There are some unsung places in Clark County that need to be sung about. The Wildlife Botanical Gardens, in the heart of Clark County (Brush Prairie) is one of those places.
The 3-acre gardens were developed in the mid-1990s to teach and demonstrate gardening for wildlife in the wake of the urban growth we experienced in Clark County. The gardens are administrated by NatureScaping of SW Washington. Volunteers, who adopt a garden, do much of the planting and tidying up work. Classes are offered on site or next door at the CASEE center.
Each demonstration garden is about the size of a typical urban front garden. There are nine gardens plus the entrance garden. At the very end is the Master Composter/Recycling site. Each garden is focused on providing for the needs of birds, butterflies, insects, etc. When I visit there is always something happening with wildlife, even in winter. These are truly four-season gardens.
The family friendly gardens are open year round, dawn to dusk, 7 days a week, and are free to the public. There is ample parking just across from the entrance. The area is flat with gravel paths and is accessible by wheelchair. Perfect for a solitary stroll, meet up with a friend, or for a family outing. Kids will enjoy the birds, frogs, and insect life. Several of the gardens have benches and some have tables. Something to keep in mind when the kids are out of school this summer.
Meet some of the residents:
Every April Naturescaping holds its annual fundraiser, the Bare-Root Trees, Shrubs, and Perennials Sale. This year it will be on Saturday and Sunday, April 28-29 from 10-3 at the gardens. I try to go every year. One year I picked up a Honeycrisp Apple tree, another year I picked up five bare root Limelight Hydrangeas (such a deal!).
In July the garden hosts an “Art in the Garden” event, co-sponsored by NatureScaping and the Hardy Plant Society, Clark County chapter. Local artists have booths and musicians perform while visitors are welcome to bring folding chairs and a picnic lunch. This year the date is Sunday, July 8.
Speaking of events; the gardens are available for small informal weddings. Imagine an intimate garden wedding, surrounded by family, close friends, flowers, and birds. Contact the office for details via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by message phone at 360.737.1160.
The gardens have a NatureScaping FaceBook page with lovely photos by photographer/poet Terry Covington, who gave me permission to post her photos here. Terry frequently visits the gardens and photographs them in the different seasons.
I hope you have enjoyed these photos and that you will plan a visit to the gardens soon.
More eye candy.