Search This Blog

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Support Your Local Botanical Garden

Plant lovers from around the Pacific Northwest are making their last visits to the Berry Botanic Garden, a public garden in SW Portland.  A casualty of tough economic times, the garden will close permanently on October 1st and the property will be sold.  The garden’s mission will live on with a conservation and seedbank endowment to Portland State University.  Read more on the Berry Botanic Garden Website.

On a recent visit, we strolled the lovely woodland trails viewing plants from around the world collected by Mrs. Berry.  Mature trees form a lofty canopy and understory plantings of Himalayan Maidenhair Fern and a sea of brightly colored Primroses left lasting impressions.  Of particular interest to us were the extensive rock gardens and the large trough collection.

Many communities have gardens and plant collections open to the public.  We receive emails from gardeners throughout the country asking which plants will grow best in their garden and I suggest they visit their local botanical garden.  This is an excellent way to learn what thrives in their area, to get planting ideas and to see the eventual size of plants.

The missions of most botanical gardens are conservation, research and education, making them wonderful community resources.  I can trace my interest in gardening with native plants to the many visits I made as a child to our local public garden, The Santa Barbara Botanical Garden.  I always make a point to visit gardens wherever we travel, both in the US and abroad.  As a mail order specialty nursery, we send plants we have grown to botanical gardens throughout the country, from New York and Ohio to Alaska.

There are a number of ways to support your local botanical garden including being a frequent visitor, volunteering your time, and attending benefit plant sales and other events. If you are in the Portland Metro Area in the coming weeks, make an appointment to visit the Berry Botanic Garden.  We might see you there!

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely tribute and excellent pictures. Thanks!