Master Gardener workday: Wednesday 9:00am to 12:00pm
We invite the public to visit, explore and learn!
- Open to the public during regular campus hours with free parking on Saturdays:
- Mon-Fri 7am-10pm, Sat 7am-3pm, closed Sun and campus holidays
- Educational signage located throughout the garden
- Self-guided tour brochures available at our Information Kiosk (north garden entrance)
- Free seminars open to the public throughout the year with our In the Garden Series
- Interested in a Master Gardener guided tour or volunteering to help in the garden? Contact Sue Ryburn email@example.com or Susan Albright firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Garden
The one-third acre garden site was originally a staging area for heavy construction equipment. In January 2018, a partnership between PCC-RC and WCMGA marked the beginning of transforming this site “from gravel to garden.” Located adjacent to the PCC-RC Learning Garden which focuses on food production, the WCMGA Education Garden chose to center on the use of landscape plants for the home garden. The design was built around several different “garden classrooms” themes described below.
The Waterwise Garden Classroom incorporates the use of a diverse selection of low-water needs, low-maintenance trees, shrubs and perennials that provide alternatives to large areas of turf (grass). Like-needs plants, both native and non-native, are grouped to create plant communities and habitat for pollinators, birds and insects. This garden also features drip irrigation, a “Hellstrip” garden and bare areas for ground nesting bees. Look here for: Additional resources for waterwise landscaping.
The plantings in the Insect Habitat Garden Classroom were selected specifically for their ability to provide habitat for beneficial insects. “Insect Hotels” can be found throughout the garden. While their ability to attract beneficial insects is still in the research stage, these structures do promote awareness of the need to provide habitat for the many beneficial insects that play an important role in home gardens and in the ecosystem. And they are fun garden art!
Our Pollinator Garden Classroom includes a variety of native and nonnative plants with overlapping blooming times that provide foraging from early spring through fall. Plants are chosen that require minimal care once established and are planted in flower groupings (clumps) of rounded blocks to minimize weeds and to localize the pollinator flight range. The diverse plant selection resembles natural native plant communities. Native grasses, nonnative perennials and ornamentals, and common garden herbs are also included.
A fragrant plant stimulates our senses, lifts our mood, evokes memories, adding to the healing pleasure of nature. The Fragrance Garden Classroom offers a four-season palette of fragrant shrubs, vines, annuals and perennials. With help from a local horticulture therapist, plants were chosen that support some of the seven universal characteristics of a therapeutic/healing garden. This garden provides a welcome “escape” for stressed students and community visitors, a peaceful setting for reflection and learning and, of course, a fun sniffing adventure for kids of all ages!
A series of Mason Bee Nesting Stations are located throughout the garden. Each station contains nesting trays specifically designed for our native Mason Bee, although other native cavity-dwelling pollinators frequently make their nests there as well. Two of the nesting stations have sliding doors, allowing visitors to view the ongoing activities within the trays. Educational signage about the solitary Mason Bee is located near one of these stations. Mid-March through June is the active time for Mason Bees.
Three arc-shaped beds make up the Community Circle Garden Classroom. Each bed features a different genus of dwarf and semi-dwarf conifers – Pine, Chamaecyparis and Cryptomeria – that are suitable for the home garden. Companion plantings of shrubs, perennials, groundcovers and grasses are interspersed.
Preparations are underway for a PNW Native Pollinator Hedgerow on the east edge of our garden. This 21’ x 84’ area will be comprised of low-maintenance, low-water needs native plants that provide habitat for pollinators and wildlife. Stay tuned!
It Takes a Village…
A new garden requires the support and dedication of many. Many thanks to our partner PCC Rock Creek and its Landscape Technology (LAT) Program for providing WCMGA with ongoing support and opportunities to work with students, faculty and staff on projects ranging from design, to site preparation to irrigation, tree care, soils and more. In addition, we are very grateful to our community supporters who have helped to transform this space from “gravel to garden” and expand the Master Gardener outreach to the public. Our thanks to:
- Portland Community College Rock Creek
- Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District
- The Metropolitan Garden Club of Portland
- Northwest Garden Design LLC
- Portland Nursery
- Oregon Decorative Rock
- The Hardy Plant Society of Oregon
- Aloha Garden Club
- Dinsdale Nursery
- Oregon Small Trees
- Al’s Garden and Home
- Joy Creek Nursery
- Xera Plants Inc.