Gardening where the sidewalk ends

Windflower Farm October 12, 2009

The Green Lake area of Seattle is swamped on sunny days by folks from all over the city, who come to walk, jog, bike or skate the lake’s 3+ mi. loop, enjoy its ample playground, or go for the goals on its many soccer fields. Houses are spiffy but street gardens are fairly scarce, probably since there is so much foot traffic and car inflow from outside the neighborhood.

So it was with great surprise and delight that I turned a corner there yesterday and found this view:

Unusual street garden with windflowers

Varying fall tree foliage colors – check. Huge raised bed in the parking strip – yup. Massive pottery urns trusted to the elements and passers-by/would-be thieves – yes indeedy. But what really got me was that mass of Japanese anemones.

Winflower abundance on the street

I have had limited success with windflowers in a couple of gardens, maybe I don’t water them enough or they don’t get the right amount of filtered sunlight. All I can say is, these people figured out how to grow them and then really went for it!

We were rushing past, late for lunch, needing burritos, but I wanted to stay in this unexpected approximation of a Japanese woodland for a while longer. I wonder what it looks like when the anemones go underground for the winter?

Fall foliage, windflowers and giant urn


18 Responses to “Windflower Farm”

  1. Hugh Says:

    This looks like my garden. In a few spots, especially the shady areas, the Japanese anemones have taken over. I don’t mind; they are pretty, late-flowering, and pollinating insects love them.

    I like walking around that part of Seattle. About once a year we go to the zoo, and usually pick the wrong (busiest) day and end up parking a distance away, into the neighbourhood. There are Vancouver neighbourhoods very similar in overall look/design, but are far behind in streetside gardening. Van should send its planners down there to learn a few things.

  2. Catherine Says:

    That does look very pretty. I don’t have much luck with them either. They are trying to take over a part of my backyard, and yet they bloom on one foot tall stems. If they looked like your picture I would be happy to have them spread.

  3. Tatyana Says:

    Hi Karen! Nice to see you after a pretty long break! I Anemones look great! I don’t know why I don’t have them.
    Karen, do you remember we talked about one maple tree? We were not sure if it was Amur maple. (I had a post on the 22nd of February about Amut maple.) You were going to watch if the leaves on your tree turn red in autumn. I promised to remind you.

  4. Mary Delle Says:

    Japanese anemones are really wonderful. My garden is too hot for them. Loved that tree also!!

  5. Gail Says:

    It’s really quite a nice planting! I wonder if the jar is attached some way to be tough to remove. I enjoy the anemones in my garden this fall..but one section was eaten badly by some critter. gail

  6. Hey, welcome back! We’ve missed you.

    Very nice flowers in that parking strip. Could almost make me like pink flowers…

  7. Sue Says:

    Lovely! I want to get some more anemones.

  8. Very nice, but I am most impressed with the huge pot. Brave people those!

  9. fairegarden Says:

    No wonder you wanted to stay in that serene spot! Everything about it was perfect. I didn’t realize those were anemones until reading further down at first glance. It looks like they sure can grow in your area! πŸ™‚

  10. Bonnie Story Says:

    Wow, cool! I just discovered one J-anemone blooming in my garden – I must have received some along with a clump of iris from a friend! Nice surprise. And what a lovely place for you to happen upon, quite blogworthy. Nice to see another blog post here, we missed you! – Bonnie

  11. Georgia Says:

    At last! I now know the name of the purple flowers I used to see growing everywhere in Berkeley – Japanese anemone.

    Thanks for the new post, too.

  12. Grace Says:

    I’m laughing. I just deleted my entire reply. Oh well. It’s late and I’m getting rummy and a bit too verbose. Anyway, I’m glad you left a reply on my blog because it alerted me to check your blog to see if you had returned and I see that you have. So welcome back.

    This little vignette is very cool. Love the Japanese Anemones. However I’m with you. It’s pretty risky business leaving that cool urn out. Somebody like ahem… me, might come along and help themselves. Maybe it’s chained down, obscured by foliage and/or moving it sounds an alarm… and… here comes the cops. Uh oh…RUN! πŸ™‚

  13. Megan Says:

    Beautiful display of Japanese anemones, looks like you caught it at exactly the right time to experience the highlight of the year. I’d be curious about the winter garden, too. Sort of makes me want to plant some evergreen ferns and wild ginger in there.

  14. Jen Says:

    I’d take an anemone over a burrito any day! They grow great in our school courtyard, but I haven’t tried them at home yet. Love the color of those!

  15. Jane Says:

    That’s an enticing and delightfully artless display. I’m not as worried as some here about the urn. It looks so big that it would be nearly impossible to move if filled with soil. People here in Portland have pots and urns in their sidwalk gardens quite often. I do agree about concern from the elements, i.e. freezing.
    The pink anemones are pretty in a mass like that. I grew white ones easily in my previous home’s garden, but they get too much shade in their current garden location and refuse to bloom here.

  16. I’m with Jane…seems like people, at least around here, respond positively and respectfully to beautifying efforts. I can see giving away divisions of those anemones to appreciative passers-by. They spread like crazy. I used to leave divisions of all sorts of things in boxes on the sidewalk with “help yourself” signs. The extras disappeared, and often new things would turn up on my doorstep with charming little notes about their care and feeding.

  17. Lovely, lovely and sooooo generous of the people who have trusted the “general public” with these big urns. I love japanese anemones too, but did not have too much luck with them in Sweden. I just got three divisions from Marian, and I am planting them this morning. And then – let the rain continue the whole weekend, I just can’t get enought of it! Have a lovely weekend, Liisa.

  18. Aerie-el Says:

    Anemones make me smile…
    I finally got a post on my blog about the SAGBUTT October meeting! Sorry we’ll miss you, but you know we’ll take photos and post about it.
    Have a great weekend!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s