Thursday, June 16, 2011

Experienced Neighbors Involved in Landscaping Existing Traffic Circle Offer Tips For New One A Few Blocks Away

Traffic circle at NE 50th Avenue NE and 46th Avenue NE

After reading our recent post on the upcoming landscaping to start in the Fall at the new traffic circle on NE 50th Street and 44th Avenue NE, a nearby neighbor, Barbara Asmervig, an avid gardener whom we have previously posted about, offered some tips from her experience landscaping another traffic circle two blocks away.

Barbara's beautiful garden at her home on 46th Avenue NE near Laurelhurst Elementary School, where she has lived for almost 25 years, was featured in the Pacific Northwest Magazine a few years ago.

Barbara and Catherine Kalke, a nearby neighbor, were instrumetal in the design and landscaping of the traffic circle at NE 50th and 46th Avenue NE.

Barbara told us that Catherine organized a neighborhood fundraiser to have the traffic circle cleaned up and designed. Catherine raised enough money through donations to have two trees removed and to purchase the plant material, fertilizer and compost mulch.

Barbara designed the traffic circle with "drought tolerance and cold hardiness in mind though the plants still need water in such an exposed and hot space."

Both Catherine and Barbara maintain the traffic circle and Barbara's husband waters the circle "using the very generous neighbor's water at the corner lot," she told us.

Barbara also mentioned that since many cars and trucks drive right over the top of the circle and through the plants, intentional in some cases, that they chose to use Euphorbia Mrysinites (Donkey Tail Spurge) for the border, as it is "tough and will bounce back."

Other tips Barbara suggests:
  • Keep the traffic circle "well maintained as it reflects directly on the neighborhood" 
  • Organize a committee to maintain the space
  • Keep the "plan simple and uniform to keep the space neat"
  • Select plants low in height for the circle, otherwise the plants can block vision on all sides of the circle defeating the purpose of traffic safety
Barbara and Catherine offer their expertise to anyone who would like assistance in starting or maintaing a traffic circle. Please email us and we will put you in contact with them.

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