Friday, July 25, 2014

South Fork Sauk River

South Fork Sauk River September 2012

The South Fork Sauk River runs along the Mountain Loop Highway in the Cascade Mountains of Snohomish County, Washington.  This is the most scenic stretch of the highway, with views of the tumbling rapids & huge boulders within the river in a very extended waterfall.  There are many places to stop and access the river, but no designated picnic areas.  Stop for a look, or take your picnic down to one of the boulders along the river bank.  It's a magical experience.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Hillside Garden P-Patch

The Route 8 bus stops here.

Martin Luther King Jr Way S. All photos are of the Hillside Garden P-Patch in July 2013

The Hillside Garden P-Patch is one of the most visible community gardens in Seattle.  Terraced upward from the very bottom of the west slope of Mt Baker Ridge, this garden lies along busy Martin Luther King Jr Way S near S McClellan Street.  The gardeners here are all tenants of the Mt Baker Housing Association, which provides low-income housing in a small campus above the garden.  Many of the residents have been southeast Asian immigrants & refugees.  They began terracing & gardening the slope independently, after their arrival in the late 1970s.  The garden became a p-patch under the supervision of the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods in 2001.  Concrete retaining walls were added & plumbing installed.  There are 38 plots on 8,000 square feet, with plenty of space to expand.  The land is owned by the Seattle Fleets & Facilities Department.

Friday, July 11, 2014

June in Seattle

A Little Free Library which are popping up all over Seattle.

All photos were taken on Beacon Hill in June 2014.

June in Seattle was warmer & much drier than normal.  The mean temperature was 62F/16.7C.  The normal mean temperature is 60.9F/16.1C.  Total precipitation was 0.73 inches/18.54mm.  Normal precipitation is 1.57 inches/39.88mm.  The highest temperature was 79F/26.1C on 6/25, the lowest was 48F/8.9C on 6/16.  There was 1 day with rain, 12 days with light rain, 8 days with fog (2 of them with visibility at less than 1/4 mile) 14 cloudy days, 15 partly cloudy days & 1 fair day.  Seattleites enjoyed 2 of their largest festivals at the end of June: the Fremont Fair 6/20-22, which included the Fremont Solstice Parade on 6/21 & Seattle PrideFest 6/28-29 (the 40th gay pride celebration in Seattle) with over 100,000 people attending.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Sidewalk Gardens on 30th Avenue S

Choisya ternata 'Aztec Pearl' (Mexican Orange) & a lot more.

Persicaria microcephala 'Red Dragon' (Knotweed) with Anthriscus sylvestris 'Raven's Wing' (Wild Chervil) behind it.

Hosta, of course.

Choisya ternata 'Sundance' (Mexican Orange) & Clematis 'Jackmanii'

This garden path leads off from the sidewalk.

Berberis thunbergii 'Crimson Pygmy' & Yucca filamentosa.  Photos taken in May 2014.

I've noticed that sidewalk gardens tend to proliferate in certain blocks.  While many blocks have no sidewalk gardens, just lawn & maybe street trees, other blocks have several extensive plantings near the sidewalk & between the sidewalk & the street.  This particular block of 30th Avenue S, on Mt Baker Ridge near Bradner Gardens Park, has at least 5 sidewalk gardens adjacent & directly across the street.  This is certainly a boon to passersby.  The pictures above belong to 3 of these gardens.  Not all of this is what the Seattle Department of Transportation would like to see done in the parking strip.  They insist that plants be kept to no more than 3 feet in height for visibility & traffic safety.  (Trees are the exception to this rule, but require permits.)  In my opinion, it is better to plant shrubs that don't grow much more than 3 feet tall, especially on a corner, where they will certainly block views of traffic.