Berry Botanic Garden to close?

ian_wa(Sequim)January 19, 2010

Bummer news! I'll have to visit soon; I've never been. Berry Botanic Garden Reaches Financial Dead End

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grrrnthumb(z8 WA)

Very sad, I hope they'll find a way to at least keep the collection together.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2010 at 4:36PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Very sad. I confess that I've never been there. It is not very well publicized and it is hard to find.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2010 at 3:39PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

The late Dennis Thompson of the horticulture department at Edmonds Community College said Mrs Berry once had things going on like sheets of pleione orchids growing in her rock garden. Glass panes were put over them during the winter to kept the rain off, allow them to live through the winter.

I've been to the latter day garden at least a couple of times, how worth it is to get in there now and see it before it is broken up and sold depends on your particular interest. Definitely developed originally in the Scottish tradition of informal ornamental gardening in a cool and moist climate. Not a place to see manzanitas and cacti.

I have the impression much was lost before the botanic garden phase was even begun, but I never saw the original collection.

She used to correspond with plant collectors still in the process of exploring the Sino-Himalaya and finding new treasures. Unfortunately these and other records were destroyed after her death out of fear that such letters between her and men might be seen as a romance. I was told this when asking about the identification of a particular tree in the latter day garden, to explain why the garden had no original records of such plantings.

Doubling up with the nearby Elk Rock Garden, another British-style garden developed originally by a Scot would make it an additionally worthwhile trip. Many nice tree and shrub specimens there, plus sheets of bulbs and a native wildflower area down near the overlook at the bottom of the property.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2010 at 4:12PM
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ian_wa(Sequim)

No manzanitas and cacti, well maybe that's why it's closing. Yeah, I wouldn't drive that far without combining other destinations in one trip. I really want to visit Cistus Nursery and see if any of the plants in their demo gardens are still alive. That could be educational.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2010 at 9:16PM
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larry_gene

Mrs. Berry had, according to plant lists c. 1995, planted some of the first Eucryphia trees in Portland. A general area of the garden was suggested to me, but I could not locate them.

I believe this garden was in a relatively short list of botanic gardens that was published in the Oregonian garden insert weekly for many years, and the garden was certainly well-known by local gardening types.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 12:21AM
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JudyWWW(z7/WA)

Does anyone know what is going to happen to their irreplaceable stored seed collection? jwww

    Bookmark   January 23, 2010 at 10:45AM
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larry_gene

The above-linked news article mentioned it: The seed bank and other research materials are going to Portland State University. Someone whose name I didn't catch was on the KXL radio gardening show Saturday morning talking about it. PSU is upgrading their agricultural facilities and will provide a freezer and other equipment for the seed bank.

I think a lot of this native seed banking effort has been duplicated in recent years by a Metro department that has facilities near Tualatin--they request volunteers in newspapers on a weekly basis.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 11:25PM
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lilydude

Larry gene, can you provide any additional contact information about the Metro seed bank? Thanks.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 12:03PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Does KXL still have Frasier Crane?

Oh, wait: that was in Seattle.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 1:53PM
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larry_gene

The agency is the Native Plant Center near Wanker's (!) Corner in Tualatin. The manager, Ms. Holt-Kingsley, lived on our block for some years.

Website of Metro Native Plant Center

The KXL gardening show has been hosted by Mike Darcy for several years now. He dribbled away two minutes bantering with the guest to establish that the botanic garden had nothing to do with caneberries.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 12:17AM
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project_sideways

I had a chance to visit with my four year old one fine day this past September. It seemed only a few staff were present. I regret not having visited more often as I'm only a few miles away, but plan to return this spring for one last look.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 1:44AM
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