Friday, April 29, 2011

Whats New?


Red flowering Currant- this one with chartreuse leaves!  Read Paghat's garden 
for more info... needs more shade- but beautiful foliage!!!!

Podocarpus alpinus 'Country park fire'- A low spreading evergreen shrub with bright red berries in fall, clinging to the bronze winter foliage, in spring the new shoots emerge creamy and quickly turn salmon pink then reddish and finally deep green. Low water needs

Podocarpus 'orangeade'  The dramatic orange new spring growth on this upright shrubby conifer becomes green in summer and a deep-bronzy-purple in winter.

Bald cypressPeve Minaret A unique dwarf Bald Cypress is a beautiful majestic pyramidal tree with very delicate, feathery foliage. Prefers moist soil, but will tolerate most conditions. Rare, new and great !

 Katsura tree- A beautiful landscape tree, Katsura tree has many desirable characteristics including a range of colors over the entire year that is second to none. The leaves of this tree emerge, not green, but a beautiful reddish purple. Then as the season progresses the leaves turn dark bluish green. In the fall things get exciting. The fall color of this tree varies from an intense yellow. In some cases, however, they turn a gorgeous apricot orange that is quite memorable. To add to the autumn pizzazz, as the leaves fall they give off a modestly spicy odor making you think of cotton candy. But the performance is not over. Once bereft of leaves, Katsuratree bark takes over the show with a beautiful pattern of slight exfoliation and medium gray color that is generally very handsome.

Elderberry -Intensely flavored fruit with a rich aroma. Bountiful harvest ripens in August. Extremely hardy, tall shrub grows 12-14 ft.  Plant two varieties for improved pollination, extended harvest period and top yields. York—Quickest to bear, often in its second year. Ripens late August. Nova—Great for pies, jelly and wine. Ripens two weeks before York.

Honeyberry  A delicious berry!

Gold leaved Barberry- columnar and shrub

Honeybees arrive and in they go!

 Happy bee keeper! I am trying Carniolan bee's this year. I have not had good luck with Italian bees.
By the way-we have Local honey for sale

 This is how they arrive- in a crate with the queen in her own small crate inside-so they can adapt to her pheromone, and feed her.

 Literally 'shaking' the bees into the hive

 Watching all the bees load into the hive (see the box tilted)
 Checking to see if the Queen went down into the box-Success!!!  She did!
The blanket is to keep her from flying up and away -if we lose the queen-the whole colony will leave.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Eating the Arugula

  We were lucky and got our cilantro, arugula, peas and lettuces planted weeks ago.
We are eating the leafy greens daily.
 I love the nutty flavor of arugula- and I tend to just pick it and eat it when I'm walking past. A very generous leafy green- it bolts in warm weather- I'm trying to be ok with the cold!!!

A perennial leafy green that I often suggest to gardeners is the Rumex or Bloody dock -just cut the flowers off-it will seed. This plant is very pretty, adds depth to wild greens salad, can be stir fried...use like chard.

Our peas are slower. BRRRR....I will be sowing a new crop soon to prolong the harvest.
Here in our climate we can plant peas until mid-June for long season harvests. My personal favorite's are the snow pea, but we all love peas!

If you haven't planted onions or garlic, do so now. For the garlic- I suggest starts at this point.

The soil conditions and the fertilizers are 90% of the success for high yield gardens. If you are starting  your garden this year (or last) with new soil- you are ahead of the game.
However, don't forget to amend the soil AGAIN.
Every time you plant, I strongly suggest you add homemade compost, worm castings, organic fertilizer
or water with compost tea- you will be amazed at the difference.

It is way too cold to even set out any tomato plants! If you've bought them somewhere, keep them indoors until the soil temps are at least 55-60 degrees.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Baby chicks


 We've had chickens for 7 years, and raised them form 2 days old...
so I'm no beginner,
HOWEVER... the current collection of baby chicks we are raising are so cute they make me squeel!
 Our chicken population has declined over the years...
old age, natural causes, very few predator we needed a new clutch to up the egg production. Have you ever tasted FRESH EGGS?
Seriously- there is no way to know until you KNOW the difference.
 We plan to keep 14 of the chicks. A mix, including Americaunas, Gold laced Wyandotte, Silver laced Wyandotte, Australorp, Barred Rock, Rhode Island red and Buff Orpington.

           For me, keeping chickens has been a natural addition to the garden. Whenever we weed the garden or nursery, practically all the weeds go to the chickens. They get so excited to see us walking towards the run. They know we have some exciting new treat for them to peck and scratch at- they are a busy bunch- they need fresh material.
    During the spring growing season I do not let them roam free-No No No! they will scratch up all my plants, eat the seedlings, and make a mess of things. I allow them to free range during the fall and winter and forage to their hearts content, but come spring...sorry gals, weeds and scraps for you till things are growing and well established...UNLESS I plan to watch them close, and then I let them out only for the last hour of sunlight. They will naturally go back to the coop to roost.
 Chickens are so amusing to watch. They have the funniest personalities, and can truly become a family pet. They will follow you if you around like a dog -we start them young, calling out to them when we approach them in the coop (I use the same sing song voice and repeat a phrase- like 'Hi Girls'), feeding them favorite treats, and sitting with them in the yard, resting.
 Isabella was one of those chickens- she was like a puppy. She follwed me everywhere-especially if i had food, or was digging in the soil-WORMS!
Isabella- family pet

We have 16 chicks to sell as pullets (3-6 month old chicks). Mixed breeds, as well as small moveable Coops and runs that house 5 hens, including laying boxes.

Stop in an ask us about chicken care- we are happy to share the knowledge.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dandelion pesto

Look at it this way...make friends -not enemies out of the free greens

Last weekend we collected and ate an entire salad out of wild harvested greens.
Greens collected...

indian plum
wash and toss is all together
I  like to add feta, slivered almonds and cranberries (my favorite is fresh strawberries)
my favorite salad dressing for this one is
balsamic vinegar and honey mixed to taste, with thyme, oregano and sage mixed in...

We also made pesto out of the dandelion greens
Dandelion greens,
 olive oil,
parmesan cheese
lemon juice
pine nuts
blend it all up in a food processor
I don't measure, I just go by taste and consistency
Eat it on pasta
with crackers and red peppers
use as sandwich spread
or any way you want!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

1st Annual Mothers Day Homemade Pie Social

Vera Johnson and Kate McDermott present 

The 1st Annual Mother's Day Homemade Pie Social 

Bring a freshly baked Homemade Pie… Eat Pie and Honor Mom! 

"Pie is a symbol of something bigger than Mom and her way with desserts."  -- Pasquale Le Draqulec 

When: Sunday May 8, 1-4pm 

Where: Village Green Perennial Nursery, Seattle

Cost: $5 admission per person--will benefit The White Center Food Bank 

Who's Invited: All moms and all who have had a mother in their life. 
(That about covers us all!)

RSVP: By May 6 please.

PLEASE! Homemade Pies ONLY!

We will provide plates, napkins, forks, coffee and tea. Please bring a small card to place with your pie, showing the name of the pie, ingredients (needed for those who have allergies) and the name of the piemaker.

All who bring a pie will receive a blue ribbon. 

Village Green Perennial Nursery is a family-owned nursery in White Center-Seattle growing herbaceous perennials and Old Roses using organic and natural gardening practices. Kate McDermott is an award winning pie-maker, teacher, writer and practitioner of kindness.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Biochar farm stove workshop

Biochar farm stove workshop
Join SeaChar and the staff at West Seattle's Village Green Perennial Nursery for a very special  event.  Sat. May 21st,  10am -6pm,  at the Village Green Perennial Nursery
10223 26th Ave SW
Seattle Wa. 98146 

Biochar is charcoal created from dry organic waste materials. Amended to our soils it gives all of us a way to combat climate change by storing long lasting fixed carbon in our gardens or yards. Learn how to make your garden carbon negative and climate friendly, while building healthy soil.
For a $45 donation build and take home a five gallon "GARDEN MASTER Stove". This gardener's version of our "ESTUFA FINCA"  Central America cook-stove, makes clean heat and soil building biochar from your garden and yard wastes. All  tools and materials for building this stove will be provided.

* Along with building stoves, we will be learning about how biochar works and how to use biochar in the garden.

This will also be fund raiser for the "Farm Stove Project" . Learn how  this clean burning, biochar-making technology can build opportunities for woman, fight climate change and save lives and trees in the developing world.

* Bring a lunch, a pair of gloves and if possible a pair of safety glasses

* This will be a full day workshop. Everyone will have fun and everyone will be going home with a tested stove and an expanded understanding of biochar.  We will end the day by testing our new creations.
We are requesting a $25 materials deposit from those who wish to build a 5-gallon "GARDEN MASTER Stove" You can use our the PayPal button at our SeaChar.Org website:

or mail checks to SeaChar.Org @ 603 Stewart Street, Suite 906 Seattle, Wa. 98101
Please RSVP! To: or contact for more information and directions.

Come reinvent fire with us,

Art Donnelly206-612-3018
President SeaChar.Org
US Project Director, The Farm Stove Project

"SeaChar.Org...positive tools for carbon negative living"

Rain Gardens 101

Sat. April 30th, 10AM - 12:30PM
Rain Gardens 101
   Join Kimberly Leeper, owner of Mariposa Naturescapes (FB page), to learn what rain gardens are, why they're important for the health of Puget Sound, and steps to creating a successful one. They'll be a hands-on component where class participants determine if a rain garden will work on Village Green site. $30 person


Sat April 23rd 1pm  
Join Laura Sweany here at Village Green as she discusses ways for home gardeners to easily implement Permaculture design to your yard and garden!
The word Permaculture comes from permanent agriculture, and is a form of no-dig, no-till gardening or farming. Permaculture gardening replenishes the soil as nature does in forests and lands not used by man... decomposing (rotting) organic substances. This creates new soil and feeds the old stuff. It builds a new layer each year as last years weeds, manure, mulch all rot down and become rich new soil.
$35 for this information packed class
Leave with lots of inspiration and ideas! Be here 15 mins. early to get familiar, and look around.

Apple trees, figs, blueberries, raspberries, huckleberries and more to choose from. Plus a huge selection of Organic vegetable starts!

Garden Art Summer Day Camp

Click on the form to print and mail with your check 

 Experience a whole new kind of Summer Art Camp! Not only will your children return home with beautiful handcrafted clay sculptures, miniature gardens, watercolor paintings, collages and sun-prints, they'll always remember spending three days in nature surrounded by trees, songbirds, chickens and flowers, inspired by the many colors, textures and sounds of Village Green.

Art and Gardening materials included. Please pack a lunch and plan for the weather.

Ages 8 - 12
Wednesday - Friday, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Session 1: August 3 - 5
Session 2: August 17 - 19

Bio for Sarah

 Teaching Artist Sarah Browning delights in painting and mixed media. Art teacher for Alki Community Center Pre-School, she has also taught art for the Alki Bathhouse Art Studio and the Children's Museum of Seattle. She graduated with a BA in Visual Arts from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1998. When not making or teaching art, Sarah might be found at the library or walking in the park. Originally from Northern New Mexico, she lives in West Seattle with her husband, their daughter, and their pet rabbit. Visit her online at

Flexible Plan

Open with song, stretching, circle, demo. Lunch - includes some play time!
Day 1: Tour of grounds & studio. Wet clay sculpting - animal or fantasy sculpture. Collage and mixed media.
Day 2: Stain & Oxides on leathery sculptures. Painting with watercolor and/or mixed media.
Day 3: Wire Ornaments sculpting. Sun Prints. Assemble potted plant gardens. Give directions for ceramic sculpture pick-up.

This is a PRE-REGISTER camp
must pay 50% deposit to hold spot.
Cash or check. please make arrangements for payment by calling

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sustainable living

 Visiting us is like going to the San Juan Islands, but staying in the city. When you reach Village Green it's as if the hustle and bustle have all faded into the distant past. Here you will find a wooded setting with pathways leading through  display gardens sure to inspire a solution to many gardening questions.
 No longer will the kids complain when you tell them you are going to the nursery...we have something for all ages.
 A sand box for the young ones, chickens to feed, honeybees to watch as they return from foraging on the many trees and flowers. A hammock for a rest and some thinking...
You will truly forget about time and find peace and inspiration here. A very refreshing change from the traditional nursery settings. 
 Our goal is to educate people about ways to build and enrich the soil, care for plants and build community by working together. We strive to offer plants that invite natural pest control into your yard and offer safe suggestions of how to handle weed control as naturally as possible....
We believe in using organic and natural gardening practices. We compost as much as we can on site.
We keep honeybees, mason bees and chickens.

      We are growers of many herbaceous perennials, including many extremely hardy and reliable Daylily varieties, Herbs, Asters, Primroses, Solomon’s Seal, the largest collection of Hostas, and many more.
We have THE LARGEST collection of Northwest Native plant varieties-including Trillium Ovatum. 
Did you know?
Most of the plants that we do buy come from local growers. Many from within 50 miles.
We do this to support these growers and to help keep our local economy thriving. 

This choice also ensures that we are buying plants that are hardy in the Northwest.

In addition to perennials, we also propagate Old Roses from cuttings, growing them on their own roots for two years before offering them for sale.

We also use very good soils to grow our plant material in, including
Worm Castings and Certified Organic fertilizers, When you take a plant home with you, you can be confident it is potted up in good soil, ready to go into your garden. You are taking home Good Soil. Successful gardening starts with the soil.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Mason bees are hatching!

Yesterday as I puttered around the garden, pottting, trimming, planting and grumbling about the weather- Rain AGAIN??
I became keenly aware of an inordinate amount of bugs buzzing about...what is this all about????
  Seeing how I've only recently aquired a large quantity of Mason Bee houses and have placed them in varying groupings around the nursery, I am not accustomed to the vast amounts of happy pollinators that were Extremely happy to hatch aas soon as the SUN came out for a few hours!!!
 My heart was singing with joy- the SUN came out and warmed me- ahhhhh.... AND there were 100's of happy fuzzy bees (they DO NOT sting) all around!
 Spring! Spring! Spring!
Now let me say- they remind me of cute little fuzzy bunnies - however they will not eat my veggies nor my fruit- they will pollinate them!  BLISS!

If you plan to have fruit trees, berries or any kind of flowers or edibles- you really should keep mason bees.
They are so simple, so cute and they are fascinating to watch.
I must repeat- they DO NOT STING!