Can you believe it has been 80 degrees off and on already this year? Summer is suddenly upon us. We've been cracking on at Stone Soup Gardens this year, so much so that I haven't had a chance to tell you about all the cool gardens we've been creating. This one is particularly close to Stone Soup Gardens heart, as our clients just moved here from Boston to be closer to their grandchild (Little Miss Luna Klein-Harris).
The house initially had a fabulous willow tree in the front yard which was a selling point for the new owners. However, once the fall storms hit last year, the tree split in two with all the rain, and we had no choice but to remove the remainder of the tree. It was a sad day, but it left us with great potential for creating a dappled light garden in front of the house, as well as borders for all of the beds and raingarden. Sometimes, nature destroys and provides.
This project was a huge overhaul! Not only for the garden, but also for the house itself. While we were plugging away on the landscaping, the contractors added a big addition to the home to create a writing nook, as well as indoor access from the garage to the house. Not to mention an entire reconfiguration of the existing space.
Stone Soupers had their hands full as well. We created a new retaining wall around the perimeter of the yard. We interspersed mortarted stone with hand laid stone, as well as a more traditional tumbling rock wall. We built new pathways around the front yard, and added stairs from the driveway up to the entrance of the house for ease of access.
And that is just the front of the house! Along the back of the house, we installed a large cistern. On the side we built out several flower beds using the logs from the old willow tree. We also created a kidney-shaped mortared stone raised bed. Between the garage and the neighbors house we will be installing a flagstone pathway, along with a sun shaped inlaid flagstone patio in the nook outside the back door.
Pretty great, right? Here is the finished garden. We are super pleased with how it turned out. What do you think?
Article By Hannah Kett, The Nature Conservancy - Cities Program Manager
Photo by Hannah Letinich
A year ago, the parking lot at Kent Hillside Church was just that — a parking lot, with moss growing on the cracks and an almost constant stream running along the bottom of it. Today, it is hard to picture what it used to look like. Now, it is now home to 50 garden plots, four cisterns, a tool shed and blossoming community.
You want to read more, don't you?
Keep Reading Here......
Have I mentioned how really spectacular it is that we were chosen to do the design and installation for the Paradise Parking Plots Community Garden? Not to mention that we get to work regularly with World Relief Seattle and the unforgettable Tahmina Martelly. Take a quick gander around 4.10 at the work being done at Paradise. It is truly remarkable and inspirational.
And - come to the Grand Opening at Hillside Church on May 9th - 6 - 8 pm!
Mark your calendar for the grand opening of our community garden! See the parking lot turned garden, and help us celebrate the kick off of the growing season. Join us for tours of the garden, speakers, international food tasting, planting in the demonstration beds, sidewalk chalk, games, face painting, and more!
Address: Hillside Church 930 E James St, Kent, WA 98031
We are converting an acre of paved parking lot space and transforming it into the Paradise Parking Plots community garden with 50 plots, where refugees, immigrants and local community members can gather to grow culturally appropriate foods that promote a healthier lifestyle, improve food access, foster economic independence, and build community. Further, this garden will provide a much needed space for interactive nutrition and health education of youth and adults in the Kent community.
Design a Rain Garden. Enjoy free food. Impact your community.
Creative and innovative middle and high school students are invited to help us design a rain garden for the amazing Paradise Parking Plots Community Garden.
FREE, but registration is required so we can plan food and material!
REGISTER HERE: goo.gl/oF7ckD
During this two-day engineering design workshop, students will work with Paradise Parking Plots Landscape Designers Jake Harris and Marco Downs from Stone Soup Gardens to answer the questions “Where are the best places to put a rain garden in order to reduce stormwater pollution?” and “What types of plants should we put in the rain garden?”
PART ONE: 1:30-3:30 Wednesday, March 28: Rain Garden Engineering
PART TWO: 1:30-3:30 Wednesday, April 4th: Rain Garden Plant Selection
WHERE: Hillside Church, 930 E James St, Kent, WA 98031
WHY YOU SHOULD ATTEND:
1. Get involved with your community & earn Service Learning Hours
2. Increase your knowledge of rain garden engineering.
3. Tour the amazing “Paradise Parking Plots” Community Garden.
4. Help reduce polluted stormwater runoff in Mill Creek
5. Enjoy delicious free food.
INFO or QUESTIONS….?
Contact Cassandra - firstname.lastname@example.org
FREE, but registration is required so we can plan food and material!
REGISTER HERE: goo.gl/oF7ckD
A great big thank you to City People's Garden Store for hosting Jake Harris to talk about Raingarden plants and stormwater infrastructure in January! We had a few photos from the event that we wanted to share. Check our Education page for more great upcoming opportunities to connect and learn about plants!
Stone Soup Gardens will be speaking about how we create community and residential urban farms. We'll be showcasing some cool current and past projects including developing P-Patches, transforming a street into a community farm to supply the food bank, and turning a 2-acre parking lot into a community farm for refugees. Stone Soup Gardens would love to model our work as a career path for others interested in Urban Farming and will share some of our challenges and successes.
About the Urban Ag Food Summit:
Do you enjoy gardening, science, local food and being outside? Curious about sustainability and permaculture? You won’t want to miss the Urban Ag Food Summit, a two-day event at Highline College. This year’s theme is Career Paths in Urban Agriculture.
All activities are free and open to the public.
Enjoy community resource tables with information and activities ranging from small business development to native pollinator habitat to permaculture. Experts will be available to talk about your ideas.
Location: Highline College, Des Moines, WA - Building 8
For more information:
Saturday, January 27, 2018, 10 - 11 am
City People's Garden Store, 2939 E Madison Street, Seattle
Free - but you must RSVP!
Learn From Edible Rain Garden Pioneer Jake Harris about how to incorporate delicious and Beautiful plants into Green Stormwater infrastructure at your home or community space. Our Plant Pallet focuses on how to fulfill our clients’ needs with Edible, Native and Wildlife Habitat plants. We will talk through our favorites in those categories and provide space for questions about how best to work Rain Gardens into your plan. This is a great class for Homeowners, Contractors and Designers who are looking to expand their pallet.
Jake Harris founded Stone Soup Gardens and has been installing Rain Gardens and Cisterns with Seattle's Rainwise Program since the program began in 2010. He is excited to share this class with the City People’s Community.
A Rainwise Contractor Fair will happen after this event from 11 - 1 pm. Join us for more information!
This event is free. Would you like to attend? Please email email@example.com to RSVP.
You may not know this about Stone Soup Gardens, but we secretly like to make animal topiary out of shrubbery. Take this formative juniper for example, just yearning to break free of its confines and become....
A fin, an eye, a tail, what a lark! Jake dove deep into the bush cutting and weaving and removing years of old branches, and soon you could feel it begin to float. But what the heck is it? A shark?
A hack job from above, to say the least, but walk out your front door and what do your eyes feast? A humpback breaching above mulch water, a topiary creation to embarrass son and daughter. A wire and a branch weave will add to the tension, bringing a whale to comprehension. The visual aids of pictures and toys assist in the work of this big bearded boy.
So away we rode on a cetacean creation, a juniper humpback that swims with elation, South on 49th street is its forward direction, 50% scale done to topiary perfection.
For fun - here are a few of our other topiary creations:
Fall is here and we couldn't be more excited about our recent addition to the Stone Soup Family: The Starlight Hideout. Aptly named by our client's kids who are super stoked to have this little gem all to themselves. Earlier this year we built the fence in this backyard, along with a couple of raingardens in the front yard. For a look back on the project, click here.
But first, I introduce you to our new treehouse:
Isn't it wonderful! So much fun to design and build, and a great tree to build it in. This hideout comes with a selection of fairies, a fairy nest, and loads of little charms to keep the parental spirits away.
The raingardens in the front of the property are also looking pretty great with all of the recent rain we've received. Our clients opted for a nice mix of wildflowers, ground cover, and sedge to provide lots of colorful layers.
Interested in having a treehouse build in your yard? Whether its for cats, chickens, children, or perhaps just for you - give us a call and we can get the ideas flowing.
This is how Stone Soup Gardens rolls - check out our blog for current, upcoming, and past projects, events, and other super cool stuff worth mentioning.