Carleton Avenue Grocery Store, established in 1911

In this era of chain stores, it is a treat to visit a thriving independent grocery store such as the Carleton Avenue Grocery in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle.  Its proprietor claims that this is the oldest, continuously run grocery store in Seattle.  It sells an eclectic mix of ethnic and gourmet foods.  The last time I visited, I purchased a bottle of Bubble Up, a soft drink from my childhood.  On this latest visit, I purchased some Australian-made Bundaberg ginger beer.

Carleton Avenue Grocery storefront

Interior, Carleton Avenue Grocery

Ringing up a sale

Ginger beer

(The ginger beer tased like super gingery ginger ale!)

Jon B Dove garden cottage, Georgetown Garden Walk

Yesterday was the 2012 Georgetown Garden Walk.  My friend Carol and I strolled around, map in hand, enjoying the garden ramble.  We re-visited old favorites from last year’s Walk, and eyed a few new surprises.  This year the Garden Walk was made extra special by art in the gardens, a co-event called “Cross Pollinate.”

My absolute favorite part of the Georgetown Garden Walk was Jon B. Dove’s garden cottage.  I would love to have a garden retreat like this to write, paint, and work on my blog. Here are some photos:

The Jon B. Dove garden cottage interior

A relaxing spot to read a book

Dove garden cottage, another view

A profusion of clematis, Dove garden

Honeysuckle blossom, Dove garden

Another garden shed being made over into an extra living space

Red poppy

A small backyard space converted into a magical oasis, lined by votive candles


Garden gate, Georgetown Garden Walk

Garden arch, a cool, green spot

Many gardens sported interesting art objects, like this vintage toy airplane

Foliage from Solomon seal

Purple and green grape leaves

We saw borders lined with hubcaps, bowling balls, and this one with bottles

A gardener and her passion flower

Pink hollyhocks

Old-fashioned flowers — hollyhocks

Tea in the garden

Carol resting on a bench in Oxbow Park

Parasol and long braid

This woman with her parasol was perfectly attired for the garden walk.

Plein air painter in a garden

Budding artist, Piper, painting in her garden

Poster for 2012 Georgetown Garden Walk

This past weekend's Georgetown Garden Walk

Summer gardens are flourishing, and communities often host Garden Walks to showcase their gardens.  I’ve never attended a Garden Walk event, so I made it a point to check out this year’s walk in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle.  Georgetown is perhaps better known as an industrial and warehouse district, but there are a few residential streets and pockets of houses nestled among the businesses in the area.  Armed with a map of the participating gardens, my friend Carol and I set off to explore the neighborhood.  Here are some photos:

A private cafe table and chairs

Lovely arched arbor between a front and back yard

I loved the color of this ground cover plant

Hubcaps edge these borders. These gardeners also used old bowling balls to line the edges of some garden patches.

Floating four-leaf clover at Oasis Water Gardens

Old-fashioned hollyhocks

The most unusual flower I saw on the Georgetown Garden Walk -- passiflora, or passion flower

Giant Cowboy Hat 'n' Boots, Oxbow Park, Georgetown

My favorite garden: Jon B Dove's garden has a garden house, a perfect retreat!

Dove garden house, Georgetown Garden Walk

Interior of Dove's garden house

Orchid from Orchidaceae

Last week I returned to the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle in order to take more photographs of the fresh, local flowers.  Next time, I’ll arrive earlier in the day, ahead of the buyers, so that I can photograph a bigger selection.  On this visit, I was taken with the striking orchids for sale at Orchidaceae (

Some orchids in Orchidaceae's temperature-controlled show space.

Just lovely!

Fresh orchid from Orchidaceae, a grower in Walla Walla, WA

Colorful bags for wrapping purchases

The distinctive yellow food truck, Hallava Falafel, in Georgetown

Hallava Falafel is another of the food trucks recommended by Heather Shouse, the author of Food Trucks:  Dispatches & Recipes from the Best Kitchens on Wheels.  And it’s located in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle, which I’ve been wanting to explore.  So last week my friend Carol and I adventured there by bus for a lunch date.  Oh, it was very good indeed.  Carol had the falafel sandwich, and I had the shawarma, which had grilled meat instead of falafel.  The pita bread was overloaded with good things — very messy to eat.  But we were prepared and brought extra napkins.  Carol ate half of her sandwich and saved the rest for another day’s lunch.  I stuffed myself and ate the whole thing.

This was an off-the-beaten path experience that I will repeat.  And soon!

Carol's falafel sandwich

No tables, just this seating area.


Abandoned warehouse, Georgetown neighborhood, Seattle

“We’ll abandon anything and move on.”
— Howard Mansfield

On my first visit to the Seattle Wholesale Grower’s Flower Market I discovered that it was located in one of Seattle’s old warehouse districts.  I am not familiar with the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle’s south side, but this first visit intrigued me.  I was drawn to the haunting beauty of the derelict warehouses, some of them finding new uses as artist studios.

Derelict warehouse, Georgetown district

Boarded up window

Old warehouse, Georgetown district

Ventilation fan, old warehouse

I am not the first to be attracted to old buildings.  Photographer Brian Vanden Brink has been photographing them for decades, and you can see some of the images in Ruin: Photographs of a Vanishing America.

Ruin, a book of photographs

Two of the photos from the book

“To me they are mysterious and melancholy, hauntingly beautiful. . . Maybe these buildings fascinate me because they represent all of us — metaphors for our transient lives and inability to stop the passing of time. . . They are relics of another time, but they are of my time, too.  They are statues, memorializing the transitory nature of life.”
— Brian Vander Brink, Ruins: Photographs of a Vanishing America

“Man is born to die.  His works are short lived.  Buildings crumble, monuments decay, and wealth vanishes.”
— Percival Baxter