As someone who has been gardening in the Emerald City for twenty years now, I am rather opinionated about my green resources. I don’t have a huge garden or a perfect one for that matter, but I do have a kitchen garden that produces a lot of chow for my family of five.
Over the last two decades, I’ve learned to rely on some tried and true resources…the ones that give me great information, top quality reliable starts, friendly service, or just unusual plants that bring joy and diversity to my dinner table and my little urban oasis.
Family run since 1953, this large garden store is located in Shoreline, just north of Seattle. I head to Sky year round. During the winter months, I head there for bags of Cedar Grove Compost, Carpinato Chicken Manure, and soil amendments like Cascade Minerals Remineralizing Soil Booster. At Sky they make it easy for me to haul these hefty bags home because the guys in the pick up section grab the receipt and load everything into the back of my car. (At Home Depot, I’d be humping those bags from cart to car all by myself.)
When things are starting to spring to life in February, I rely on Sky’s massive greenhouse for inspiration and much needed respite from the dreary weather because the greenhouse is filled with primroses and forced bulbs. The staff is always informative and they have shared tons of information with me all these years. This is also when I start to mooch around their vast selection of seeds, potato starts, and vegetable starts.
Tucked into a residential neighborhood, Swanson’s is where I have purchased all my edible fruit trees and berries over the years. My collection is pretty big now–two figs, columnar apples, grafted plum, espaliered cherry and pear, plus an array of raspberries and loganberries. Their dwarf fruit trees perform beautifully in my little urban yard. If you want to add some fruit trees to your garden, be sure to check out their Bare Root Sale coming up from February 11 to March 6th. Bare root fruit trees and berry canes are deeply discounted so it’s a great time to stock up and save. If you want information on Fruit Tree Health Care, check out this seminar being held at the nursery on January 23rd.
When I first moved to Seattle in 1995, I loved my new gardening climate but I had a lot to learn. I think it was the landlord at our little rental house who tipped me off to Tilth. And, oh what a great tip it was! Located in Wallingford at the Good Shepherd Center, Tilth became a wealth of inspiration for me. I became a member and visited their demonstration garden often. It was their hotline, however, that really got me digging. Whenever I had a random question, I’d call and they would answer. Admittedly, I haven’t had to call very often these days but it’s worth noting that their website is an excellent resource. Clearly their communal impact has expanded far beyond that land line I used to call. So, if you aren’t familiar with Tilth, check them out and mark your calendar for their annual March Edible Plant Sale on March 12th.
Although I haven’t been to the flower show in a couple years, I plan to go this year. For many years, my husband and I would go to the show, happily poking around and getting ideas, tips, and advice. For a while there it seemed that the show was losing some momentum so we didn’t go, but this year it looks like they have their game on big time. Themed “America the Beautiful,” the show will feature 20 theme gardens, the massive marketplace, and a very impressive lineup of seminars covering everything from gardening with children to creating outdoor decor on a dime.
So even though it’s still rather dark and dreary out here in the Emerald City, rest assured that there are lots of delicious gardening resources ready to wet your whistle for the sunny summer months ahead. Do you have a favorite garden resource?