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Snoqualmie Valley Record • August 28, 2013 • 9

Snoqualmie Valley

Home & Garden

Eagle for Raven

Carol Ladwig/Staff Photo

Dwight Rose, right, finishes up work on installing a new sign at Fall City’s Totem Garden, his Eagle project, with the help of his family and fellow Scouts from Troop 425, from left, his brother Matthew, Sean Hakala, Cooper Brown and his parents, Mitchell and Stacie Rose.

Town garden Local landscape grows up in giving community By Carol Ladwig Staff Reporter

A small flourish of color and life wedged between a city street and a state highway, Fall City’s Totem Garden is one scrappy patch of ground. Sun-baked Russian sage and Cape fuchsias flap in the wind of passing cars, and the ceanothus remains a vibrant blue, smelling faintly of lilac in the late August heat. Bees are about the only visitors to the garden right now, but as a stop on Fall City’s Art Walk, the place draws plenty of guests, and fans each year. “I just love this garden,” Stacie Rose tells a Scouting mom, as her son Localthe Owners and Employees Dwight finishes installing a sign on southeast end of it. The two Local Owners and Employees

women agreed, the space was a beautiful escape from the city traffic, despite being right in the midst of it. The sign, part of Dwight Rose’s Eagle project, marks the 10th anniversary of the garden. Its founder Vanessa Allen had wanted a sign for some time, though, just to let people know what the garden was—a gift to, and from, the community, like the namesake 45-foot totem pole dedicated in 1934, and the other art pieces within. “It’s a community effort. It always has been,” Allen said, as she listed the many players involved, from the companies that donated rock and fill dirt, to the people who donated plants or cash, in making the garden happen. It started, she explained, after the Fall City Community Association had acquired the last piece of the plot from the businesses across the highway—each of them was left with an unuseable sliver of the property after the highway went in, and eventually, they all sold theirs to the association, which Allen had served on for years. See GARDEN, 10

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Raven may be the hero in the story of the Fall City totem pole, but Dwight Rose prefers an Eagle. The Fall City Scout recently finished an Eagle project for the Totem Garden, the construction and installation of a sign that marks one entry point into the garden dividing Southeast 42nd Street from State Route 202. Rose, 16, knew that he wanted to do something for his own community for his Eagle project, because “I love the people here. I love this small town,” he said. He also wanted something creative. “I was looking for something that I would get excited about,” he said. What he didn’t know was what, exactly, the community could use, so he went to a Fall City Community Association meeting, where he met Totem Garden founder Vanessa Allen, who suggested a sign for the garden. They created a design, which included the 45-foot namesake totem pole, and reflected the theme of the Welcome sign on the north side of the garden. Then he shopped around for someone to help him construct it. Rose quickly found out that most sign manufacturers didn’t work on small projects like his, and was discouraged until he found what he needed, at his church. A fellow church member was a graphic designer, with the needed equipment and a willingness to help. Scouts from his Troop 425 helped him with the painting and installation of the sign, which were done earlier this month. Rose hopes to receive his Eagle award for the project for the end of the year. He’s also interested in Raven, though, and hopes the sign will bring new interest to the garden. “This isn’t just a garden,” he says. “It has some memory and history.”

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Carol ladwig/Staff Photo

Fall City’s Totem Garden, from left, flowers all but overwhelm the Totem Garden’s information sign about Julia Harshman, to whom the background totem pole, carved by H. H. Hinds, was dedicated in 1934. Harshman was a pioneer in Fall City, and the first telephone switchboard operator there; center, Scouts used a level to ensure the new Totem Garden sign was installed correctly; right, Totem Garden creator Vanessa Allen smiles as she watches the bees at work on one of her favorite plants, a brilliant orange butterfly weed.

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With full ownership of the property by 2001, the association still didn’t have a plan for it. The land as essentially a long narrow vacant lot with the totem pole in the center (one of two that anchored the little park), two cherry trees, and, since 1982, the “Welcome to Fall City” sign on the north tip “We really just mowed the weeds for years,” Allen said. In 2003, she got the idea for the garden, and soon had enlisted the support of the businesses and residents alike. “The minute I explained what I was doing, people wanted to help,” Allen said. So as she planned and planted the roughly 40 by 180-foot garden, she’d sim-

ply let people know what she needed, say a bunch of large rocks for edging along the central pathways, and the next day, someone delivered a truckload. Plants and cash arrived the same way. “I used to have people drive up and hand me a $20 bill when I was working in the garden,” Allen said. “They’d say ‘buy something pretty for the garden!’ and then drive off.” Pretty was only one criteria that any plant going into Allen’s garden had to meet. They also had to be sturdy and, most importantly, drought-tolerant. “There’s no water here,” Allen said. She’ll probably never forget that after one long summer of hand-watering all of the plants and shrubs. Now, everything is drought-tolerant, which hummingbirds love, she says, and flourishing. Maintenance nowadays is

more a matter of pulling the occasional weed — “My motto is never let anything go to seed,” — keeping the dirt covered, and watching the plants vie with each other in what she calls “a fight of whoever wants to take over.” A lot of work is not too far off, though, as Allen eyes the larger shrubs. They’re due soon for some serious pruning and dividing, and “I’d love to give it a spruceup after 10 years, she said. Maybe this fall, or next spring, though. For now, she’s content to watch the plants battling for dominance. “I think the ones that are going to win are awfully pretty,” she grins. Anyone interested in helping with the spruce-up or general maintenance of the garden can contact Allen at vanessa@ ammusic.net.

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Wildcat Workers spruce up Valley for football funds

Sunday School group grows church’s community garden

Lawns got mowed, fences fixed and weeds felled this summer by the strong arms of Wildcat football players—all part of the Wildcat Worker program. About 30 players took part this summer, from incoming freshmen to seniors, mostly football players, but a few soccer players also joined in. Wildcat Workers was started to take financial pressure of sports off families. It’s become a win-win for the athletes, their team and local homeowners, says Worker parent Kathy Hyland. “If you’ve got three guys doing a job that one homeowner would do himself, it gets done three time as fast,” said Hyland. “The boys work hard. People are surprised at what they could get accomplished.” Some boys earn enough to put some away for college on top of football costs. “If boys wanted to work, the work was there,” said Hyland. While Wildcat Workers is now over for the fall, it will start up again in April. You can learn more by sending an e-mail to Wildcatworkers@hotmail.com. W


Sunday School kids spent time on summer Sundays tending and watering the Snoqualmie United Methodist Church’s community garden. In May, the class planted vegetable and herb seedings. Children decided what they wanted to grow, and planted carrots, lettuce, cucumbers, beans, beets, broccoli, basil, coriander, catnip and sunflowers. Harvested vegetables and herbs go to the North Bend and Fall City food banks. As for sunflowers, the idea was to make surprise bouquets to deliver with food to the food bank, or to harvest seeds, package them and give them to families in need.




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SVR Special Pages - Snoqualmie Home and Garden August 2013  


SVR Special Pages - Snoqualmie Home and Garden August 2013