If you are starting to believe that the gray and brown are the only two colors in the natural world, take heart. Whether you are a confirmed plant nerd or just looking for some color therapy and garden inspiration, the Northwest Flower and Garden Festival is here to tell you the sun will return. Running today, Feb. 26, through Sunday March 1s at the Washington State Convention Center (705 Pike St, Seattle), it is a circus for color-starved eyes. With 17 full-scale display gardens – each created in three days – there is literally something for everyone – the shade gardener, the patio partymaster, the urban farmer, and the floraholoic.
The festival always skirts the line between fantasy and reality, with mind-blowing stage-set gardens that inspire and delight. In addition to luxurious patioscapes, a couple of killer children’s gardens, and a farmstead Beatrix Potter would love, there is a ‘Mad Max”-inspired bonsai garden, a garden for campers and a hot tub cut out of a hollow tree. The farmstead had not only chickens in a coop, but legions of live ladybugs crawling around.
Sure, you might see plant combinations that would never occur naturally, like indoor kalanchoe next to daffodils, and roses and cherry trees in blossom, but most people are craving color more than horticultural accuracy – it’s Seattle in February, people!
A day’s ticket includes access to all the lectures, hands-on workshops and live contests like Container Wars, in which garden experts race to make the most beautiful container combination. One of the experts is Grace Hensley, who has shared her flower show photography with Seattle Greenlaker in years past.
On Saturday, Greenlaker Anne Bikle will speak on “Regenerative Gardening: Key Principles for Plant (and Human) Health.” And let’s not forget the Marketplace, where you will find antiques, artisan foods, crafts, clothing, beauty products, art, jewelry, and, of course, plants – from seeds to bare-root bulbs, rare orchids and trees and shrubs. We will be looking to get more handmade loofah-infused soap from Mukilteo’s Washington Soap Co.
For the first time, debuting in Seattle, the Fleurs de Villes exhibit showcases magnificent floral mannequins from the world’s top floral designers.
In case you’re wondering, it’s not your imagination. The festival has been moving later in the month in the last couple of years to give exhibitors more time to find plants in bloom.
Tickets are available online at https://gardenshow.com/tickets, at the show, or at local stores including Ravenna Gardens, Swansons Nursery and the University Book Store. A single-day adult ticket is $25; Students age 13-23 $10; children under 12 are free. A half-day ticket from 3 pm -8 pm is $13. A two-day ticket is $36.
Some heros wear capes. Others wear orange vests and carry trash pickup bags. Meet G. Todd Young, the kind soul who started the Green Lake Litter Patrol (GLLP) in 2012 and walks Green Lake every Sunday making sure it is cleaned up. The group has more than 6,400 hours of volunteer service and, thankfully, shows no sign of slowing anytime soon.
On the February morning that we met with Young he was gathering a group of nearly two dozen volunteers – outfitting them in orange vests and giving them trash bags and a trash grabber. In a cursory walk around the Green Lake Bathhouse Theater parking lot he said found a clump of things, from old bottles and wrappers, even a used needle. This is the low season. Imagine it in the summer.
While the Seattle Parks Department picks up trash on a regular basis in the park, GLLP focuses on the micro trash. That includes small pieces such as bits of plastics, floss and other items left outside the trash cans that can end up in the lake and be hazardous to people or animals. (Seattle Parks also endorses the GLLP for all the work they do to help with the Park.)
Young is a broker for Windemere in Green Lake, but says he travels from Lynnwood every Sunday to help clean up the park. What makes a person dedicate their time weekly to help a neighborhood that they don’t even live in? Young said he remembers watching a Keep America Beautiful ad as a child. In the ad someone throws a bag of trash out of a moving car hitting a Native American, who lets out a single tear as the bag drops at his feet. That stuck with him. He says he likes working beside the families and groups that come to help out weekly.
GLLP is always looking for volunteers. If you’d like to help, here’s what you need to know:
What to bring/wear: A comfortable pair of shoes. The group walks up to 2 miles. And weather-related gear. This is a year-round group.
Who can participate: Anyone and everyone. All ages are welcome to participate.
Where: The group meets every Sunday at the Bathhouse Theater parking lot, 7312 West Green Lake Drive North.
When: Meet at the parking lot at 8:45 a.m. to sign in and get your vest and supplies for clean up. The group departs at 9 and usually runs 2-3 hours, but people can come and go as they like.
Want a different way to spend Valentine’s Day? Maybe you should check out Seattle Yiddish Fest, your chance to sing, dance and play in Yiddish.
Here’s what to expect: Yiddish music and culture with concerts, lectures, workshops and more, featuring top international artists. The festival is a milestone for the rapidly growing local Yiddish music scene – 7 Yiddish classes and 10 klezmer bands in Seattle.
Who can attend: Open to everyone, regardless of experience, religion or anything else, this workshop will cover a lot of ground in a short time, offering the beginner a crash course in this rich culture, or for those more experienced, a chance to really understand the subtleties of this culture and find new areas for growth.
Where: February 14 and 15 Phinney Center 6532 Phinney Ave. N. and February 16th will be at Temple Beth AM 2632 NE 80th Street.
For the past few weeks the often buzzing Green Lake playground near the Green Lake Community Center has been closed with a yellow caution tape erected around the perimeter. So we contacted the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department to find out why. The answer is flooding.
“Our plan is to dig down through the playground fiber to reach the fabric underneath, and cut slits in the fabric to help the water drain,” said Rachel Schulkin at Seattle Parks and Rec. “From there we will move back the material and level the playground.”
She says they hope to have the park opened in the next few weeks but will have to wait to see how things drain after the next big rain to see if they can reopen it again.
Earlier this week we posted about the new and departing restaurants in Green Lake this month. One of those included Lunchbox Laboratory, which closed last weekend and is anticipated to be reopening as Green Lake Grill at the end of January. We reached out to Neighborhood Grills, the owner of the restaurants, for more information and just received this press release explaining the departure and anticipated menu of the new Green Lake Grill.
“After 2 years as Lunchbox Lab, Owner, John Schmidt will be resurrecting his former Greenlake Bar & Grill. “We miss the popularity we had in the neighborhood and are excited to get back to what originally made us famous.” said, John. The original Greenlake Bar & Grill served guests for 17 years and closed on February 11, 2018. “Those were great years and we’re looking forward to serving the Green Lake community again with a neighborhood grill,” John added. Lunchbox Lab closed on January 18th. The restaurant is currently under remodel and will reopen as Greenlake Grill on January 27th. The Greenlake Grill menu will feature comfort food and similar menu items as its’ sister restaurants; Eastlake Bar & Grill and Lake Forest Bar & Grill. The restaurant is 3000 square feet and seats 100. When weather permits and the outdoor patio is open, seating capacity expands to 140. The patio is dog friendly. The restaurant will be open daily for lunch, happy hour and dinner. Brunch will be served on the weekends. The restaurant is located at 7200 East Green Lake Drive North, Seattle, WA 98115 Phone 206. 729.6179. Management is currently hiring front of the house team members for the new restaurant. Applicants can apply in person, at the restaurant or online at www.neighborhoodgrills.com“
The beginning of the year has several Green Lake businesses opening, closing or revamping. Here’s the latest:
On the west side of the lake, two new places just sprouted up on Aurora Ave. As we reported earlier, Lagetta Pasta and Pub took over the Olde 99 Pub space in early December. And about a block away from Lagetta, inside the Triumph Motorcycles building, the Wick plans to open by February 1. This is the second outpost for the motorcycle cafe and bar, which has another location in Queen Anne. But this isn’t your traditional biker bar. Peeking through the windows you can see a modern, approachable space with a subway tile wall and espresso machines. The owners tell us “we are a coffeeshop that offers hot sandwiches, pastries, snacks, coffee, espresso, retail items and beer. We are centered around the motorcycle lifestyle and throw a lot of the local moto events.” After all the permits are finalized, Moto plans to be open 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Look for their soft opening party on January 30th.
It appears that Green Lake has reached burger capacity. Lunchbox Laboratory, the burger-focused restaurant, has closed. A sign on the door says “We are closed for a remodel! We will be open to the public on 1.27.20. Will be Greenlake Grill with a new menu! Hope to see you in a couple of weeks! Thanks MGT” Lunchbox Laboratory opened in March 2018. It is a few blocks from Little Big Burger and Teddy’s Bigger Burgers. Before becoming a Lunchbox Laboratory it was Greenlake Bar & Grill and was open for 17 years. Both restaurants are owned by Neighborhood Grills. We have reached out to the company for more information about the menu and what the new restaurant will bring to Green Lake. We will keep you posted.
Meanwhile, across the street from the Green Lake Wading Pool at JaK’s Alehouse, a sign was just posted above the restaurant that says “Food/Bar Available”. The restaurant still appears to be open. Nothing has been posted on their website or social media about the anticipated closure. We reached out to the restaurant but haven’t heard back about their plans or timing for closure. UPDATE: Owner Ken Hughes tells us ” we are about to end our five year lease and have chosen not to renew. As great as all our regulars are, we just couldn’t make a go of it financially. We will miss the neighborhood immensely and wish it had gone differently! Our last day will likely be late February.” We also reached out to the property management company who said that the space will be available in April or May.
The Tangletown fitness studio Todo Bien Wellness Center has also closed and split into two different locations – one for personal training in North Green Lake and the pilates and massage practices are now two blocks away from the old location. Check out their website for more information.
Seattle Public School registration for new students for the 2020-21 school year is now open. If you have a Kindergartener that will be starting in the fall, here are the two Green Lake elementary schools and open house dates:
Daniel Bagley Elementary: January 24th at 8:30am February 6th at 6pm
Not sure where your child’s attendance area school is located? Check out the address lookup here.
In addition to the enrollment information on the Seattle Public Schools site, there is also information about the choice schools process should you want your student in a school outside of the Green Lake area.
Lagetta Pasta & Pub has taken over the former Olde 99 Pub location (7305 Aurora Ave N) next to Beth’s Cafe. Now owned by husband and wife team Dianna and Trevor Wagner, the two bring 20 years of pasta experience to Green Lake. You may know the duo from Pasta Ya Gotcha that has been at the Microsoft campus for more than 20 years and most recently the Amazon South Lake Union campus. Since taking over the space in early December, Lagetta or “little lake” has made some changes to the space including new flooring, chairs, fixtures and paint. But Dianna says the biggest changes are to the menus, which will feature a variety of pub food, pasta and sandwiches. To see the full drink and food menu, go to Lagetta’s website. “We still feature a ping pong table and soft point darts, as well as soft comfy chairs to catch your favorite game,” says Dianna. This month they are starting up Tuesday trivia with food and drink specials and plan to have delivery services such as GrubHub and others for their full menu soon. To celebrate the opening, Lagetta is hosting a grand opening party this Saturday, January 4, starting at noon. Note: Lagetta is 21 and over.
Lagetta Pasta & Pub 7305 Aurora Ave N 206-687-7047 Hours: Monday – Saturday: 2pm – 2am, Sunday: 2pm – 12am
Need a place to drop off your list of toys and cheer you want Santa to bring you this year? We spotted this dropbox at the Green Lake Bartell Drugs (419 NE 71st St). There’s still time. T minus 16 days.