Over the past 10 years, community members with green thumbs have been able to visit Pacific Community Park with the idea of finding a new gardening technique. With eight demonstration gardens showing off many different ideas and designs, anyone can learn something new about plant species and landscaping.
In the edibles and herbs garden, visitors can see an example of a garden that will grow healthy food. The wildlife garden shows how people can make gardens that demonstrate how to provide food, shelter and water for wildlife. Even those who don’t like to water their gardens can find inspiration in the facility with the xeriscaping garden showing off how to make a garden that requires little to no watering.
Three years ago, the Washington State University Clark County Master Gardener program formed a partnership with the city and began overseeing the gardens. Over the past year, the program has been working to ensure the gardens always look their best. According to Master Gardener and Pacific Community Park Gardens Maintenance Coordinator Christine Anderson, she and a team of volunteers are working together to edit, revise and evaluate the current gardens and implement changes where they’re needed. As of now, two of the eight gardens have been completely redone, with plans to work on the other six scheduled over the next couple of months. However, just because they’re redone doesn’t mean they’re finished working on the garden forever.
“By nature, a garden is never done,” Anderson said, mentioning that gardens require regular upkeep as plants (whether they’re intended to or not) grow, and some grow out of control.
According to Anderson, the newly revised gardens are remaining true to their original themes and no new ideas are in the works. Anderson and the gardeners are just working to ensure the gardens look their best for the community and volunteers that visit the park. Anderson said the gardens required a lot of work to get them where the Master Gardeners liked them. The xeric garden, which requires little to no water, was built with a sprinkler system, and the gardeners worked to remove that and return the garden to its roots of a low-water lifestyle.
While progress has been made over the past year, Anderson said many plans and ideas have been put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the goals for this year have been altered. The Master Gardeners are working with the county to ensure the weeds are “knocked back” and removed.
“Next spring, our goal is to hit the ground running,” Anderson explained.
One of Anderson's favorite new changes to the garden is the addition of QR Codes. QR Codes will be added to the tags of plants and gardens so interested parties can “have an entire garden at their fingertips” by scanning them with their smartphones. Anderson said the program plans to keep the QR Codes updated with the most recent information as well as adding tips and tricks gardeners can use to grow the plants and gardens they want.
Although a few of the gardens may be under construction, the public can still visit to get a little fresh air during times of social distancing.
”I really love the diversity and themes of the gardens. They appeal to many different types of people,” Anderson said. “They provide lots of visual examples for people to see and learn … For gardening in general, there’s always something new to learn. It’s magical.”