Community Post

Traffic Circle and Streetside Garden Competition

Jackson Place Traffic Circle and Street Side Gardens Competition Spring 2012


Like a spring bouquet, the plantings in curb bulbs, traffic circles and planting strips are gifts from businesses or gardeners that share the beauty of nature with the public.

Jackson Place received its first traffic circles over twenty five years ago allowing the public’s role in beautifying Jackson Place and Seattle’s streets. Most of these circles are tended by intrepid gardeners that face frequent frustration as their streetside gardens are often run over, which compacts soil and crushes plants, and often curbs enthusiasm and commitment.

Despite the challenges, gardeners who hang in long enough to see their gardens bloom enjoy expanding their gardening space, meeting new friends and making their neighborhood safer.

Looking for a few good gardeners


To qualify for the Jackson Place contest, traffic circles must be located within the Jackson place neighborhood (S. Jackson to the North, Rainier Avenue to the West, 23

rd Ave. S to the East and I-90 to the South) Mature trees should be limbed up to 8 feet at the trunk and young trees pruned so they don’t block visibility. Traffic circles at an intersection cannot contain any unapproved objects such as rocks or posts and understory plants must be maintained at or below 24 inches. The understory plant height for streetside gardens beyond the 30-foot envelope is a maximum of 30 inches tall.

Contest Garden Categories


  • Best Habitat in the Round
  • Circle Garden for Kids
  • Car stopping Beautiful
  • Just for Fun
  • Edible Circle
  • Business Gateway
  • Ruin to the Rescue
  • Multi-season spectacular


Judging criteria

Judges (TBD) will be professional landscape designers, architects and community members.


They will be evaluating; innovative creative design, use of color and foliage, seasonal interest, quality of maintenance and plant health, and good gardening practices. The finalists will represent the best of unique design and personality, as well as their choice of plant selection, with emphasis on drought tolerance, pest and disease resistance, effective use of color and foliage, seasonal interest, quality of maintenance and plant health, good gardening practices, unique design and personality, plant selection: drought tolerance, pest/disease resistance, no invasives.

Deadlines and Contact Information

If you are interested in participating please indicate this by sending your name, circle/streetside garden location and category you want to be judged by subscribing to [email protected]  by March 30, 2012 Judging will occur at a date to be determined in early June.

If you have an interest in being a judge contact Paul B. Crane at [email protected]

Look for future posts on the Jackson Place list serve and web site.

2 thoughts on “Traffic Circle and Streetside Garden Competition

  1. What a great idea, and I’m so happy to see a positive effort in our neighborhood, not to mention what I think will be very positive effect…

  2. Fun! I used to help organize the city-wide traffic circle contest for SDOT years ago. I’m glad to see that someone has kept up the tradition.