Urban Gardening…The Seattle Way

Urban Gardening in the City of Seattle has gotten VERY creative. I’m not sure this is legal…but regardless, I think it is GREAT!!!

I’m talking about that strip of usually very ugly grass “on the street side of the pavement”. I think it technically belongs to the City and not the owner who is “gardening” there. But isn’t this awesome?

Seattle Urban Gardening

Seattle Urban Gardening

It’s supposed to(and most often does) look more like this:

But look how creative this neighbor is! In that small space between the sidewalk and the street curb, they managed to grow cauliflower, cabbage, corn, sunflowers and even watermelon! Again…not sure it’s “legal”…but it’s super-awsome!

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ARDELL is a Managing Broker with Better Properties METRO King County. ARDELL was named one of the Most Influential Real Estate Bloggers in the U.S. by Inman News and has 33+ years experience in Real Estate up and down both Coasts, representing both buyers and sellers of homes in Seattle and on The Eastside. email: ardelld@gmail.com cell: 206-910-1000

17 thoughts on “Urban Gardening…The Seattle Way

  1. Thanks John,

    I think everyone in the neighborhood LOVES it! I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t love it, but totally agree that it may not be “legal”, as I said in the post. Still, wouldn’t it be lovely if everyone did it!?!

    Yes…it’s in Seattle.

  2. I have always thought those ‘planter’ strips full of grass were a waste. Love this idea, but the only drawback I can see is the person who has a door on the curb side probably can’t open it. Beyond that I love it. Of course I am also a guy that thinks all the commercial roofs should go green with gardens or no-water landscaping.

    • Chris,

      The first picture is more common and practical than the boxed out vegetable garden. I agree as to the passenger getting out AND likely the owner could be responsible if someone dents or scratches their side door on the box frame when getting out.

  3. There’s a recent news story about a beautiful garden in Seattle on a corner lot and the city is forcing her to cut back her flowers to two feet tall! It doesn’t appear to be fully blocking the views of drivers and I can think of plenty of corners in West Seattle where full shrubbery is blocking the view and taller than 2 feet… any how… your comment about “legal” and garden got me thinking about that story… if I can find a link, I’ll come back and post it.

    • Excellent point, Rhonda, and corner properties are likely subject to the same restrictions as those who plant the roundabouts as to height.

      I remember one very long corner lot in Kirkland where they planted hundreds of daffodils in the section between the street and the sidewalk. It was a short-lived spring seasonal event, but spectacular!

    • A great Photo Essay if I ever saw one. To go on with my Comment above- this kind of thing is a great deal more prevelant in some neighborhoods than others and reflects the kind of people living there and at the same time attracts more of the same. As for me, I think it’s a great city enhancement if its done right. J-

  4. Thanks Dave. People respect that the veggies belong to whomever planted them there. Seattle people are very “nice” like that. Loads of mutual respect here.

  5. Here’s the solution we used to give a set-back in our planted “hell strip” for car doors: a conveyor belt from the old Boeing Surplus store. It’s a bit of a jungle, but for the people who visited our garden on the West Seattle Garden Tour this year, our parking strip was one of their favorite parts.

    Note that we’re not on the corner, so height doesn’t matter as much–and the taller plants are mostly ornamental grasses, so they’re a gentle screening rather than a safety hazard.

    I love coming home from work and pulling up to this. 🙂

  6. Thanks for sharing your photo, Mari! Love the “hell strip” reference.

    For those reading I would suggest permeable pavers vs “a conveyor belt from the Old Boeing Surplus store” for several reasons.

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