Donate tools to the Howell Collective P-patch

posted in: Donations, Tools | 0

The new Howell Collective P-patch is looking forward to a late summer launch in August and are hoping you will help to prepare.  At this time we are looking for tool donations from those who can’t seem to find those loppers or that scuffle hoe because of the abundance of tools you own or don’t use.  Any donations would be greatly appreciated and would be gladly picked up if you send an email to  Tools can also be brought to one of our bi-monthly meetings.  All Howell Collective meeting times and updates can be found at



Shovel ($40-50) 3 were donated from Christina with Judkins P-patch

Garden spade ($17-30)

Hand trowel ($5-25)

Pitchfork ($25-35)

Rake ($25)

Hand pruner ($40-50)

Loppers ($40-50)

Scuffle hoe ($16-25) 1 from Kaila, we could use another

Wheelbarrow ($21-180) 1 from Lynn in Montlake

Gloves ($2-5)

Kneeling pads (foam/kickboards)

Machete for composting ($15)

Note: You know how much you paid for your tool better than we do but in case you can’t remember the numbers in parentheses are what they sell for at Gardener’s Supply/Lowe’s online.  The price is listed so you may claim the tax deductible donation.

From Sweet Gums to Elms

posted in: Elm trees, Seven Hills | 0

If anyone has been curious as to where all the sweet gum trees along E Howell Street have gone, I have included a message from the City of Seattle Parks Project Manager:

As part of the Seven Hill Park project we are repairing the sidewalk along E Howell Street, which was heaved and broken by tree roots. The street trees adjacent to the park sidewalk along E Howell are sweet gum. There were four sweet gum trees when we started design. One came down in a winter storm a year ago. Another now has significant rot throughout the trunk. The sweet gums also have large roots growing into the sidewalk area. We inspected these roots after removing the sidewalk. Based on their growth pattern, we determined that it will be difficult to root prune these trees and it will be difficult to rebuild the sidewalk around them without both compromising the future health of the trees and the future condition of the sidewalk. Our best long term option is to remove the remaining three street trees, install root barriers to protect the sidewalk, and to replant with street trees which will match the trees within the park.

We will be planting four disease resistant elms trees within the park, mirrored by four elms along the street, for a total of eight new elms. This will create formal promenade of trees known as an allee*. As they grow the trees will form a grand and integrated canopy.

For information on Seven Hills Park, go to and for information on the Howell Collective join us for a meeting!

Classes with the Howell Collective and Seattle Tilth!

posted in: Tilth Class | 0

Exciting news from the Howell Collective! We are teaming up with Seattle Tilth to offer classes to our community! These classes will simultaneously share our love and knowledge of gardening, bring the community together and help build our garden! Below is a sampling of what we will offer:

  • Grow Great Garden Soil
  • Winter Garden in Small Spaces
  • Putting the Garden to Bed
  • Perennial and Herb Gardening
  • Organic Pest and Disease Control

Just to name a few! Look for further details on how to register for classes, and join us every other Sunday at Bluebird Ice Cream and Tea at 5:30 p.m.!

Meeting Rescheduled and Garden Tour!

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

Photo by Jord Wilson

In observation of the greatest healer and knower in the universe, one’s heart, we will not be meeting Sunday, February 14th.  In truth, we are not meeting Sunday, because we are meeting on SATURDAY, 4pm at Bradner Gardens (29th Ave. S and S Grand St.) with organizer, Joyce Moty. While we are getting a tour of the garden, this will mostly be an informational meeting about the trials and tribulations, ups and downs of starting a community garden. We plan on asking Joyce the following:

  • What was the first month like?
  • How did you utilize volunteers?
  • How did you make it work?  With p-patchers at your site and with the community at large?
  • Any warnings?

So bring your questions and your umbrella in case in rains!

Our Neighbors!

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

Last Saturday, the Howell Collective got a first-hand look inside the First Church of Christ, Scientist, a renovation/restoration/renewal project undertaken by Joe Sacotte and Joel Lavin, that shares a lot with the future site of the community garden. The space, now called The Sanctuary, is being transformed into a residential building holding twelve condos, each with their own unique layout and atmosphere.

Joel was kind enough to give us a tour, showing us the ins and outs of the place, as well as some background on how ideas and construction evolved.

The original dome ceiling, kept intact.

Joel demonstrating how the original stained-glass windows open.

The wood for the stairs was made from the old pews from the church.

The glass topped-things Joel and Leslie are sitting in front of in the second photo? Those are one-way mirrors that allow the occupants in the bedroom below to see the beautiful domed ceiling.

And here is Lindsay trying the view out for herself.

A view of Seattle from one of the rooftop decks.

At the close of our tour, conversation turned to the community garden. Joel said, “In order to be respected, the garden must look respectable.” This struck  a chord with the group, as the groundbreaking nears and construction concerns will soon arise. The garden will be sharing a space with a beautiful park and gorgeous church, and we will surely be inspired by Joel’s work with the First Church when our idea of a garden becomes a reality.

What Is Going On?

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

The asphalt remains, parking spot lines unfettered. The parking lot at Howell and 16th may look nothing close to the park and garden the neighborhood is waiting for, but trust us, plenty is going on behind the scenes!

The Howell Collective has set up an official meeting time and space at BLUEBIRD HOMEMADE ICE CREAM AND TEA ROOM at 12th and Pike, every SUNDAY at 5:30 PM. Please join us in the upstairs meeting room (PS, the snickerdoodle ice cream is AMAZING)!

At said meetings, we have been planning for everything related to the garden, from fresh start to fresh harvest. The quick 411 on what we have been talking about:

-THE BREAKING OF THE GROUND has been pushed to April, which gives us more time to really think about what we want our garden to look like! While many of us have ideas and thoughts, almost none of us have the expertise. Which is why we have decided to started to think about…

-RECRUITING AN EXPERIENCED LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT to sit on our steering committee. If you or anyone you know has experience in landscape design and wants to help make the Capitol Hill neighborhood a better place for neighbors and nature, please email us at, or attend one of our Sunday meetings!

-As well as a landscape architect, we are also looking for a MASTER GARDENER to join our cause. While the physical garden may not actualize for months, the Howell Collective is looking for someone to advise us on all things gardening, as well as tending to the garden itself at least once a week. Again, interested parties, please email us at, or meet us on Sundays at 5:30!

-Have expertise but don’t have the time commitment? The Howell Collective is looking for SAVVY VOLUNTEERS to help us out at each stage of the construction of the garden. Are you a creative composter? Have a passion for perennials? Know which herbs are indigenous to the region and therefore will grow best given our climate and altitude? We are looking for instructors to help the community build its garden. More details to come on when and how the classes will take place. Let us know what you’re all about by emailing us at

We look forward to meeting you, and thanks for your support!

Howell Collective To Be A Part of “Seven Hills Park”

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

A recent press release regarding the park at 16th and Howell, now officially called Seven Hills Park. How elegant! How official!


Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Tim Gallagher has named new parks in the Capitol Hill and Lake City neighborhoods Seven Hills Park and Virgil Flaim Park, respectively.

Seven Hills Park

Parks acquired the Capitol Hill site at the northeast corner of E Howell St. and 16th Ave. E in 2007 with funding from the 2000 Pro Parks Levy and King County Conservation Futures tax revenues. The approved plan consists of an open lawn in the middle bordered by a collective garden to the north and a crushed rock plaza and a pathway lined with trees to the south. Other elements include a garden walk, steps, a plaza and benches, barbeque, a picnic table, and an art element.

The art element, “Seven Hills of Seattle,” designed by Mithun Landscape Architects, includes a grouping of seven boulders for creative play and seating that represent the seven hills of Seattle, called out in an early effort by early 20th century civic boosters to liken Seattle to Rome. (The hills are First Hill, Second Hill [Central Area ridge], Denny Hill [now the Denny Regrade and Belltown], Capitol Hill, Yesler or Profanity Hill [actually part of First Hill], Beacon Hill, and Queen Anne Hill. Some accounts include Magnolia Bluff, Sunset Hill, Duwamish Head, and West Seattle Hill.

Parks received more than 50 suggestions for a name for this park, and the Naming Committee settled on Seven Hills Park, suggested by first grade students at nearby St. Joseph’s school after the artwork in the park that represents Seattle’s seven hills.

Construction on the site, also funded by the Pro Parks Levy, is scheduled to be completed by spring 2010.

Virgil Flaim Park

Parks acquired this Lake City site, located at 12312 – 26th Ave. NE, from Seattle Public Schools in 1987 after Lake City Elementary School, for which it served as the playground, was surplused. Citizens and groups submitted nine suggestions for the park’s name, and the Naming Committee agreed on the name “Virgil Flaim Park” after the long time Lake City resident and active Lions Club member.

Flaim’s personal initiative led to many improvements to the Lake City community, including this park. He was executive director of the Lake City Community Center from 1986 until his retirement in 2001, and the proposal to name the park after him received support from the Lake City Lions Club, Lake City Community Center, Lake City Western Vigilantes, Lake City Western Vigilantes Sidekicks, and the Lake City Chamber of Commerce.

The Park Naming Committee is comprised of one representative of the Board of Park Commissioners, one representative of the Seattle City Councilmember who chairs the committee dealing with parks issues, and one representative of the Superintendent of Parks and Recreation. For more information about the park naming process, please contact Paula Hoff, Seattle Parks and Recreation, at 206-615-0368 or

Welcome to the Howell Collective blog!

posted in: planning | 2

As many of us know, the waitlist for the P-Patch far outweighs the existing community garden space. The densest neighborhood in the city currently hosts only two P-Patches- the Thomas Street P-Patch and another on Roy Street. Much like a allotments style P-Patch, the Howell Collective Community Garden will be administered by DON P-Patch Program.  As Rich MacDonald, P-Patch Program Coordinator, points out, “In some densely populated areas, where gardening demand far outstrips available space, it is a good way to maximize community involvement and gardening.”  We, the collective, the community, and the P-Patch program look forward to the great possibilities of this communal gardening model.

The Howell Collective was recently awarded $15,000 by the City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods! Please join us in our endeavor to create a place of value in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, one that will bring together the community, offer relief from the surrounding dense urban environment, and support the engagement between neighbors and nature. For more information, email the Howell Collective at, or stop by our table at the Broadway Farmer’s Market this Sunday, November 15th! See you there!

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