When a call goes out for free plants, Leafhopper Farm jumps at the chance! A house in historic Georgetown, now being gentrified by a fast growing Seattle hipster scene, has been sold to flippers wanting to improve the neighborhood for a great return. The home was built in 1911; if these walls could talk! For the last five of them, these walls have seen a collective of women punk activists. All that wildness took root in the small quarter acer front and back yard of the property. Many of the ladies brought their gardening skills to the house, carving out beds, potted plant paradise patios, and some healthy looking Asparagus.
The last hold out, scrambling to get her record collection into salvaged milk crates from a back shed which was about to lay down and die, smiles up at me and nods her head towards the front yard. “There’s a monkey puzzle tree somewhere in there, it’s worth a lot of money.” She then continued packing and left me to dig up plants. There were so many bulbs coming up, I focused on those for a time, pulling lilies, daffodils, and glory of the snow. They have been bedded up near the house for this season to protect against predation. City yards are less vulnerable to wildlife, so they can get away with more decorative species.
A few more hardy plants, like the monkey puzzle, have been placed in a more open area of the land, near the outflow pipe for the pond. It will take 60 years for this little tree to grow mature and produce nuts, but it will for future generations. There is also another exciting species in this lower picture, a type of carrion flower, but not sure which kind till it blooms! These flowering plants are pollinated by flies, so they put out a rotting meat oder to attract said pollinators. Needless to say, this lily is far away from the living spaces of the farm.
The Asparagus crowns were also saved, then placed here in the front bed garden and protected with a ring of white quarts which also traveled from the punk house in Georgetown. This was a very special treasure to be gifted, as asparagus takes a long time to grow from seed. The work of those punk ladies will not go to waste! All the viable roots and bulbs were transplanted within a day, making sure the plants are not left out of the soil for long. We’ll see what comes up by late spring.
Anyone who can wait for plant will find people like the women in Georgetown who wanted their hard work over the years to be shared with others. Since the house will be flipped by next year, the yard will also be reset with sod as a “blank canvas” for a new buyer. This is common in residential house flipping, but it can end up destroying many hard to cultivate species, not to mention great bulbs and young trees which are still perfectly good to grow, if they can only find a new space. This is a great way to recycle plants and save on landscaping. Thank you Guerrilla Punk Women of Georgetown!