Saturday, April 05, 2008

Growing a Garden: Idaho’s Sawtooth Botanical Garden

To conceive and create a botanical garden is a daunting endeavor for anyone, anywhere, but in Idaho?

The Sawtooth Botanical Garden started as a community garden. In 1995 a small, yet determined, local group of gardeners and environmentalists acquired a former horse pasture – with the help of the Global Environmental Project Institute. The idea was to demonstrate sustainable gardening practices and allow community members to rent plots and grow vegetables and flowers.

As membership grew, so did the vision. By 2000, the Community Garden was renamed the Sawtooth Botanical Garden, with a vision to celebrate the unique beauty and diverse plant life of the region and to educate and inspire people to appreciate and live in balance with the natural world.
The Garden of Infinite Compassion

In the Northeast corner is the Garden of Infinite Compassion, a high altitude alpine rock garden designed for meditation by renowned landscape designer Martin Mosko. At its center is a beautifully carved Tibetan Prayer Wheel, installed in conjunction with a visit by the Dalai Lama in September, 2005 and blessed by His Holiness.

The 400 lb. copper Prayer Wheel, created by Buddhist monks in Dharamasala, is filled with over one million written mantras. As the Prayer Wheel spins, blessings and hopes for peace and compassion are sent worldwide. A journey through this garden begins with a path to the serenity pond, where benches offer a place to relax and enjoy the Healing Crystal. Placed throughout the garden, giant boulders keep watch over reflecting ponds and a quiet, meandering stream.
Willow, Aspen and Cottonwood trees, along with other native riparian plants, line the banks of the spring-fed creek that runs through the garden. This creek is known as a Comstock Ditch which never freezes and flows year-round. It is a wetland wildlife habitat for birds, native trout, beaver, moose and insect life.

Home Demonstration Xeriscape Garden
Funded by a grant from the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust, these beds showcase a wide variety of colorful drought-tolerant plants and demonstrate low water usage with a drip irrigation system.

Herbaceous Perennial Display Garden
A project donated and installed by The Dig It Garden Club, this formally arranged garden displays perennials blooming spring to fall in the Wood River Valley’s high altitude climate.
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1 comment:

reduce water usage said...

Sounds brilliant!
The pictures are beautiful!