Friday, March 29, 2013

Bradner Gardens P-Patch plot B29B

Plot B29B March 2013

Luzula sylvatica 'Aurea' in Plot B29B March 2013 

Ribes sanguineum in the ornamental border at Bradner Gardens Park March 2013

This friendly cat lives across the street from the park.  She ran up to me, as she had before.

The meeting room at Bradner Gardens Park March 2013

Click here for more pictures of Bradner Gardens Park.
Click here for the Bradner Blog.

I attended a meeting at Bradner Gardens Park on March 9, 2013.  I was given a tour of the facilities beforehand.  About 30 people came to the meeting.  The room was nice, but chilly with the huge sliding door open.  I heard a number of speakers who were in charge of this or that.  There was a lot of emphasis on completing & recording volunteer hours.  In addition to the fee, everyone is required to do 8 hours of work, outside their own plot, during the season.  I signed up to work in the ornamental border.  I was there 2 hours, which did not count as volunteer work, unfortunately.  
I planted the first vegetable seeds in plot B29B on March 26, 2013.  Those were Beta vulgaris ‘Perpetual’ (Swiss Chard) Brassica oleracea ‘Danish Ballhead’ (Cabbage) Brassica oleracea ‘Gai Lan’ (Chinese Broccoli) Brassica oleracea ‘Yu Choi’ (Chinese Greens) Brassica oleracea ‘Vates’ (Collards) Daucus carota ‘Merida’ (Carrot) Daucus carotaPurple Sun (Carrot) & Raphanus sativus var. longipinnatus ‘Minowase’ (Daikon).  In southeast Seattle, Asian vegetables are common.

I was very happy to get half of a plot in November 2012 after waiting for only 3 months.  It is located on Mt Baker Ridge, 1.6 miles from my former home in the Mt Baker neighborhood & 1.8 miles from my future home at Rainier Vista in the Rainier Valley, but 4.1 miles from my temporary home at The Station at Othello Park. I moved a number of perennials to plot B29B & planted a shipment of bulbs on November 15, 2012.

Bradner Gardens Park has perhaps the nicest p-patch in Seattle.  There is an excellent view of Downtown Seattle.  The tool shed is spacious & filled with tools.  In the same structure, there is also a restroom with tile-mosaic walls, a kitchen & a meeting room with a fireplace.  The 1.6 acre park contains a pavilion, a native plant garden with a bioswale & seasonal pond, an ornamental border & a basketball court.  From September of 1970 to June of 1971, I was in the 6th grade at John Muir Elementary School Annex on the property that became Bradner Gardens Park.  The baby boom caused my to become so crowded that the 5th & 6th grades were temporarily relocated there in portable classrooms.  

Below is the plant list for plot B29B.  I drew a plan for a formal, nearly symmetrical perennial & vegetable garden.  The plot is said to be 100 square feet, but is really about 60 square feet, not that I'm complaining. 

Plant List
Agapanthus campanulatus: 6
Ajuga reptans ‘Black Scallop’ (Carpet Bugle): 4
Allium cristophii (Star of Persia): 10 bulbs
Allium karataviense: 10 bulbs
Allium unifolium: 50 bulbs
Beta vulgaris ‘Perpetual’ (Swiss Chard): seed
Brassica oleracea ‘Gai Lan’ (Chinese Broccoli): seed
Brassica oleracea ‘Danish Ballhead (Cabbage): 4 from seed
Brassica oleracea ‘Yu Choi’ (Chinese Greens): seed
Brassica oleracea ‘Vates’ (Collards): 4 from seed
Campanula medium (Canterbury Bells): 4
Campanula portenschlagiana (Dalmation Bellflower): 4
Clematis integrifolia: 4
Cucurbita pepo ‘Sunburst': 2 from seed
Daucus carota ‘Merida (Carrot): seed

Daucus carota 'Purple Sun' (Carrot): seed
Fragaria vesca (Woodland Strawberry): 12
Geranium sanguineum (Bloody Cranesbill): 4
Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ (Japanese Forest Grass): 4
Hemerocallis ‘Bela Lugosi’ (Daylily): 1
Hemerocallis 'Root Beer' (Daylily): 1
Hyacinthus ‘Peter Stuyvesant’ (Hyacinth): 8
Iris hartwegii: 4
Lamium maculatum ‘Beacon Silver’: 4
Lilium auratum (Gold Band Lily): 5
Luzula sylvatica ‘Aurea’: 2
Nectaroscordum siculum: 10
Paeonia veitchii: 1
Penstemon x mexicali: 8
Phaseolus vulgaris ‘Serengeti’ (Bush Bean): seed
Raphanus sativus var. longipinnatus ‘Minowase’ (Daikon): seed
Scilla peruviana: 5

Friday, March 22, 2013

Jardim Botânico da Ajuda

Jardim Botânico da Ajuda 2012 março

Jardim Botânico da Ajuda 2012 março

Jardim Botânico da Ajuda 2012 março

Jardim Botânico da Ajuda 2012 março

Jardim Botânico da Ajuda 2012 março

Click here for more photos fo the Jardim Botânico da Ajuda.

The Jardim Botânico da Ajuda is a beautiful garden in the Lisbon suburb of Belém.  There are lovely views from this hillside garden of Belém, the Tagus estuary & the 25 de Abril Bridge, which resembles the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco & was built by the same company.  It is quite easy & quick to get here on the train from central Lisbon. The Jardim Botânico da Ajuda has been run by the Instituto Superior de Agronomia of the Universidade de Lisboa since 1910 as part of their teaching & research infrastructure. It covers ​​almost 10 acres on 2 levels. The architecture of the garden follows the Italian Renaissance model of a terrace garden. The upper level contains the botanical collection & the lower level is an ornamental stroll garden with a garden of aromatic and medicinal plants, a garden of plants native to the region of Lisbon, and a forest.

The garden was founded in 1768 & designed by the Italian botanist, Domingos Vandelli of Padua.  Vandelli was hired by Dom José I to teach his sons, the princes of Portugal. Vandelli was appointed director of the Royal Botanical Garden of Ajuda in 1791.  The royal family had moved to the Palace of Belém from Lisbon after the catastrophic earthquare & tsunami of 1755. This garden was constructed near the palace.  It was the first Portuguese botanical garden designed to maintain, study & collect as many species of the plant world as possible. It had 5000 species arranged according to the Linnaean system. (Vandelli had studied with Linnaeus)  Before long, greenhouses were added to house plants from the Portuguese colonies of Brazil, Angola & Cape Verde.  And the garden was opened to the public.   After the death of the second director Felix de Avellar Brotero, the garden went into decline. The lower level was reconstructed in 1869, then the upper level in 1934. The entire garden was restored once again between 1993 & 1997.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Seike Japanese Garden

Seike Japanese Garden March 2011

Seike Japanese Garden March 2011

Seike Japanese Garden March 2011

Seike Japanese Garden March 2011

Seike Japanese Garden March 2011

The Seike Japanese Garden can be found at the Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden in the City of SeaTac, south of Seattle in King County.  The garden was relocated to the Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden from the former site of the Des Moines Way Nursery in the City of SeaTac & opened in June 2006. The garden would have been abandoned due to the expansion of SeaTac Airport. The project is believed to be the largest relocation of a Japanese Garden ever attempted in the United States. The Seike family built the garden as a memorial to Toll Seike who was killed in action during WWII in France.  Construction was spurred by Seattle's 1962 World's Fair. The family hired Shintaro Okada, a garden designer from Hiroshima, to assist with planning & construction. Mr. Okada arrived in December of 1960 & construction started in January of 1961. The $350,000 relocation effort focused on recreating the stonework, pond & built elements such as bridges and lanterns, saving only the most significant plants.  The ultimate goal remained a faithful recreation of designer Shintaro Okada's intent & the preservation of a significant local horticultural, cultural & historical amenity.  This is a pleasant, small-scale Japanese garden.

Friday, March 8, 2013

February in Seattle

Kubota Garden February 2013

Garrya issaquahensis (silk-tassel) at the Washington Park Arboretum February 2013

Hamamelis x intermedia (witch-hazel) at High Point February 2013

Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas fir) in Mt Baker February 2013

February 2013 in Seattle was warmer & much drier than normal. The mean temperature was 44.4F/6.9C. The normal mean temperature is 43.4F/6.3C. The highest temperature was 56F/13.3C, the lowest 34F/1.1C.   Total precipitation was 1.58 inches.  Normal precipitation is 3.5 inches. There were 2 days with rain, 23 days with light rain, 15 days with fog (4 of them with visibility at less than 1/4 mile) 4 days with haze, 23 cloudy days, 5 partly cloudy days & no fair days. However, there were many brief periods of sun.

Crocus, Hepatica (liverwort) miniature Narcissus & Primula (primrose) began to bloom.  Because many of the lightly rainy days had only occasional showers & the temperatures were not very cold, I was able to finish cutting dead branches & perennial stalks, & raking up leaves. My house in Mt Baker went back on the market on February 25 & had 2 offers to buy.  Meanwhile, digging began for the foundation of the new house at Rainier Vista in the Rainier Valley, slightly less than a mile away.

Friday, March 1, 2013

High Point Commons Park P-Patch

High Point Commons Park P-Patch February 2013

The shed at the High Point Commons Park P-Patch February 2013

High Point Commons Park P-Patch February 2013

High Point Commons Park P-Patch February 2013

High Point Commons Park P-Patch February 2013

The High Point Commons Park P-Patch is located in the High Point development at SW Graham Street & 32nd Avenue SW.  It is a small & fairly new community garden.  High Point redevelopment began in 2006. High Point Commons Park is the largest open space in the development.  The p-patch is located at the north end along SW Graham Street.  Unlike the other p-patches I have visited, there is no information about it at the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods website, although it is listed as a public housing site with priority given to residents.  A young woman walking her dog nearby told me that I should see the p-patch during the summer. She described its bounty.  I said it looked good in winter.  She said she & her mother had a plot there.  High Point is a mixed-income community with approximately 1,600 housing units, about half of them low-income rentals owned by the Seattle Housing Authority. The other half are single family homes, condominiums & town homes sold to private owners.  As of February 2013, private homes are still being built.