Seattle's Queen Anne Neighborhood News Blog


Entries Tagged as 'Gardens'

Add more trees to Queen Anne! Seattle reLeaf free tree program opens Monday

August 3rd, 2014 by Laura

Queen Anne Boulevard trees 7th Ave W

Queen Anne Boulevard trees

It’s that time of year, Seattle reLeaf is kicking off its free trees program! As some of us dodge from one side of the street to another as we seek shade on daily summer walks or runs, the idea of more trees is nothing but goodness.

The application process for the Trees for Neighborhoods program opens at 10am tomorrow, Monday, August 4th. Seattle households can receive up to four free trees via the program.

The program has been operating since 2009, planting more than 4,000 trees in yards and along streets. You can check out this year’s available trees online.

Trees for Neighborhoods participants receive:

reLeaf Tree Program

  • Free trees (up to 4 per household) – includes a variety of small, medium, and large trees appropriate under power lines, along the street, and in the yard.
  • A watering bag for each tree
  • Training on proper planting and care
  • Assistance applying for street tree planting permits
  • Ongoing care reminders and workshop opportunities, such as pruning

If you’d like more info on the program, visit reLeaf online, call 206-615-1668, or send e-mail.

If you’re interested in adding trees to your yard or parking strip, mark your calendar for tomorrow at 10am for the best selection of free trees!

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Two free library events for gardeners this weekend

May 10th, 2014 by Laura

QALibraryWe’re expanding our scope just a bit, one neighborhood over, to give gardeners the heads up on two free classes presented by the Seattle Public Library. One is today at 1pm at the Magnolia branch, the other is tomorrow at our own Queen Anne Branch.

Details are below:

Food Grown Right, In Your Backyard 
Magnolia Branch
Saturday, May 10
1:00 to 2:30pm
Want to grow food in your yard or balcony this season? Brad Halm, co-owner of The Seattle Urban Farm Company and co-author of the edible garden primer, “Food Grown Right, in your Backyard,” will guide you through designing your own backyard farm. You’ll learn how to design and construct your own vegetable garden.

Dealing with Summer Pests in the Garden with Seattle Tilth
Queen Anne Branch
Sunday, May 11
2:00 to 3:30pm
Seattle Tilth will help you organically deal with pests, weed and disease control in your garden. Tilth will discuss integrated pest management practices as well.

If you’re interested in vegetable gardening or keeping those pesky pests away and weeds at bay, check out these free classes!

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Get in touch with nature and learn about Queen Anne trees at Saturday’s Tree Walk

April 9th, 2014 by Laura

Tree AmbassadorYou may recall our post on Tree Ambassadors back in February, the city of Seattle’s reLeaf program was looking for volunteers to speak for our neighborhood trees – hands have been raised and the first Queen Anne Tree Walk is this Saturday!

The walk covers the northwest portion of the top of Queen Anne, beginning at Coe Elementary School (2424 7th Ave W) this Saturday, April 12th at 10am. The walk will be a 2-hour guided tour of trees along a portion of Queen Anne Boulevard, as well as some off-the-beaten path trees.

Tree Walk map

The Queen Anne Tree Walk is free and open to all. You can RSVP online or just meet up with the group in front of Coe Elementary School.

For more information on the walk or to become a Tree Ambassador, visit the city’s Tree web site or contact them via email.

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Picture Perfect Queen Anne helps the Galer Stairs get a makeover

September 22nd, 2013 by Laura

We’ve written about Picture Perfect Queen Anne (PPQA) before, but as a quick refresher: they’re the community group that helps keep up the plantings along Queen Anne Ave N between Galer and McGraw. PPQA is an all-volunteer alliance with the goal of a pedestrian-friendly, safe, vibrant main street that everyone can enjoy.

PPQA Galer StairsNow, thanks to PPQA, the stretch of the Galer Stairs that goes from Queen Anne Ave N up to 1st Ave N is getting a makeover that’ll benefit everyone who uses the stairway.

The Queen Anne-Magnolia Neighborhood District Council and SDOT selected the Galer Stairs project for revitalization via the Department of Neighborhood’s Neighborhood Projects Fund – and the following work will take place over the next couple of months:

PPQA Galer Stairs Light

Lightpole on Galer Stairs
soon to be revealed!

  • install ADA approved metal handrails
  • replace the rusting, broken chain-link and wooden fencing on the landing levels with formed concrete so that the concrete banisters will be uniform up and down the staircase
  • replace crumbling erosion-control retaining walls
  • remove invasive plants on both sides of the stairs–from behind the stonewalls on QA Ave up to the first landing
  • landscape the cleared areas with drought tolerant plants including the wisteria on the south side
  • remove vegetation obliterating the light standard at the top of the staircase

You can help PPQA keep Queen Anne Ave N beautiful by donating via its web site. An individual can contribute as little as $5 per month or a one-time gift of your choice.

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Volunteers needed to help beautify entrance to Queen Anne this Sunday

May 17th, 2013 by Laura

Thousands of Queen Anne residents and visitors alike reach our neighborhood via the 7-way stop where our “Welcome to Queen Anne” sign greets them. However, the intersection needs some sprucing up, so that everyone knows that we love our neighborhood and take pride in its unique aspects like that crazy intersection!

QA Welcome Sign

After Sunday, you’ll be able to read the full sign!

You’re likely familiar with Picture Perfect Queen Anne from past Queen Anne View posts – well, some neighbors in East Queen Anne have partnered with PPQA to help beautify the entrance to our neighborhood with plantings and graffiti removal this weekend.

In a partnership with PPQA, the formerly maintained gardens at the  7-way stop are going to get back in ship-shape, and residents are looking for volunteers to help prune, weed, dig, haul or bring refreshments to a work-party this Sunday, May 19 at 8am.

7 Way StopIn addition to the garden rehab, neighbors will be using paint donated from Seattle Country Day School to re-paint and cover graffiti on the Queen Anne mural under the Aurora Bridge (northbound 99 entrance).

Whether your skills or interests lean to gardening or painting, there’s an opportunity to help beautify one of the major entrances to Queen Anne! And, if you can’t make tomorrow’s event, you can donate to a fund for mulch, new plants, and ongoing maintenance via Casa Latina.

To help out via hard work or donated funds, contact Sharon Parker via email or 206.229.3681. Or, just show up bright and early Sunday morning at the 7-way stop and help beautify Queen Anne!

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Vow to garden without pesticides and get a free ladybug sign

May 9th, 2013 by Laura

Pesticide Free SignLocal gardeners can take a pledge to be pesticide-free, joining over 800 parks and trails in King County that use few to no pesticides – and get a free Pesticide Free Zone sign.

The ladybug signs are free to households gardening without pesticides, courtesy of King County and Washington Toxics Coalition. If you maintain your yard or garden with no pesticides, take the pledge and get your free sign at the Washington Toxics Pesticide Free Zone web site.

According to Anna Dyer of Washington Toxics Coalition:

“We are pleased to partner with King County to offer families an attractive way to share their pesticide-free yards with neighbors and friends. Pesticide Free Zone signs spread the word that our yards and parks can be beautiful and healthy for kids, adults and wildlife.”

And, if you’re looking for a pesticide-free park, you can locate one in King County via an online map of public places in King County where park staff use few to no pesticides.

For help with pesticide alternatives, you can visit the Grow Smart, Grow Safe site or contact the Garden Hotline at 206.633.0224.

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Free woodchips available at Gilman Gardens for your spring yard work

May 5th, 2013 by Laura

Free Wood Chips

FREE woodchips ready for the taking!

Gilman Gardens, the self-sufficient community garden on West Queen Anne ordered two truck loads of wood chips for spring garden work… then the service showed up with four. Now that Gilman Gardens has used what they need from the pile of wood chips, they’re now offering the rest of them for free to the community.

The wood chips are located in the median just north of the main garden (down the hill on Gilman). There are about 15 cubic yards left, and it’s first-come, first-serve. All you need to do is show up at Gilman Drive and 13th Ave W, and have a way to haul what you need away – by the bucket, wheelbarrow, or truck!

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Spot a bee swarm? Here’s what you need to know

April 24th, 2013 by Laura

BeesPlaqueThe bees are buzzing around Queen Anne, and it’s the season for bee swarms. Jeff Steenbergen, a local Queen Anne beekeeper and Trustee for the Puget Sound Beekeepers Association (PSBA), has written a great, informative article on honey bee swarms and how local beekeepers can help relocate these newly formed colonies of bees. I’m turning the post over to Jeff today – all the info you need to know is below, the swarm pictures are courtesy of his blog.

Bee Swarms Creating a Buzz
By Jeff Steenbergen

With recent losses to bee populations worldwide seeing a few bees around the garden is something to celebrate, but what do you do when a few thousand bees show up?  Longer days bring a surge of blooming trees and flowers which create a short window of time for healthy honey bee colonies to split and create new colonies. When a colony splits beekeepers call the part that leaves the hive to a temporary location a swarm.  Swarming is the natural process that honey bee hives go through to create new colonies and spread their genetics to new locations. If you can remove yourself for a moment from the frightening concept of 10-15 thousand bees hanging on a branch or off the side of a building a swarm can be an amazing experience to observe.

Bee SwarmThe swarming process starts when the queen lays eggs in several cells that will be used to raise new queens. These eggs will take 16 days to mature and the mother queen will need to leave several days before the new daughter queens emerge, battle and the strongest takes over. However the mother queen can’t leave as soon as she lays these eggs and needs to prepare herself to leave the hive by stopping egg production so she will be light enough to fly to a new home. Flying is something the queen only does after she emerges to mate and possibly again later in life if her hive is successful enough to swarm.

Once the mother queen is ready she will fly out of the hive a short distance and will rest on something branch like usually several feet off the ground. She will be followed by about 2/3 of the bees in the hive that will go with her to build a new home. At this point the separation is final and the process of finding a new home begins for the swarm. While it may just look like a big mass of bees they are actually doing something quite amazing and they are making decisions on possible new home locations to select the best one. The oldest bees scout new locations and present options to the members of the swarm and in a matter of a few hours or sometimes days they will pick a new home.  During this time the queen is protected but is not part of the decision making process, in fact she doesn’t know where the new home is until she is guided there with the rest of the swarm!

Bee Swarm WallSwarms are vulnerable outside the hive to weather, animals and more importantly people and need to find a new home quickly. In a rural setting this is usually a hollow tree but in the city with loss of habitat this can take the form of a wall or attic where they become a problem.  If you encounter a swarm it is important to call a beekeeper quickly before they leave to a new home.  While many services can remove bees from inside a wall it is usually a fatal process for the colony as it is very easy for the queen to become injured during the extraction process. Pollinator numbers are dropping at alarming rates and every swarm presents an excellent opportunity for each of us to help them succeed.

Beekeepers offer FREE pickup and removal of swarms that are easy to reach and usually show up surprisingly fast for people that also have a day job.  Local beekeeper clubs annually publish beekeeper numbers on swarm lists by area and should be your first resource to finding a local beekeeper. If you are unable to find a local bee club or swarm list try calling a non-emergency number like the local fire department and they should be able to point you to the local beekeeper for your area.  If you have a swarm list follow the directions listed there which usually are to call beekeepers until you get someone to confirm they can drop everything to rush out to save the swarm.  While you wait for the beekeeper the best thing you can do is get your camera ready and make sure people stay 10-15 feet away from the swarm.

When a beekeeper arrives they will remove the swarm by transferring them into a hive box.  Bees in a swarm are less likely to sting because they have nothing to defend and are gorged with honey so they have energy to build a new colony. The beekeeper may work bare handed or in a full suit to transfer the football sized swarm of bees into a hive with a shake of a branch or by the handful if they are on a wall. Once the majority of the bees are in the hive the beekeeper will wait for any stray bees to find their way into the hive box before closing the hive up to take to their new home.

If you are in the greater Seattle area please refer to the Puget Sound Beekeepers Association (PSBA) swarm list to find a beekeeper.

If you are outside of the Seattle area you can refer to the Washington State Beekeepers Association (WASBA) website to find a local swarm list.

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Have a beautiful garden you’d like to share? Enter your submission today for the QAHS Garden Tour

April 20th, 2013 by Laura

Last month we put out the call for nominations for the Queen Anne Historical Society’s garden tour. Perhaps it was a bit early, as mid-March wasn’t very spring-like – very little plants were blooming and the trees still looked naked without their foliage. However, it’s a month later, and neighborhood yards and gardens are literally springing to life.

Parsons Garden
Photo courtesy of QAHS

Perhaps you’ve noticed that your garden is looking particularly good as it starts to fill in, or you’ve been putting in a lot of up-front effort to get a spectacular show this year. Well, the Queen Anne Historical Society is still seeking nominations for a garden tour – so get your submission in!

The Queen Anne Park & Garden Tour is tentatively schedule for mid-May – assuming there are enough gardens nominated. So, take a look around this week, especially as the sunny weather moves in mid-week, and answer the call for submissions of private gardens and public spaces. The gardens don’t have to be immaculate nor do they need be historic, just spaces with great stories to tell.

Here’s the relevant info you’ll need to submit your garden:

  • Please submit one image that best represents your garden or public space and a short paragraph description of its history and why it’s important to you. Email your submissions to Aaron Luoma
  • Submission deadline: April 30th
  • The tour is tentatively schedule for the middle of May; dates will be published after April 30th.
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    Nominate your favorite garden for QAHS’s Queen Anne Park & Garden Tour

    March 14th, 2013 by Laura

    You’ve likely seen garden tours in other neighborhoods, and now, thanks to the Queen Anne Historical Society (QAHS), we’ll have one of our own! The Queen Anne Park & Garden Tour is tentatively schedule for mid-May, and they have a call for submissions of private gardens and nominations of public spaces.

    Who better to describe this exciting new tour and the call for submissions than the QAHS? I’m turning this one over to them – check out the details below and enter your submissions by April 30th.

    Queen Anne Park & Garden Tour
    Presented by the Queen Anne Historical Society

    Parsons Garden
    Photo courtesy of QAHS

    We can often walk by outdoor spaces without any knowledge of their design, stewardship, or history. These can be common spaces we interact with daily and secret gardens only visible from small meandering paths.

    The Queen Anne Historical Society is pleased to announce a tour of public and private parks and gardens of our community. We aim to provide a tour that enlightens us all to these wonderful creative spaces rich with stories and colorful foliage. Each stop will feature lively commentary, experts on garden design and the stewards of the spaces. We all ready have a couple locations set, but would like your help to discover more of these rare gems that make our neighborhood great!

    Queen Anne Lace
    Photo courtesy of QAHS

    Do you have a garden or outdoor space that you would like to share with your community? Do you have a reclusive neighbor who has an amazing garden, that you have always wanted to see more of, but haven’t had a good excuse to inquire about it? These gardens don’t have to be immaculate, and they don’t necessarily have to be historic, just spaces with great stories to tell.

    Please submit one image that best represents your garden or public space and a short paragraph description of its history and why it’s important to you.

    If you don’t have a garden to share, but would like to join us on this tour, you can become a member of the Queen Anne Historical Society to stay updated, follow QAHS on Facebook, or contact QAHS via email.
    [Editor’s Note: I’ll also be posting info on the tour here on Queen Anne View]

    Submission deadline: April 30th
    Email your submissions or interest in the tour to Aaron Luoma

    The tour is tentatively schedule for the middle of May; dates will be published after the submission deadline, as we don’t want to miss anyone!

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    Apply for free Native Plant Stewardship Training and help out the SW Queen Anne Greenbelt

    March 12th, 2013 by Laura

    If you’ve seen our calls for Southwest Queen Anne Greenbelt volunteers, but thought “I don’t have the skills or knowledge to help out” – well, two things. 1) anyone can help, and 2) if you want to make it official, you can become a Washington Native Plant Society (WNPS) Native Plant Steward.

    The WNPS stewards help save Seattle parks, so the skills you gain as a steward can reach beyond Queen Anne. Right now, the WNPS and the Green Seattle Partnership are offering 100 hours of free stewardship training.

    Native Plant Steward training will teach local native plant identification, Puget Sound ecology, current restoration and landscaping skills, and how to control invasive weeds. Once you have the training under your belt, you can help restore Seattle’s urban forests, salmon streams, and wetlands – like the Southwest Queen Anne Greenbelt urban forest. You can also apply your knowledge in creating native plant gardens and educating the public (kids and adults alike) about native plants and habitats.

    The 100 hour course includes classroom training and field trips beginning April 19th and running through June 28th – with applications due April 8th. The course is free, all you need to do is commit to 100 hours of volunteer service over the year following the training. Enrollment is limited, so if you’re interested, submit your online application today.

    If you have any questions, contact Joy Wood, WNPS Stewardship Coordinator, via email or at 206.963.5704.

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    Help the Southwest Queen Anne Greenbelt This Saturday

    November 28th, 2012 by Laura

    You may recall our post on the Green Seattle Day earlier this month – it was part of an ongoing effort to revitalize the Southwest Queen Anne Greenbelt by clearing ivy and planting over 200 native trees and shrubs. The event rallied roughly 35 people on November 3rd (thank you, volunteers!) and the next step is prepping for 400+ trees that will be planted in January and February. Plus, if you like eradicating ivy, that task is on the list too, as well as mulching and creating more survival rings.

    So, grab your clippers and gloves and sign up for this Saturday’s event at the Southwest Queen Anne Greenbelt. You’ll need to dress for the weather, wear sturdy shoes, and make sure you have long sleeves and pants if you’re up to working with blackberry removal. If you don’t have gloves or tools, just let the coordinator know via your RSVP, and they’ll be provided for you.

    And, a heads up to save the date – the next step in rehabbing the greenbelt is planting live Christmas trees left over from the holidays, so mark the morning of January 12th on your calendar, more details to follow.

    Key Details:

    • What: SW Queen Anne Greenbelt – mulch, prep, ivy removal
    • Where: W. Lee and Elliott Ave W., park behind Super Supplements, 1154 Elliott Ave W
    • When: Saturday, December 1st, 9am-noon

    Note: please RSVP so the coordinator can allot the appropriate amount of extra gloves, tools and mulch.

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