for this stand. Although the plants from 2008 died over the winter, here are the plants and items I bought from you at the 2009 Garden Expo.

Photo credit: 
Photos by Cindy Sapore


Ballard giving gardens

Change your grass to gardens. Using French intensive and Master Gardener methods I can help you recycle unwanted grassy areas into highly productive sustainable vegetable gardens. For more information call Jeff at 789-3168.


Ballard, WA

Those looking for gardening inspiration will find it in spades this coming Saturday, June 27 as Ballard's first Edible Garden Tour runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

In cooperation with Groundswell NW, Sustainable Ballard’s Ingela Wanerstrand has put together a diverse group of 14 edible gardens that are all located in Ballard.

Think your yard is too small for fruit? See what can be done with espalier.

Small yard? Be amazed at how much food can be grown with creative uses of pots and vertical spaces for vegetables and herbs.

This is a self-guided tour and the price is $10 per person or $20 per vehicle (and those who can walk or bike are appreciated!).

Tickets can be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets (

Meet at the Ballard P-Patch at 26th Northwest and Northwest 85th Street at 10 a.m.

Rhonda lives in Ballard and is the Urban Crop Circle Project Leader for Sustainable Ballard. She and Jim garden in a tiny yard and always find something to eat. Questions, Comments, Ideas? You can reach her at

Edibles in Pot  with chicken.jpg
Photo credit: 
Rhonda Brown

Edibles grow in a pot with a visiting chicken (this will be on the tour, June 27).

She had tears in her eyes when she thanked me for showing her my miniature gardens. It was like she had a new lease on life, a new purpose.

I was a bit overwhelmed that she was overwhelmed and, at that moment, neither of us really knew what to do. We quickly hugged, said our good-byes and walked away.

A few years ago, when I used to do the Fremont Sunday Market, I would secretly watch the people that would stand and stare at my gardens. It was as if they really weren’t expecting it to see such a thing.

You could hear the gears whirring in their heads as they stood, literately wide-eyed with mouths open, trying to figure out what I’ve done. I knew I rocked their world, but, to me, it was just a mini garden.

It was my very first presentation back in 2006. All the women were staring at me, most with a patronizing look in their eyes, trying to be polite. Dessert was waiting and I had to hurry.

“How do you see this as a viable business? Who is going to be interested in Miniature Gardening?”

I stumbled through my answer, as if I had never thought about it before.

Growing a new world.jpg
Photo credit: 
Steve Calvo

The Head Miniature Gardener, Janit Calvo, spreading the joy of miniature gardening at one of the many gardens shows Two Green Thumbs has attended over the years.

We must have been a sight to see last night. Twenty women lined up in a row, on the narrow paths of the Streissguth Public Gardens, with wine glasses in our hands, nattering away about the plants, trees and flowers on the hillside.

“What did she say this tree was?”

It was like a game in kindergarten.

“She said it was a Stewartia.”

“She said it was a Stewartia…”

“She said it was a Stewartia…”

Pass it on…

What a treat to see! This lovely oasis is right in the middle of Seattle, on the northwest side of Capitol Hill. If you ever get in a traffic jam on I-5 going north around Roanoke, you might have a chance to see it from that perspective, otherwise, the garden itself offers many views of our wonderful city: Lake Union, the Ship Canal, downtown Seattle and the Olympic Mountains on the horizon.

But it was the garden that our club had come to see. The Streissguth Gardens is about one acre in size, and built on a hillside – “50 vertical feet of change.”

I felt like a mountain goat.

“Did she say peach or beech?”

“Beech, peaches don’t grow here.”

“Oh ya….”

Photo credit: 
Image courtesy Streissguth Gardens

A map of the Streissguth Gardens, a hidden gem on the Northwest side of Capitol Hill in Seattle.

I just finished heating up my pizza on a cookie sheet in the sun. It’s 88 degrees outside and the roses and the rhodies are in full bloom at the same time.

Spring was late and summer came early to Seattle, which, after this winter’s freeze, makes for a very durable garden.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, right?

Well, now we can have our lemonade and drink it too.

Ah, refreshing, isn’t it?

Now go. Take a walk around your garden. Then take a walk around your neighbor’s garden, and then keep going until you get a good view at all the plants in your neighborhood that are thriving in this heat. Take a picture or note which ones you like.

Chances are, they are the ones that survived the freezing temperatures back in December, and now they are the same plants that are taking this early heat wave like it is something they’ve been doing for years. They are the plants to focus on for a really low maintenance garden.

Photo credit: 
Janit Calvo

Miniature gardens, if planted correctly, can sail through these extreme temperatures without a lot of work.

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