Getting started

June 12, 2011

I finally got around to planting a few things at the Ballard P-patch this weekend. I have to admit I’m a little intimidated trying to grow new veggies. I don’t want to spend a ton of money and then somehow kill all the plants. I went to Swanson’s and decided I’d plant 1/2 the plot with flowers and decorative plants and the other 1/2 with edibles.

My favorite flowers are: Peony, Tulips and Lilies. I looked all over for a nice deep red, or peach colored peony, but all they had were white and pink. I went with a light pink color. The bees were all over it.

Ballard P-patch Peony

My Peony

Koda

My lazy companion. He didn't even offer to help.

Balalrd P-patch plot

Getting started on my plot

Balalrd P-patch plot

Lemon cucumber, tomato, chives and bush beans...

I loved the lemon cucumbers we grew on the deck last year. I like how full the plant gets. They are easy to grow and they make me feel somewhat successful as a novice gardener!

I’m going to plant some peppers and maybe some arugula as well. Stay tuned…

hori hori dig dig!

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Woot! We finally finished the traffic circle planting project today. It looks fabulous! We met so many of our neighbors as they drove or walked by and thanked us for our hard work. One lady even told us we were going to heaven for cleaning up the neighborhood. Nice.

Ballard Traffic Circle Before

Before

Ballard Traffic Circle After

After

Ballard Traffic Circle in progress

Planting

We planted Yucca, Oat Grass, Bowles Wallflower, Point Reyes Ceanothus, a few Poppies and a few Echinacea.

Ballard Traffic Circle Plants

A trip to Swanson's Nursery

Ballard Traffic Circle Plan

The Plans

Oh, and we found this while digging: someone’s pet hamster remains. For a second I thought we found someone’s dope stash. We promptly reburied it. J is for Jumper the hamster who apparently died in November of 2009. RIP Jumper.

Hamster remains in the traffic circle

Someone's pet hamster remains...

At the end of the project, I spent the Seattle Small Sparks funds from the city ($599) and only $40 out of pocket. It looks great and I am so glad it’s done. A big thank you to Sean for helping me get this done. Also, to my brother and sister-in-law for pulling out juniper roots with their truck.

Now it’s time to move onto my p-patch plot!

hori hori dig dig!

I have been on the wait list for over 3 years for a plot in a local p-patch. I was on 3 lists actually (the max allowed) with the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. Recently I was contacted by the city to see if I was still interested in a plot at the Ballard P-patch. I don’t think the volunteer appreciated how excited I was. I think she wanted me to stop clapping.

Anyway, I met the garden site coordinator, Roy, who showed me my plot and gave me the rundown on volunteering at the site. My plot is 10′ x 10′ at the edge of the garden. I love the this p-patch because it is off the street and has a large parking lot, so it is relatively quiet compared to some of the p-patches in the city. Check it out:

Ballard P-patch plot

My plot at the edge of the garden

Ballard P-patch plot

A blank slate...

Ballard P-patch

The Ballard P-patch site

The garden also has quite a few plots dedicated to grow food for the Ballard Food Bank. Each Tuesday is a Growing for Giving volunteer night. I like that.

I haven’t decided what to plant here yet. I think I’d like to do a mix of flowers and edibles. Stay tuned…

hori hori dig dig!

Nerd alert: I am totally geeking out on this traffic circle. I love it. I feel more connected with my neighbors and I finally have a little patch of dirt to play in. It has been a work in progress and isn’t even close to being finished, but I wanted to share my progress. I’ve been working with the city and I am the official volunteer of the traffic circle at 28th/59th street. I hope they send me a badge. I applied for a Small Sparks award through the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods to get up to $600 from the city to beautify my TC. I am waiting to hear back from them. Take a look at the before shot:

Ballard Traffic Circle

Before

These are 30-year-old juniper shrubs with a smattering of weeds, leaves and a few pretty flowers. We decided to take out all of the juniper. I didn’t realize what a gigantic pain in the ass that would be. The first day of cleanup we only got 1/2 the job done and filled 10 yard bags full of debris.

Ballard Traffic Circle Cleanup

Day 1 Cleanup

Ballard Traffic Circle Cleanup

Day 2 Cleanup

Treasures found while cleaning out the TC: 3 full cans of Miller High Life that were a bit old, multiple doggie tennis balls, some airline size alcohol bottles (empty), and a little 1 hit hash pipe. Who says it doesn’t pay to volunteer?!

We cut the junipers down to the root, and my next challenge is to find someone to remove them. There are about 6 large roots to be removed. I think it requires a truck and chains. I don’t think the Prius or Subaru will do the job. Although I’m sure it would be fun to watch.

Ballard Traffic Circle Cleanup

Juniper Roots

Once I find out about the city funds for the plants, I can go shopping! Stay tuned…

hori hori dig dig!