Spring in the P-Patch

Joe Monda prepares his garden.

It was easy to tell it was Spring on Saturday: The sun was actually visible and gardeners were preparing their plots at the Eastlake P-Patch on Fairview.

Dirt was being turned, planting beds were being cleared and the water was on. Some early flowers were even blooming, signs of what is to come when the mini-gardens begin growing in earnest.

The P-Patch is planning to expand, say the volunteer site coordinators, Mary Jones and Barb Donnette. There’s a lot of demand for space in the P-Patch and a long waiting list to get a spot.

The expansion would add 20 new plots to the 28 already there. The new plots would be smaller (100 square feet instead of the 200 square feet of the current plots) and would be situated on the hill above the current plots. There would be three new plots that would be accessible to those with limited mobility.

Eastlake garden designer Lisa Hummel has designed the expansion. In addition to the new beds, the plans include a new pathway to connect the lower garden with the new upper space.

The volunteers have applied for a $15,000 matching grant from the City’s Department of Neighborhoods to help fund the expansion. Donnette says they have $30,000 in volunteer matching donations (labor, materials and in-kind services) and $2,000 in cash matches.

Donnette says they are also hoping to get surplus material from the City’s Department of Transportation to be used in the project, everything from old street signs to rubble.

“We are still reaching out to neighborhood folks who want to get involved in work on site or to support the effort through the donation of services, goods or cash,” she says. 

Check the pledge form online at the Eastlake Community Council’s web site for more information or to donate. Contact Mary Jones at MEJ(at)raincity.com or Barb Donnette at jandbdonnette(at)comcast.net for information on the P-Patch and the expansion. For information on the City’s P-Patch program, click here.

Currently showing in the P-Patch’s arbor is “Partly Sunny,” a piece of fabric art by Barb Matthews, a student in the University of Washington’s Fiber Arts Certificate Program. Her artwork in the P-Patch features a sunburst design done in an array of brightly colored cotton fabric on a blue nylon backing. Look to the back of the garden to see it. On Saturday afternoon, a gentle breeze made “Partly Sunny” dance in the sunlight.  

Click the arrow to see the slide show. Click on an individual photo to see caption info in Flickr.