Swinging from the Vines

Editorial director Rachel Hart reflects on growth: both good bad.

By Rachel Hart July 18, 2012


This article originally appeared in the August 2012 issue of Seattle Magazine.

It’s that time of year when Seattle’s gardens are in full bloom—or in my case, bloomed, spent and in desperate need of a good watering and dead foliage trimming. This was one of the lushest seasons I recall in recent memory, at least in the microcosm that is my Ballard backyard. Everything seemed to be growing faster and blooming a few weeks earlier than usual—including my nemesis (and maybe yours?), morning glory. Every year, it’s me against that hideous choking plant that winds its way around anything it can get its tendrils on (Fuchsia, in my case), and every year I’m in the lead until things get too lush and I just can’t stop its evil progress.

But then I read Roddy Scheer’s story on invasive weeds in this issue, and didn’t feel so sorry for myself. Who knew you could come home to find a note in your mailbox: Pull your weeds, or else!

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the environmental impact of invasive species, given the eerie arrivals of boats, entire docks and other debris from the Japanese tsunami that has made its way across the ocean to our shores. I understand the impact when what’s growing on one side of the ocean meets another, but didn’t realize the damage that persistent scourge of backyard weeds can cause. It gives a whole new meaning to “illegal weed.”

But then there are the vines that we are happy to see flourishing: our state’s grape vines, lush with fruit this time of year, ready to be smashed, poked, prodded and fermented into the nectar of the gods that is known as Washington wine. In this issue we celebrate the two best ways I know to enjoy Washington wine—drinking it and visiting its various birthplaces. For the drinking part, we offer the 2012 winners of our seventh annual Best Washington Wine Awards, so you can build a tasteful, au courant Washington wine cellar. For the visiting part, our team of travel and wine writers and editors scoured wine country to dig up the most beautiful tasting rooms and lush landscapes to gaze upon while enjoying a glass (see “Wine Country Getaways”).

I’m going to be celebrating wine this month at one of my favorite charitable events of the year, the three-day Auction of Washington Wines weekend. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the auction—always a beautiful celebration of our glorious wine-producing state—on the grounds of Chateau Ste Michelle in Woodinville. It’s also a critical fundraiser for Seattle Children’s uncompensated care fund, which pays for the health care of families that can’t afford it. I’ll drink to that, and I hope to see you there.

Until next month,

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