Community garden blooming to life

What used to be a starting project at Carrie Blake Park 10 years ago is blooming back to life as volunteers work to create the Sequim Botanical Gardens.

The project was spearheaded by Jean Pier, former president of the Master Gardeners, who was asked to help revive the plan with other volunteers to create a four-acre garden at Carrie Blake Park, 202 N. Blake Ave. in Sequim, showcasing flowers and plants that can be grown locally.

“This was my dream 10 years ago,” Pier said. “I was walking through Carrie Blake Park with a friend and thought wouldn’t this be a great place for a garden?”

The Sequim Botanical Gardens — previously known as Carrie Blake Gardens — was started by the Master Gardeners and now is being picked up by the Sequim Botanical Garden Society composed of local gardeners, engineers and community members from Sequim to Port Angeles.

“It’s a team operation,” Pier said.

Currently, there are more than 10 volunteers involved in working on the garden’s revival. Some volunteers have been with the project since its inception and others are new to the group.

Bill Wrobel, a Sequim resident and engineer, has been a part of the project for several years and referred to the garden as a once-in-a-lifetime project.

“Only a few times in your life do you get to be part of something new and important that benefits many people for years to come,” Wrobel said.

“Being a part of the Sequim Botanical Garden is one of them.”

The garden features a large variety of lavender plants, dahlias, irises, rock garden plants, specimen roses, daffodils, lilies, sedums and fall crocuses.

Pier said future plans for the garden include the group tearing out the old lavender plants and replacing them with new ones. She said the City of Sequim is contributing to the effort by providing the necessary equipment needed and helping with irrigation.

The group also plans to install a 75-foot rose garden in the fall with a pergola, walkways and seating for community members.

“It’s going to be a demonstration of how roses can fit into the landscape,” Pier said.

She added the reason the group wanted to change the name to Sequim Botanical Gardens was to have a collection of plants that demonstrate what can be grown in the area and to provide an educational opportunity for guests and visitors.

“That’s the basis — we see it as a resource for the community,” Pier said.

The group invites the public to join them at 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 14, at Carrie Blake Park, 202 N. Blake Ave. in Sequim, for a garden work party with a 15-20 minute talk about the rose garden before the event starts. Pier said if community members are interested in attending the work party, they need to bring gloves and a favorite gardening tool.

Participants involved in the project include Andy Pitts, Ann Flack, Dona Brock, Donni Hatlestad, Jan Keithley, John Hassel, Karen Gates, Kathy Pitts, Lee Bowen, Mary Crook, Maryann Ballard, Mike Barnes, Paul Moore, Pene Schmolke, Renne Brock, Sharon Nyenhuis, Sheila Kee, Sissi Bruch and Stu Hemstreet

For more information on the project, contact Jean Pier at 681-2308.

Community garden blooming to life