Gardening where the sidewalk ends

Donut Store Garden January 28, 2009

After a leisurely sushi lunch the other day, we decided to take a stroll around the Tangletown ‘hood (where Wallingford meets Greenlake in Seattle) to get some fresh, if cold, air and see what’s growing on the street.

Many businesses here don’t bother with street gardens, but we found one that bucks the trend – Mighty-O Donuts, Seattle’s own organic donut store. Yes, I said organic donut store.

I know you’re thinking, what’s the point of an organic donut? Well, I thought the same thing until I tasted their French Toast version that day and realized that I will be back for more in the near future. If I’m going to eat something basically unhealthy, at least it can be a little less bad for me (and the planet), right?

The shop front faces a small arterial, but the side is on a residential street, with many parking strip gardens of great and varied styles. Mighty-O has chosen to put in tough, easy-care plants and they are largely holding up well. Variegated black bamboo harmonizes nicely with the red store siding:

Black bamboo, red wall

The bamboo theme continues across the street in the parking strip, partially camouflaging a power pole:

Variegated bamboo on the street

I wonder if it jumped from one spot to the other – bamboo is kind of notorious for doing that.

This plant hasn’t fared quite so well. Too much coffee and maybe a few impatient dogs, perhaps?

Too much coffee?

Northwest forest natives salal and mahonia (Oregon grape) are hardy, evergreen perennials for tough spots like this.

Washington natives (salal and mahonia)

It always makes me appreciate a business just a little bit extra when I see that they have taken steps to beautify the neighborhood. Thanks, Mighty-O!


(Front door image courtesy of Potjie, via Flickr Creative Commons – since I forgot to take a picture of the actual storefront!)


12 Responses to “Donut Store Garden”

  1. Melanthia Says:

    I love that you had your camera Karen. I can so relate. The black bamboo looks nice against that sienna-colored wall. Is there any clumping variety of its kind? It would be nice mixed in with some we have around our fountain. Nice to see businesses using some natives, too. Of course, it is Mighty-O. Delicious!

  2. Catherine Says:

    I’ve never heard that area called Tangletown before. I have some new trivia now. There is a McDonald’s of all places by us that has landscaped so beautifully I couldn’t believe it. Mostly natives and evergreens.
    I’ll have to remember that place next time we’re in Tangletown.

  3. Racquel Says:

    First off I love Sushi!!!! That is a nice little greenspace outside your Donut place, and I was quite intriqued by the organic donuts! 🙂

  4. gailae Says:

    Another good reason to visit Seattle…Organic donuts! gail

  5. OMG, all you have to do to get my attention is put the word donut in a title…


    Oh yes, I mean, the bamboo is lovely against that wall.


  6. Megan Says:

    “what’s the point of an organic donut?”

    I don’t think I need a point. Any donut sounds delicious. Organic makes it sound healthy, even if it’s not. Now I’m hungry.

  7. Only in Seattle, lol!

    I find it too cool that you find little gardens that the rest of us walk by and don’t even notice. You have definately changed how I walk down the sidewalk!!! Kim

  8. jgh Says:

    I’ve never seen black bamboo before. Or an organic donut for that matter. I like both.

  9. Curmudgeon Says:

    Ah yes, the organic donut! I love a donut that’s tasty yet hefty enough to function as a weapon if need be. But seriously, we love those donuts.

  10. Our landlady planted two beautiful pots of black bamboo as a screen for one of our living room windows. They required a lot of water to get established in year one, but seem to be thriving on the limited rain this year.

  11. kanak Says:

    Surprised to learn that bamboo grows well even in cold areas. Organic donut sounds cool.

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