Friday, November 28, 2014

Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park October 2011

Lincoln Park October 2011

Lincoln Park October 2011

Lincoln Park October 2011

Arbutus menziesii (Madrona) in Lincoln Park October 2011

Lincoln Park is probably the most popular park in West Seattle.  It is one of the largest in Seattle at 135 acres.  It has a number of attractions including trails, picnic shelters, playing fields, views of Puget Sound, the Colman Pool & a long beach.  There are a number of old growth Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) at the top of the bluff in a park-like setting.  The most natural part of the park is the bluff, with fine specimens of Madrona (Arbutus menziesii) & the thin strip of beach with many large driftwood logs.  Unfortunately, the wide path between the bottom of the bluff & the beach, is paved in asphalt.  Lincoln Park is an interesting mix of nature & human development.  The most quirky elements are the Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) groves in the upper area of the park.  Why were these trees planted & why so many?  Lincoln Park is located next to the Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal in the neighborhood of Fauntleroy.  The small Fauntleroy business district, with a few restaurants, is nearby. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Bradner Gardens P-Patch plot B15A

My old plot B29B, as I left it in October 2014.

The 4 photos above are of my new plot B15A in October 2014.

I stopped gardening plot B29B at Bradner Gardens Park in October 2014, when I moved most of the perennials to plot B15A & the Ornamental Border at Bradner Gardens Park.  I spent the season gardening both plots.  B15A was vacant & there were no new gardeners to take B29B.  B15A is considerably larger & sunnier.  I had great crops of bush beans, carrots & chard after amending the soil with Cedar Grove compost & composted steer manure.  I transplanted strawberries from another vacated plot in the spring.  They spread modestly.  I had planted 4 blueberry bushes at B29B in the spring of 2014, before I decided to move to B29A.  I transplanted them in October.

Friday, November 14, 2014

October in Seattle

A mid-century house.

A 1920s house with 2000s townhouses across the alley.

The former Colman School, now the Northwest African American Museum & Urban League Village Apartments.  This building was built in 1909 & is typical of Seattle schools built during that population boom.  Most have been replaced with modern structures.  This empty, historically black school was occupied by a group of 40 activists in 1985, who demanded the museum.  It was a long time coming.  The museum opened on the ground floor in 2008.  The apartments above offer affordable housing to people of any race.  The lawn in front of the building is Jimi Hendrix Park, which should be landscaped sooner or later.  A plan exists.  Jimi Hendrix was born & raised in Seattle, not far from here. 

Blue Dog Pond dog park.

A 1910s house with 2000s townhouses next door.  These photos were taken in October 2014 in the north Rainier Valley, in a part of the Atlantic neighborhood just south of Interstate 90.  It is a transitional area with vacant lots, older homes & newer townhouses built during the housing bubble that burst in 2008.  Plans for more townhouses now exist, with one project under construction.

October 2014 in Seattle was much warmer & wetter than normal.  The mean temperature was 58F/14.4C.  Normal mean temperature is 52.8F/11.6C.  Total precipitation was 6.75 inches/172mm.  Normal precipitation is 3.48 inches/88mm.  The highest temperature was 78F/25.6C on 10/6.  The lowest was 44F/6.7C on 10/26.  Highs were mostly in the 60s & lows were mostly in the 50s.  There were 5 days with heavy rain, 10 days with rain, 22 days with light rain, 20 days with fog (6 of them with visibility at less than 1/4 mile) 20 cloudy days, 9 partly cloudy days & 2 fair days.  Except for the first 7 days, it was a dark & rainy month. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Fatsia japonica

Fatsia japonica on First Hill in Seattle in September 2013

Fatsia japonica 'Variegata' in the Alphabet District in Portland

Fastia japonica at the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland 

Fatisa Japonica in the Pearl District in Portland.  The 3 photos above were taken in October 2014.

Fatsia japonica is a big & beautiful evergreen shrub, with large & distinctive, palmate leaves.  Interesting flowers, carried on broad panicles, resemble an explosion of golf balls.  Fruits are black.  As you would expect, Fatsia japonica is native to Japan & also Korea.  It is often grown in pots placed near entries to buildings, or on shaded patios, where there is enough room.  The size of the plant is limited by the size of the pot, but expect it to reach at least 5 feet tall & almost as wide.  Fatsia japonica can reach 20 feet in the ground.  It is an excellent plant for a large shade garden, lovely against the bare trunks of tall trees.  Fatsia japonica comes in variegated forms such as Fatsia japonica 'Variegata' & Fatsia japonica 'Spider's Web'.  Too much sun will cause leaves to turn yellow.  Click here for more Japanese plants.