Sunday, August 5, 2007

P-Patch: A Community Garden

I live in an odd part of Seattle. It's technically Queen Anne since I'm on The Hill, but it's so far west that it encroaches Magnolia but is also a mere stone's throw from Ballard. Some call it Interbay, but if you blink while you are driving down 15th Ave W, you'll miss it, so most don't know where it is.

Though I love my apartment, the neighborhood isn't quite what I'd call glamorous. No fancy restaurants, boutiques, or walking trails. No restaurants or shopping at all, really, but don't feel sorry for me yet.

While at the bus stop every morning, I've noticed an inviting red archway buried in climbing vines, most recently decorated with heavy blossoms. For the longest time I've had this nagging sensation to go there to see where this curious entrance led.

Today was the day.

Walking through the cherry red archway, it felt like time stopped. The sun shone hot on my skin, the noise of busy traffic on 15th was stifled and replaced with the happy buzzing of bees, wafts of rosemary and blooming flowers floated in the air, and overgrown plants tickled my ankles as I walked. This is a Seattle P-Patch.

Though community gardens exist in most cities and towns, a P-Patch is specific to Seattle. I had always thought a P-Patch was a Pea Patch, but I have learned that in fact the "P" is in reference to "Picardo" of Picardo Farms who started the first P-Patch in Seattle's Wedgewood neighborhood. The city of Seattle eventually followed suit and started the P-Patch program in 1973, and now there are 54 P-Patches dotted throughout the city (map).

Going forward, my wait at the bus stop will never be the same. From now on I will be facing north, looking longingly at the red archway that I now know hides the splendor of a gorgeous community garden, a P-Patch.

Would you like to see more photos of my walk through the P-Patch?
Please visit my flickr page.

No comments: