Burien and surrounding neighborhoods have several excellent community gardens. Some are newer, while others have been in operation for several years. For those of you not familiar with this concept, here is a brief explanation of what’s involved.
Often called P-Patch gardens, the original idea was to give people in urban neighborhoods space to come together to grow vegetables, flowers and other crops while at the same time getting to know each other and form a community bond. Individual plots are usually available for a small yearly fee and the rented space is available for use for the current growing season. Participants in coops volunteer hours to help maintain shared areas on the surrounding grounds.
Some of the reasons people choose to get involved in community gardening include:
- One’s own yard may not be ideal. It might have poor soil or too much shade, for example.
- Some may not have a yard at all.
- The opportunity to become part of a larger gardening group and get to know other gardeners.
In Burien there are two organized gardens: Burien’s Community Garden known as B-Patch, and the New Start Community Garden’s Shark Garden.
Located on 144th street, the B-Patch, which is operated through the Burien Parks Department, is open to Burien residents 18 years and older. You get a 75 square- foot plot for a fee of $25 a year. The location is on 144th street. I personally have a plot at this location and have really enjoyed it. I’ve met quite a number of fellow- gardeners and am now starting to harvest fresh veggies and flowers.
For more information check out their website: Burien B-Patch
The Shark Garden is located at New Start High School on 120th Street. This is a learning garden for Highline students. It consists of P-Patch garden spaces available for rent, various theme gardens and sitting areas.Special events and activities are hosted throughout the garden season at this site. In June I participated in two events at the Shark Garden. There was a plant sale that included a great variety of starts all planted by New Start students. Also, there was a fabulous Art Market put on by the Burien Arts Association that included amazing local artists. This is a yearly event known by art lovers in the area, who make a point not to miss this event.
To learn more about this garden you can go to their site: The Shark Garden
The North SeaTac Botanical Garden
For those of you living outside of Burien there are P-Patch gardens in the surrounding areas of Normandy Park, SeaTac, and Des Moines.
An enjoyable activity to consider is to tour local community gardens. Most of them are open for you to walk through. One garden of notable interest worth visiting is the Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden.
This botanical garden was started by volunteers who brought in plants from two local gardens, that of Elda Behm and the Seike Family Japanese Garden. These were both extensive gardens located on properties that were purchased for the building of the third runway by the Seatac airport. Besides the various plantings located here in this beautiful botanical garden, there is also a P-Patch available for local residents.
A last garden I’d like to mention is the Barton Street P-Patch located at Barton and 34th Ave SW, right as you enter West Seattle coming out of the Burien/ White Center area. It’s a bit further out but really worth the trip, it’s a “must see.” It was established in 2012 and is beaming with wonderful urban garden goodness.
In conclusion, there are some wonderful gardens near the Burien area that are worth getting involved in and visiting. How about a self-guided garden tour? If you do decide to check out any of these places some things to keep in mind are:
- If you’re interested in joining a community garden get your name on the waiting list. Some lists are long and it may take a whole season before you get a plot.
- When visiting any of the gardens, please remember to not pick the food or flowers.
- Before bringing pets along check to see if they are allowed and keep them on a leash.
Hopefully you’ll get the chance to walk through some of these beautiful gardens. Now that summer is here, there is a lot of beauty to see and enjoy!