Fall gardening: Plant Now For a Spectacular Winter

October 19, 2016 7:18am

Imagine sitting by a fire, enjoying a hot cocoa as the winds gust outside. How’s the view out the window? Conjure a Japanese maple which sets off fireworks of fall color before revealing its winter pose, a pieta in swirls. At its feet, a symphony of bulbs emerge in turn, from snowdrops to daffodils and alliums. You’d have a riveting vision from October through May. Warning: It may be hard to leave that chair.

Kubota Gardens' star Japanese Maple

Kubota Gardens’ star Japanese Maple alone is worth the trip. Image: Erica Grivas

If your view needs some tweaking, there’s still time. Contrary to popular belief, despite the cooler temperatures, fall is a great time to add new plants and bulbs to your garden. The ground is still warm, and there’s definitely enough rain. As long as the ground is neither frozen nor a slurry of mud, dig away. And of course pots can be planted anytime.

Great choices to plant now:

  • Evergreens. They make any garden better.
  • Deciduous shrubs with winter interest in flowers, striking fall color, unusual bark, or that simply rock a cool shape. Some favorites include: Maples (Acer), witch hazels (Hamamellis), red- and yellow-twigged dogwood (Cornus), Sophora, and Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick (Corylus).
  • Spring Bulbs. From now through December, plant a succession of flower power. Group in tight drifts, as many as you can, for the best show. Plant in a sunny location (under deciduous trees counts as sunny in spring), with fluffy soil, three times the depth of the bulb. Have a small space? Layer them like lasagna, with the largest bulbs like hyacinth and tulips at the bottom and muscari and crocus near the top. Tip: Mark their place with tags or stones to avoid slicing them up in summer, or plant your annuals next to them.

But what about food?

You can still plant some winter crops like spinach, kale and leeks if you have a covered space, like a cold frame, or raised bed under hoops. The rest of us can plant garlic now for spring harvest.  It’s a great time, however to sit down by the fire and study through those seed catalogs to plan out next year’s abbondanza. Aren’t you glad you planted that gorgeous view?


At the DeWitt Winter Garden at the Washington Arboretum, the blazing dogwoods pull you into the hazy frame of heather, hamamellis and hellebore flowers, all set off by the glossy evergreen tree.


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Holiday Events in Green Lake: Halloween and Looking Ahead to Nov and Dec

October 18, 2016 6:00am


I’m still in shock that it is almost Halloween. But other Greenlakers are way more on it than I am. I’ve had a few emails asking about holiday events so I’ve included some halloween events as well as holiday events in November and December. The holiday season is upon us Greenlakers!

Halloween events

Thursday October 20 5-8 p.m.
Green Lake Shelter Lounge is hosting a Family Pumpkin Carving Night.
You bring the pumpkin and leave the mess. All ages. Grab a drink, dinner and carve those pumpkins.
7110 East Green Lake Dr N

Saturday Oct. 29 11 a.m.

One of our favorite events of the year is the annual Corgi costume walk around Green Lake Park.
Meet near the rowing stands where they take a group picture and then they release the hounds for a loop around the Lake, which let’s be honest, for corgis is like a marathon!
Small Craft Center:  5900 West Green Lake Way N, 98103

Halloween Costume idea

And, because I have a toddler that is OBSESSED with recycling trucks, I’m going to put this how to make a recycling truck costume idea from Waste Management right here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spR69WuXJ8A

November 1st from 11am-6pm

And if you find that your house is getting weighed down with candy, Best Dentistry, a local dental office, is putting together a Halloween candy buy back program where all unopened candy will be purchased for $1 a pound and then sent to Operation Gratitude, that makes care packages for US Military members serving around the world.  The event will also include prizes, photo booths and gift bags for all kids who attend. Check out their site for more information.

Best Dentistry
9776 Holman Rd. NW Suite 110
Seattle, WA 98117



Sunday November 20 8 a.m. 

Green Lake Gobble

Event starts at 8 a.m. and includes a Kid’s dash, 5k and 10 k run/walk and a mashed potato munch off. Normally people dress up for this event and its a lot of fun to cheer them on as they come through the finish line. This event is a benefit for the Union Gospel Mission.

For more info go to the Green Lake Gobble page.



December 10 from 4:30 – 7:30pm

Green Lake Pathway of Lights

Rain or shine this event is a must. Luminaries are set on the path around the Lake while carolers sing and hot cocoa stations pump out warm cups of cocoa. For more info, check out their Facebook page.


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Meet the Surprise Green Lake Makers Behind Games From Mattel, Cranium and More

October 14, 2016 12:57pm


Next time you open a board game take a look at the side of the box. See this logo? (The one in the top right corner.) If so, that game has roots to Green Lake. (Specifically, just a hop skip and a jump away – on Roosevelt Way near 50th) is Forrest- Pruzan, a workshop of game makers.


The game development company works on every facet of a game from the rules to the pieces and how people interact and hopefully get hooked and enjoy hours of play. Chances are if you’ve opened a board game in the past decade or two the folks at Forest-Pruzan worked on it, from companies such as Cranium, Mattel, Chronicle Books, Ravensburger to many more.

The Forrest-Pruzan folks took me on a tour of their office and a peek behind the curtain of what it takes to make a board game.

First it should be said that like most things there is a lot that goes into making a game. It’s not just the concept (although that can be a hurdle too). Although each game is different, game development typically takes about 6-9 months. And walking around the game studio you can see there is a ton involved.


The game library is a gamers dream. But as we weave through their office I find inspiration throughout their office. From a prototype room that has rows of boxes of textures, shapes and colors of every possible widget you could imagine. The office’s 3d printer has created some of those pieces but some are off the shelf too. Forrest-Pruzan has 20 employees from game designers, game producers, illustrators, designers, copy editors and photographers.

But a big part of what they do is user testing to make sure that the game is engaging. And that is done in their office behind a one way mirror in groups of only a few users (often kids but sometimes adults). The testing room is set up like a casual living room, which is warm and inviting. During the play test sessions the testers play the game while the folks at Forrest-Pruzan watch from behind the mirror, recording interactions and taking in the observations from participants of what is working and wasn’t.

Every year Forrest-Pruzan creates around 60 games.



Testers shown on a front wall range in age from 3+ and have a lot of fun in the game testing process.


Testers are paid with a big bag of treats/swag and get a copy of the game they tested when it is published. If that game isn’t sent to market, Forrest-Pruzan makes sure they get a new equally cool game. Forrest-Pruzan has thousands of game testers but is always looking for more. If you or your family would like to add your name to their database go to their site to find out more.


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Deer Spotted in Green Lake

October 13, 2016 1:56pm

The past few weeks we have reported news that has been rather doom and gloom – a possible Green Lake purse nabbing, homeless encampments in city parks and this rain and stormy weather. Time for something a little less heavy. We were surprised when we received photos from a few Greenlakers who spotted deer walking around the lake yesterday afternoon. And not in the more wooded parts either. Both appeared to be walking in the street/sidewalk or, as the case with this one sent in by reader David, checking out the ball fields. Another reason to drive slow in the neighborhood Greenlakers!

Spotted near Tacos Guaymas. Photo by Merissa Goldstein.

Spotted near Tacos Guaymas. Photo by Merissa Goldstein.

And John sent us a few photos of the deer he found bounding up his southeast Green Lake street. Perhaps its time to start a Greenlaker deer tracker? We hope this deer finds its way home.



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Possible Purse Thief Spotted at Green Lake

October 12, 2016 2:35pm

We received this note from Thomas, a reader who had a run-in with a potential purse nabber yesterday. We bring this to your attention for several reasons. First, we hope that this will help someone find their purse and catch who took it. And second, this is a good reminder that when you are at the park please make sure to keep a close eye on your purse – especially at the playground. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of things getting snatched from that area when parents are watching their children. And whether or not that was the case here, it’s always good to keep in mind.

Thomas says he was walking towards the intersection of Latona Avenue NE and Greenlake Drive N when he noticed a brownish object lying on the right hand side of the roadway. At first he thought it might be a paper bag or some other object but as he approached the intersection he saw the man (pictured below) move towards the bag and looked around before grabbing it and walking away.

Here’s Thomas’s story that he also posted on NextDoor:

Processed with Snapseed.

At approximately 2:30 PM Tuesday October 11, I observed this individual retrieving a purse that appeared to have fallen on the roadway exiting the Greenlake Community Center parking area as it approaches Greenlake Way. Since he seemed furtive in his actions, I approached him and politely inquired as to whether or not the purse was his or if he knew the owner of the purse. He responded in an extremely hostile manner and insisted that the purse was his. When I asked him to consider turning the purse into the Community Center’s lost and found he replied that I should mind my own fuc#ing business and began calling me names and threatening various acts of physical violence which culminated in a threat to beat me to a pulp and rob me of my possessions. During the course of our rather one sided discussion a young girl passed us and said something to him, whereupon he spewed a few more threats, crossed the street and joined her in boarding the #45 bus at the stop in front of the Greenlake Library. I choose not to attempt to restrain or pursue him, and felt that nothing could be gained by continuing the confrontation on an occupied city bus. His actions, response, and attitude, indicate that it was not his intention to return the purse and its contents to their rightful owner. I hope someone gets their stuff back or is able to cancel any credit cards and change any necessary locks. Sorry I couldn’t do more. Seattle just isn’t what it used to be.

Description of person involved – Hair: Dark Hair cut Short, Top: Blue Nautica Jacket with red stripe, Bottom: Jeans, Shoes: Nike Tennis Shoes, Age: 15-25, Build: Medium to Heavy, Sex: Male

Thanks Thomas for the tip.

If you know anything about this you are urged to contact the police. Keep a watchful eye Greenlakers.


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New Law Could Open Green Lake and Other Parks to Homeless Camping

October 10, 2016 6:08am
via america.aljazeera.com

via america.aljazeera.com

Drive through just about any part of the city and you will probably see a tent or two – under the freeways and right here in Green Lake Park.  And as the Mayor and City Council struggle to find solutions, one proposal surfaced recently that stopped us in our tracks.

A month ago Seattle City Council member Mike O’Brien (Green Lake’s District 6 rep) proposed legislation that would allow homeless individuals to camp legally in areas of the city that are currently illegal including some parks, greenbelts, school grounds and sidewalks. More troubling to many opposed to this law is that it creates a convoluted process for removing the campers, specifically a $250 penatly (per violation) payable to the individual camper by city taxpayers if the process of removal is violated.

The only council member to oppose this proposed law, Tim Burgess, recently issued a warning to the public through a City newsletter where he said:

“Read the proposed new camping legislation carefully. It contains a few key phrases that require the city government to allow camping on public property for at least 30 days per location. In addition, even when an encampment is in an unsafe or unsuitable location, the City cannot remove it until the City has provided 48 hours’ notice, and must offer the individuals alternative locations in which to camp.
Forget homelessness for a moment. This new legal right to camp in the city cuts across decades of land use policy and zoning requirements designed to minimize use impacts. This new law sweeps those protections away and creates a high impact use—camping on public property as an individual right. For me, this is going too far.”

The Seattle Times recently wrote about what a big mistake this proposed law would be for Seattle.

So what can we do about this?

Write to Councilman Mike O’brien: mike.obrien@seattle.gov and tell him what you think about this proposed law.

Attend a meeting: The City Council will consider the camping legislation at a special meeting of the Human Services and Public Health Committee on Friday, October 14 at 9:30 a.m. on the 2nd floor of City Hall.

UPDATE: Here’s another way to help: Sign this petition that started circulating less than 24 hours ago and has more than 3,000 signatures at the time of this writing.


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An Empty Lot Mystery on 80th and Aurora

October 4, 2016 11:04am


Near the corner of 80th and Aurora Ave sits a mystery. The fenced in empty lot (presumably for future development) has recently been adorned with fake flowers and stuffed animals with a sign that says “Free the Animals.”

What’s up with this? Anyone know?



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Weigh in on the Future of the Green Lake Community Center

October 4, 2016 6:18am

via Seattle.gov

This just in on the Green Lake Community Center: a public hearing has been scheduled to discuss the Community Center Strategic Plan.

And a quick background in case you missed it… we recently discovered that the the Seattle Parks Department is seeking input on a potential operating partnership for a new Green Lake Community Center because of a capital shortfall.


The meeting will take place at Van Asselt Community Center (2820 S Myrtle St.), on October 13, 2016 at 6:30pm.

The Community Center Strategic Plan is available here. While the future of the Green Lake Community Center is only a small part of the full plan, it is obviously an important one.

The Board of Park Commissioners will receive oral and written testimony, and will make a recommendation to the Parks and Recreation Superintendent based on the feedback they receive from the public. Those who want to give input on the plan but are not able to come to the public hearing can send written comments, which bear equal weight to oral testimony. Please email comments to rachel.acosta@seattle.gov.

For even more background on this issue, check out our recent post.



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Green Lake Wellness Fair October 7 + 8

October 3, 2016 10:46am

Green Lake Chamber of Commerce, Seattle Parks and Recreation, the Hearthstone Retirement Living at Green Lake, Village Cove – Retirement Living at Green Lake & the Bridge are hosting a Wellness Fair October 7 – 8.
The first day is focused on senior health and wellness and the second day is for all ages.
Here’s more about the schedule for each day.

Friday October 7 12 – 4 p.m.
Senior Health & Wellness at the Bridge
Free lectures every hour and giveaways between lectures and a lot of fun prizes •Vendor booths and samples
At the Bridge 6846 Woodlawn Ave NE, Ste B

Saturday October 8 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Health & Wellness for all Ages at Green Lake Community Center
Free classes include Bootcamp, Zumba, Yoga & Tai-Chi •Best-selling authors, health care experts & educators •Obstacle courses for both adults & kids – and more.
At Green Lake Community Center, 7201 East Green Lake Dr N


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Invest in Youth Seeks Volunteers For School Year

October 2, 2016 9:11pm

via Invest in Youth

Invest in Youth is seeking volunteers to tutor elementary school students across the city and right here in Green Lake at Daniel Bagley. The Seattle-based non-profit provides free tutoring to local elementary students and is looking for tutoring starting this week and running through May.

Each tutor is matched with the same student for the whole school year, and the pair works together on things like playing math games, reading stories or working on homework, for one hour each week. Educational materials and activities, training and support, and heartfelt appreciation are provided at every session.

For more information or to apply to be a tutor, please contact Erika Chen at echen@investinyouth.org or visit our website: https://investinyouth.org/become-a-tutor/

Can’t commit to the full school year? Become a substitute tutor or share this with your friends who might be interested.


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