Demonstration Gardens

DSC_2875Visit the Demonstration Gardens at Carkeek Park and you will be able to find these amazing garden types:


Backyard Wildlife Garden:
The primary purpose of this bed is to provide food and water year-round for the resident and migratory birds that utilize the Park. Shelter is provided, also, by leaving piles of plant litter throughout this bed. Bird habitat is created by the wide variety of plant material; deciduous and evergreen trees, and middle and under-story shrubs and trees. Hazel Wolf Garden: Designed first and foremost as bird habitat. Sit quietly on the bench for a moment and you may hear our resident Hummingbirds, Robins, Warblers, or Woodpeckers. A rare visit from the Cooper’s hawk may occur in spring. This garden area, left unattended, is an integral part of the Park.

Kitchen Garden:
Edibles can be beautiful and highly ornamental, as you can see in the blooms of Chive, the brilliant colors of Bright Lights Swiss Chard, and the small, intense flowers of purple Sage. Adding edibles to your ornamental garden beds is an efficient way to increase your food production space and create interest in your garden beds. Pollinators love these plants, as well!

Rain Garden:
Rain gardens play a crucial role in preventing urban flooding. Many plants used in these gardens take up and store pollutants which prevents run-off into local streams and ponds; the deep roots of these plants are able to withstand periods of standing water or extended drought; and soil erosion is decreased or eliminated. Use the ideas here to create your own rain garden at home.

Butterfly Garden:
This is a very busy garden from late spring, through summer, and into fall! It is filled with pollinators both large and small – birds, bees, butterflies, moths – and this bed is an important companion to the Prairie-style garden.

Ethno-botany Garden:
The majority of plants in this bed are native to the Pacific Northwest, and many were traditional food sources for indigenous people. Of special note: Elderberry, Huckleberry, and Kinnikinnik.

Shady Woodland Garden:
Subtle colors, delicate foliage, ephemeral blooms – such is the nature of a shady, woodland garden. Shade gardening presents many challenges including being too wet or too dry depending upon what causes the shade, but when the right plants are used those challenges result in an area of unique and memorable beauty with little maintenance.

Oak Island Garden:
This bed represents the greatest challenges and problems urban gardeners face. Areas of deep, dry shade (under the Oak tree), to full sun, to dappled shade are present here. To meet these challenges, we have “followed the sun” and planted Daisies, Sedum, and other sun-loving perennials on the northwestern slope. At the top of the island, which receives dappled shade, we have planted Blue-leaf rose, Oak leaf Hydrangea, Oxalis, Mahonia, and Physocarpus. Under the Oak tree where the shade is deep we have planted native ferns and shade-loving Carex species. This beautiful garden demonstrates the wide variety of low-maintenance plants that bring spring/summer color and autumn interest to gardeners throughout our region.

Prairie-style Garden: The plants used here represent those found in the Palouse region of Washington State, and of the tall-grass and short-grass prairies of the mid-west US. Grasses, Coneflowers, Yarrow, False Indigo, Camas, and Arkansas Blue-star are some of the species we grow here. All plants in this bed are crucial to wildlife by providing either food or nesting materials; these plants are so hardy they will need no supplemental water after their first year; and no plants need maintenance other than a once-a-year trim. As a bonus, all plants in this bed provide beautiful fall color.

North Garden:
The Demonstration Gardens’ most colorful bed – summer brings a blooming riot of Joe Pye Weed, Daisy, Red-hot Poker, Coneflower, and Black-eyed Susan. This is a full sun garden, a consistently watered bed, and the plants respond with a dramatic show that lasts into winter.

For more information or to volunteer:
Lead Gardner: Deborah Phare | 206.979.1476 |
Master Gardner: Drexie Malone | 206.550.5406 |