Artists, musicians to gather for annual garden event


When the pandemic closed down many local areas, the Wildlife Botanical Gardens in Brush Prairie never shut its gates.

The botanicals, managed by the nonprofit NatureScaping of Southwest Washington, include 10 distinct gardens spread out on 3 acres, with each displaying a different theme.

For example, one garden features plants to attract hummingbirds so visitors can quietly watch them zip around, while the native garden highlights some of the flowers and vegetation from the Pacific Northwest.

Throughout the pandemic, NatureScaping hosted virtual discussions about various garden topics, administrative assistant Marlene Dellsy said. The series will continue with a workshop about creating backyard habitats for urban wildlife.

Brandon Burger, from the Backyard Bird Shop in Vancouver, will discuss the differences between monoculture yards and yards home to several wildlife species. Dellsy said monoculture yards only include one type of plant with little to no biodiversity.

“You don’t always have to have a beautifully well-manicured yard,” she said. “It’s okay to leave a brush pile for the little creatures.”

The nonprofit partnered with the Camas Library to help host the online class.

The virtual event is from 4 to 6 p.m. on June 25 via Zoom. To register, visit the NatureScaping website at

After its cancellation last year, Art in the Garden is back with a full line-up of local artists.

People can browse booths of artwork for sale, listen to live musicians or check out a yarn spinning demonstration throughout the day. There is no entrance fee, but attendees can leave a donation if they desire.

The ninth annual Art in the Garden will be held in the Wildlife Botanical Gardens, 11000 NE 149th St., Brush Prairie.

Some of the artists who plan to be in attendance include Science Education Through Art, She Who Doodles and Wolfe Designs. Guest musical performances will be by the Traveling Day Society drum and flute circle, as well as Diane Hurst Music with percussionist Oliva Snyder.

“In July, everything should be blooming beautifully. It’s the height of the season,” Dellsy said.

For the first time, participants can purchase tickets for a raffle at the event, she said. Participating artists agreed to contribute items. The winner will receive a basket full of gifts.

Dellsy anticipates restrictions will be “pretty open” for NatureScaping’s outdoor event. Artists and volunteers will wear masks and social distance from guests.

“We feel that we can accommodate the rules for Washington state at this point,” she said.

More than 600 people would attend the show in previous years when the weather cooperated, Dellsy said.

Art in the Garden started as a way for community members to become aware of the nature around them.

“Our mission is focusing on gardens and programs that inspire, educate and enrich our lives and our community,” Dellsy said.

People can attend the event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July 11.


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