Northwest NEWS

May 7, 2001


Seattle Public Utility never promised you a moon garden

by Bronwyn Wilson
   Senior Staff Reporter
   With all the media publicity of a summer drought, some people in the area have chosen to have a moon garden. They prefer the landscape of their yard to look as desolate as the moon instead of enjoying the brilliant color of pansies in electric blue and the flaming red of the Maltese Cross.
   Although water levels still remain lower than normal, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) said they are encouraging people to enjoy their gardens.
   "The message we're sending is that you can absolutely have a beautiful garden this spring and summer. And you can have a beautiful garden that's water efficient," said Sheila Strehle, media relations manager.
   In order to help with water efficient gardening, SPU is teaming up with area nurseries to help home gardeners reduce water use and have healthier plants.
   Soaker hoses will be available at a savings of up to 50 percent through May 31. The water providers represent the 2001 Water Conservation Partnership: Seattle Public Utilities and the 26 water utilities to which SPU wholesales water.
   Soaker hoses are a great way to conserve water. Made of porous rubber or similar material, often recycled, water seeps or "sweats" through their pores. Water enters the soil slowly and gradually spreads down to the plant roots so little water is wasted through evaporation.
   Water is kept off plant foliage, preventing plant disease. The hoses can be left in place, which eliminates hose dragging.
   Eastside nurseries where soaker hoses are available include: Classic Nursery and Landscape Company; Cottage Creek Nursery; Gray Barn Garden Center; Hayes Nursery; Molbak's in Woodinville; and Olympic Nursery.
   Also, the nurseries will provide a fact sheet "Saving water with a soaker hose" with each hose sold. Upon request, the nurseries will have two other fact sheets on hand, "Smart watering" and "Growing healthy soil." Liz Fikejs, conservation program manager at SPU, said, "The point in both [fact sheets] is to help conserve water, protect water quality and encourage composting. They also help people to have a healthier garden."
   To discuss water efficient gardening, popular radio talk show host Ciscoe Morris will be at Molbak's in Woodinville on Sunday, May 27 from 10 a.m. to noon and at Olympic Nursery on Saturday, May 12, from 10 a.m. to noon.
   No doubt his talk will certainly contain his hallmark humor. Morris and fellow talk show host, Scott Conner, will be speaking at many of the area nurseries in the Seattle area during the month of May.
   For information on where and when, call (206) 684-SAVE or visit