Friday, September 27, 2013

Colman Park P-Patch

Tool shed at the Colman Park P-Patch September 2012

Colman Park P-Patch September 2012

Colman Park P-Patch September 2012

Colman Park P-Patch September 2012

Colman Park P-Patch September 2012

Although the Colman Park P-Patch is fairly large, it is only a small part of beautiful Colman Park, itself only a very small part of the grand & venerable Olmsted Legacy in Seattle & other cities in the United States & Canada.  The p-patch fills the broad ravine at the top of the park, near 31st Avenue S.  Access to the p-patch is most easily gained from 32nd Avenue S, where it dead-ends into Colman Park, just south of S Massachusetts Street.  This is one of the most lovely settings for a p-patch in Seattle, surrounded by trees & sloping toward Lake Washington in broad terraces.  It was once a Department of Parks & Recreation nursery.  There are 47 plots here on 14,000 square feet of land owned by the Seattle Department of Parks & Recreation.  The Colman Park P-Patch was established in 1974.  You can walk from here to the excellent Bradner Gardens Park P-Patch, which is very different, but equally worthy. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Volunteer Park Conservatory in September

The new ticket vending machine (near the entrance) in the palm house in September 2013

The seasonal display house in September 2013

The cactus house in September 2013

The fern house in September 2013

The bromeliad house in September 2013

Click here for more photos of Volunteer Park.

The Volunteer Park Conservatory is always a pleasure.  In September 2013, I found two major changes.  Following the results of a 2012 study Seattle Parks and Recreation conducted to identify a more financially stable model for operating the Conservatory, the City adopted the $4 adult entry fee beginning on February 1, 2013.  Also, the center of the seasonal display house had been cleared & paved, with a few benches & planters set in a symmetrical pattern.  I liked the open space, which had been cluttered before.  But I thought the planters were tacky.  The planting design is consistently excellent, better than I have seen in any other conservatory. 

Built in 1912, the Conservatory is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The Volunteer Park Conservatory is open except on Mondays, even on holidays, from 10 to 4.  Summer hours are 10 to 7. The conservatory has 5 houses, each quite different. There are bromeliad, palm, fern, seasonal display & cactus houses.  It is hard to say which is most interesting.  The seasonal displays are changed 6 times each year.  Plants are often replaced in all of the houses.

I think Volunteer Park is the greatest park in Seattle.  Not only is the park beautiful, but it has a number of first-rate attractions including the conservatory, the Seattle Asian Art Museum, Isamu Noguchi's Black Sun & the panoramic view from the Water Tower.  The park is easily reached from Downtown Seattle by the 10 Capitol Hill bus, which stops at the park.

Friday, September 13, 2013

August in Seattle

Beacon Hill in August 2013. A myriad of plants, both native & exotic, thrive in Seattle.  Yet many home landscapes are little more than lawn left to brown in the perennial summer drought.

Seattle Central Community College on Capitol Hill in August 2013. This building opened in 1970.  Tracks are being laid for the First Hill Streetcar.

Oddfellows Building on Capitol Hill in August 2013.  Built in 1908, this building contains a collection of retail spaces, offices & creative users.  Perhaps the best known is the Century Ballroom.  This part of the hill, the Pike/Pine corridor, has been recently revitalized with new shops, housing, bars & restaurants.

Alcea rosea (Common Hollyhock) in NewHolly in August 2013

Hydrangea macrophylla & Fuchsia magellenica in West Seattle in August 2013

August in Seattle was warmer & wetter than normal.  The mean temperature was 69.4F/20.8C.  The normal mean temperature is 66.1F/18.9C.  Total precipitation was 1.35 inches/ 34.29mm.  Normal precipitation is 0.88 inches/ 22.35mm.  The highest temperature was 88F/31.1C, the lowest 56F/13.3C.  There was 1 day with heavy rain, 4 days with rain, 12 days with light rain, 1 day with fog, 5 days with haze, 10 cloudy days, 14 partly cloudy days & 7 fair days.  It was about as pleasant as August can be.

Friday, September 6, 2013

New Holly 29th Avenue Garden

New Holly 29th Avenue Garden August 2013

The New Holly 29th Avenue Garden is my favorite garden in the New Holly Development at the south end Rainier Valley of Seattle.  It was in sharp contrast to the very nearby & superficially similar New Holly Lucky Garden, which was quite a mess when I saw it in August 2013.  The New Holly 29th Avenue Garden was beautifully maintained.  I lived near New Holly from April to September of 2013.  The New Holly 29th Avenue Garden is located at 29th Avenue S & S Brighton Street.  It covers 2,000 square feet with 11 plots that each measures 100 square feet.  The land is owned by the Seattle Housing Authority.  This garden was established in 2001.  New Holly (formerly Holly Park) was the first of the large Seattle Housing Authority properties to be redeveloped.