- Accessible Raised Beds
- Giving Garden(s)
About The P-Patch
The Anatomy of Building a P-Patch
By Pam David & Jim Sykes
The Linden Orchard Park and p-patch idea originated in 1994. The real Linden Orchard beginning was November 9, 2000. That was the proud day when Seattle voters approved the Pro Parks Levy, giving Seattle Parks and Recreation authority to purchase several identified vacant land parcels and thus save them forever from certain development into town houses and condominiums. The Linden Orchard P-Patch is located at 6701 Linden Ave. N. When Seattle Parks purchased the property in 2001, it had been a vacant and unused orchard for over 50 years. It was 14,800 square feet of the most beautiful ivy, morning glory, and Himalayan blackberries one can imagine. Ivy trunks as thick as your arm. In fact, the weight of the ivy pushed over and up rooted 80+ year old apple trees. This was a BIG project, physically and bureaucratically. It took a village to build it.
In chronological order; First, the public hearings:
Even though the Greenwood/Green Lake area was previously un-served by p-patches, many neighbors voiced opposition to a p-patch in their neighborhood. They were concerned "outsiders" coming and using the area and a p-patch would create additional traffic. Others wanted play areas for their young children. Fortunately a large contingent group supported the p-patch and it received the most votes at the public hearings. As a result, approximately 4,400 square feet was designated p-patch.
Planning: Lots of planning, more meetings
The garden layout was done by volunteers with the help of p-patch staffers. The slope was difficult to deal with for amateur landscape designers but, in the end, modifications were made to make it all work. There was a core group of about a half dozen people who spent many volunteer hours pulling the garden together.
In our urban environment, we found that we had willing workers but a limited skill base. We had one or two people who had some knowledge; the rest of us did the best we could by staying out of the way or holding nails! Also, none of us owned a pick up truck. We had hoped to haul away debris and pick up materials when needed. Instead, we relied on deliveries and rented a small dump truck to haul away broken concrete. Thus, we taught ourselves how to build terraces and drive dump trucks!
The Cob Tool Shed:
We love our Hobbit like cob tool shed, it's unique and beautiful. We thought we could build it in about four or five weekends. We thought we could build it at no cost with sand and clay mined from the site. We thought wrong! Our talented and dedicated Catherine Burke worked countless hours, with many volunteers, to build up the 10 inch think walls inch by inch. It took us almost a year to finish the building after taking a hiatus over the cold winter months. A prefab tool shed would have cost the same and would have been much faster. But, we would have missed out on the experience of actually building the first cob building in Seattle.