One of the many highlights of this trip to Oregon and Washington was the visit to well known Seattle forager Arthur Lee Jacobson’s amazing edible garden. Many species I’d never seen before and Arthur is a fountain of knowledge of the world’s edible plants!
Arthur’s website: http://www.arthurleej.com/
From an open day in the garden in 2010, Arthur wrote: “The garden is of southwest exposure on a steep hillside. It has 52 steps. Trees abound, native and otherwise. You can see how challenging it is to grow sun-loving plants, including vegetables, in much shade. Recycled materials are used often. Some of the 15 native trees and shrubs include a dominating white pine (under which socializing occurs), red cedar, Douglas fir, dogwood, hazel, tall and low Oregon grape, mock orange, and salal. Other than trees and shrubs that were there to begin with, I have acquired and planted mostly fragrant and edible plants, in an ecclectic fashion. It is informal, organic, and charming. There is no lawn. If you love formality and straight lines you may hate this garden. It will also look strange and unnatural because over 350 plants will be labeled –there are so many unfamiliar and rare kinds, that labels are needed for visitors.
This year, new features include a display of edible houseplants including pineapples; a test of various sweet potato cultivars; a black tub planted edible aquatic plants. There are more than 560 annuals, perennials, vegetables, herbs, vines, flowers, trees, shrubs, and intentional cultivated weeds — all together. I do not segregate by category. If you come, please do NOT pull weeds. What you may be sure is a weed may be a plant that I am growing for a specific reason. Some of you know that for 23 years I maintained the Weed Garden at Seattle Tilth’s urban Agriculture center. For the Tilth newsletter I wrote 100 Weed-of-the-Month articles.”
26th September: Corrected and added plant names following input from Arthur!