Friday, March 28, 2014

Ashland Lakes Trail

Beaver Plant Lake, Ashland Lakes Trail August 2012

Spiraea douglasii (Hardhack) Ashland Lakes Trail August 2012

Lysichiton americanum (Skunk Cabbage) Ashland Lakes Trail August 2012

Upper Ashland Lake August 2012

Upper Ashland Lake August 2012

Click here for more photos of the Ashland Lakes Trail.

The Ashland Lakes Trail is a very pleasant & fairly easy hike in the Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest on the Mountain Loop Highway in Snohomish County, Washington.  The flora here is different from that on other hikes in the area, because it is very boggy.  At least, I could see that it was very boggy at other times of the year.  In August 2012, it was fairly dry.  The boardwalks (then being repaired) that circled Upper Ashland Lake seemed pointless.  I think I would rather have gone earlier in the summer when the water was more abundant.  Nevertheless, Upper Ashland Lake was lovely & Beaver Plant Lake was more beautiful still.  There was plenty of Spaghnum (Peat Moss) & Lysichiton americanum (Skunk Cabbage) both evidence of a swampy environment.  The Mount Pilchuck Natural Resource Conservation Area is one of the wettest places in Washington, with between 100 and 180 inches of annual precipitation, about the same as the Hoh Rain Forest.  The trail begins at 2,200 feet in elevation & climbs to 3,000 feet.  It is 5.5 miles round trip.

Friday, March 21, 2014

New Holly Rockery Community Garden & Market Garden

New Holly Rockery Community Garden & Market Garden in August 2013

New Holly Rockery Market Garden in August 2013 

New Holly Rockery Market Garden in August 2013 

New Holly Rockery Community Garden & Market Garden Tool Shed & Greenhouse in August 2013 

New Holly Rockery Community Garden in August 2013

The best thing about the New Holly Rockery Market Garden is that you can buy fresh produce here during the growing season.  It is located not far from the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr Way S & S Othello Street, & the Othello Station, on S Holly Park Drive between 40th Avenue S & Rockery Drive S. The whole place is a bit of a mess & the community garden looks rather forlorn.  The market garden is approximately 16,000 square feet & has 8  gardeners, mostly southeast Asian & living in Seattle Housing Authority low-income housing at New Holly.  It was built in 2002.  The community garden has 23 plots on 6,000 square feet of land owned by the Seattle Housing Authority.  It was established in 2005 right next to the market garden at the north end of New Holly Central Park, which is a pleasant & ample park space.

Friday, March 14, 2014

February in Seattle

The Dexter Horton Building opened in 1924 on 2nd Avenue in Downtown Seattle.  Like many buildings of this period, it is clad in white terracotta tile.

Helleborus niger 'Ivory Prince' in the Ell Alley Garden.

Helleborus x hybridus in the Ornamental Border at Bradner Gardens Park.

Euphorbia characias in the Ornamental Border at Bradner Gardens Park.  All photos were taken in February 2014.

February 2014 in Seattle was colder & significantly wetter than normal.  The mean temperature was 41.7F/5.39C.  The normal mean temperture is 43.4F/6.33C.  Total precipitation was 6.11 inches/155.19mm.  Normal precipitation is 3.5 inches/88.9mm.  There was 2.9 inches/73.66mm of snow.  Average snowfall is 1.7 inches/43.18mm.  The highest temperature was 58F/14.44C on 2/28, the lowest 21F/-6.11C on 2/06.  There were 18 days with light rain, 2 days with snow, 4 days with light snow, 19 days with fog (2 with visibility at less than 1/4 mile) 6 cloudy days, 21 partly cloudy days & 1 fair day.  This was quite a turnabout after 4 months of unusually low rainfall.  On 2/18 the Seattle Times reported that the mountain snowpack, which at the end of January was about 50% of normal for that time of year, had increased to about 80%, relieving fears of a summer water shortage.  February 2014 was cold, wet, dark & dreary.

Friday, March 7, 2014

New Holly Power Garden

 New Holly Power Garden in August 2013

The New Holly Power Garden is located in the New Holly development on Beacon Hill in Seattle.  This charming & well-established garden sits in the City of Seattle Power Line Right of Way on land owned by Seattle City Light.  The Chief Sealth Trail passes by on its way to other community gardens, including the New Holly Youth & Family Community Garden, not far to the north.  I like this vibrant & slightly chaotic garden very much.  There is almost a rural feel to the site.  It is an excellent use of land under power lines.  There are 28 plots on 12,000 square feet.  The garden was established in 2003.