Address: 4625 S Brandon St, Seattle, WA 98118
Stewardship contacts: Amber Allison; Julie Bryan.
Types of fruit grown within this orchard: European and Asian pears, fillberts, quince, figs, plum.
Background and history:
The Brandon Triangle Garden is a community-created garden on a triangle-shaped property in south Seattle. It is managed by the Seattle Department of Transportation. Until fairly recently, the property had only weeds and blackberries growing on it. In 2010, a group of community volunteers started cleaning up the plot with the goal of creating a more attractive community space and demonstrating nature-inspired low maintenance approaches to growing edibles in an urban environment. Working with City Fruit, the gardeners have shifted their focus toward fruit trees and berry plants. They have created an edible hedge that forms the core of the garden, with mainly perennial edibles, beneficials, and decorative plantings around the perimeter.
Gardening practices that mimic nature – This site is gardened using ancestral farming techniques that mimic nature and are designed to lessen the environmental impact and reduce maintenance. In particular, you can see hügelkultur at work in the development of raised beds and mounds. Inter-planting within the garden makes full use of the space, leaving no bare areas. Plants are organized into groups, or “guilds,” so that plants that are beneficial to one another are put in close proximity. Incorporating in different ancestral growing practices like these can mean less work for gardeners, more diversity for insects, and fewer inputs (such as fertilizer or mulch) reducing costs as well.
What is growing in the garden – European pears, Asian pear, Ekmek quince, Desert King and Brown Turkey figs, Italian plum, and Japanese Shiro plum.
Native and ornamental trees: Garry oak, dogwood, corkscrew willow.
Berries: raspberry, fruiting currant, blueberry, strawberry, sea buckthorn.
Perennial edibles: rhubarb, horseradish, sorrel, Jerusalem artichoke.
Herbs: rosemary, mint, lemon balm, sage, Russian sage, comfrey, salad burnett.
Self re-seeding annuals: garlic, walking onion, chard, mache, kale, sunflower.
What are dandelions in the garden? Dandelions, and other “weeds” can actually be beneficial to a garden. They improve soil health by sending down long taproots to break up and heat compacted soil and bring nutrients up to where other plants can use them. They also provide early season forage for beneficial insects and pollinators.