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Master Gardener workdays:
Wednesdays 8:00am to 12:00pm

3rd Saturdays (time weather dependent)

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 can be found on the  2024 WCMGA Calendar of Public Events
  • Interested in a Master Gardener guided tour or volunteering to help in the garden?  Contact Susan Albright or Sue Ryburn

The Rock Creek campus is at: 17705 NW Springville Road, Portland 97229; the garden is located across from Building 9.

Click here for a map of PCC-RC

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.

Garden Classrooms

The Waterwise Garden Classroom

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.

Insect and Pollinator Habitat Garden Classroom

The plantings in the Insect and Pollinator Habitat Garden Classroom were selected specifically for their ability to provide year-round habitat for beneficial insects and for pollinators of various species. “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!

Fragrance Garden Classroom

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!

Mason Bee Nesting Stations

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.

Community Circle Garden Classroom

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. Companion plantings of shrubs, perennials, groundcovers and grasses are interspersed. Conifers are selected to highlight uses of these versatile plants that use a small footprint. Many varieties can also be grown in containers when garden space is limited.

In 2022, the Education Garden and PCC Rock Creek conifer collection was certified as a Reference Garden by the American Conifer Society, joining only two other gardens in the entire state of Oregon with this designation. Visitors to the garden are invited to to use the Self-Guided Tour of the Conifer Collection which can be found at the Information Kiosk at the north entrance to the Education Garden.

PNW Native Pollinator Hedgerow

Located on the east edge of our main garden, the  PNW Native Pollinator Hedgerow was completed in fall 2021. With the help of a grant from the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon, we purchased plants that met our criteria –  low-maintenance, low-water needs, PNW native plants that provide habitat for pollinators and wildlife. Measuring 21’ x 80’, the addition of this garden space, and the native plants, helped us meet the requirements for a Certified Backyard Habitat at the Silver Level. Click here for a photo journal of the project

Meadowscape Garden Classroom

The newest addition is the Meadowscape Garden Classroom located near the west entrance to the main garden. Installed in fall 2022, this 20’ x 40’ site was seeded with a 50/50 native seed mix made up of equal parts grasses and flowers. Assuming our feathered friends who visit the garden left some seed to germinate, we hope to be enjoying blooms from early spring through fall in 2023. Click here for a photo journal of the Meadowscape project

It Takes a Village…

A garden requires the support and dedication of many. 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 since our beginning in 2018. Our special thanks to 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.  Our thanks to the following 2022 supporters: