Thyme Patch Park

Thyme Patch Park in Ballard, Seattle

2853 NW 58th Street in Ballard, Seattle

Thyme Patch Park is a tiny jewel of a garden nestled in a west Ballard neighborhood in Seattle. This small demonstration garden combines the best elements of a neighborhood park and community garden. The purpose of the garden is to integrate the feel of a park with the residential nature of the area.

Plants in the display garden. Plants are selected for the display garden area that are readily available at local nurseries and that can be added to a residential yard in the Seattle or surrounding area in King County. Here is a list of the current inventory of plants organized according to their location in areas of the garden. Areas by location are: #1 Garden beds at the northwest entry to the park along the walkway and atop the wall; #2 Garden beds in the northeast area of the park along the walkway and atop the wall; #3 Garden beds on the Eastern side of the garden along the walkway and at the edge of the lawn including the seated bench area to the path to the P-Patch; #4 Garden beds on the Western side of the garden from the path to the P-Patch past the rock-lined patio and to the Stumpery located beside the lawn.

Plants to view in the TPP garden [updated June 2022]

History of the park. In 1998, the Ballard community created a Crown Hill/Ballard Open Space and Recreation Plan and identified the vacant property now known as Thyme Patch Park as a top priority for park acquisition. Seattle Parks and Recreation purchased the property in 1999 with King County Conservation Futures Tax funding. Following the acquisition of the property, Groundswell Northwest worked with the Seattle Parks Foundation, Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods to raise funds and worked with the WSU King County Master Gardener Program to plan and develop the site. The Seattle Parks Foundation facilitated funding from the Miller Foundation for the formal landscaped entry way. The residential lot on which Thyme Patch Park sits was purchased by the city in 2001. In January 2003 Master Gardeners began building the planting design for their landscaped portion of the park. The purpose of the garden was to integrate educational aspects of home garden design, plant select, pruning and maintenance in a home-like landscape, highlighting those plants found in the neighborhoods of Seattle.

Plants chosen for the garden were to be easily available and adapted to a residential yard. Not all plants would be ordinary, and the garden was expected to serve as a demonstration and display garden for selecting and showing plants with winter interest, fragrance, shade, texture and fun for children.

The park includes a P-Patch, Master Gardener demonstration gardens, benches, lawn area and walkways. Local artist Chuck Nafziger created the hand-crafted steel handrail by the entry staircase. The hat on the left rail was included as a tribute to Greg Edeen of Groundswell NW who championed the creation of the park.

  • Park size: 4800 square feet
  • Thyme Patch P-Patch: 14 plots; wait time: 6-12 months

Master Gardeners maintain the street-side, north-facing half of the garden as a display and demonstration garden. The back, south-facing half of the park is one of the Seattle P-Patches. Groundswell NW provided funds for the metal container beds at the alley edge which are maintained by the P-Patch subscribers. Produce from these container gardens is donated to the Ballard Food Bank. Produce from the Asian pear trees in the display garden is also donated to the Ballard Food Bank. Seattle Parks mows the grassy areas and trims the edges.

The garden shed was built by Groundswell and is shared by the Master Gardeners and the P-Patchers. The Master Gardener Foundation funds the plant purchases and supplies needed to maintain the garden areas.

David Griffen was the lead designer for the project and a Master Gardener. Frank Peters served as the Master Gardener Demo Garden leader from 2006-2017 [see article in The Connection – Aug 2016 about Frank Peters].

2853 NW 58th St, Ballard

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