Sunday, October 21, 2007

Humboldt Botanical Gardens

A few years ago, I heard that a botanical garden was being started in Humboldt County. So I went down to College of the Redwoods, who is leasing land nearby for the gardens, to check it out. They had large signs with a master plan of the gardens in front of a large cow pasture--the future site of the gardens. It wasn't much to look at, but the idea was exciting.

Well, I've been curious ever since about how the gardens are coming. And I have a secret desire to work there, but it's run by volunteers at the moment, I need money, and the driving distance, while not great, is enough to make me be careful about signing up to volunteer.

By chance, I heard the the HBG Foundation was giving a tour of the garden site Saturday (yesterday). It turns out that it was really only open to members, but they kindly let my friend and I tag along and even offered us food and drink. Seems like a nice group of people.



Here's a view of the HBGF meeting with snack table and new greenhouse:


We're walking..


Here's a main pathway leading to a sitting area overlooking the native plant garden.


Native plant garden (one of the few areas planted) with a drain running down the middle. I'm a little concerned that the plantings are too close, but I saw some cool plants down there...

Well, I've skipped over the Moss Family Temperate Woodland garden, which will be packed with rhododendrons (mixed feelings about this), and the Wildberries Riparian area, which is being funded mostly by the Coastal Conservancy to restore and preserve the native willows and such along the creek, to get to a little slice of land that could be most interesting. It's the gardens' coastal prairie. They've planted a bunch of bulbs and native grasses in this area and are trying to beat down the weedy annual grasses by careful mowing. I wonder if they've considered burning or even if it would help agains the weeds. Weedy grasses are tough to control in large areas like this, especially if you can't confidently tell them from the natives. While it's not on the masterplan, I think an area showing the use of native plants, besides purely ornamental, would be nice.


For more info on the gardens, check out this link.

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