College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

Department of Horticulture

Shade Garden

The Shade Garden

The first phase of the Horticulture and Landscape Architecture Display Garden began in spring 2008 with the construction of the Shade Garden. Weather delayed the beginning of construction, but it was largely finished and in use by the end of summer. Students completed the north end of the site in spring 2009.

The Design

Old conservatory

The old Horticulture conservatory – photo by Peggy Collier

The Shade Garden is built on the site of the old Horticulture Conservatory. Under the pergola, a variety of shade tolerant, cold hardy, native and adapted plants have been utilized.


Students begin work at the Shade Garden site, spring 2008 (view from Wilson Rd) – photo by Phil Waite

The west side of the garden contains many plants native to western Washington, while the east side of the garden is planted with species adapted to the drier growing conditions of eastern Washington. Plants growing in the sunny areas located north and south of the pergola also were selected for their ability to survive and grow in Pullman’s cold, wet winters and hot, dry summers with few inputs.

From the cast-in-place seats to the planting beds and borders, students poured almost 7 tons of concrete (much of that was lifted at least twice by students, once on to the truck, then off the truck and into the on-site mixer), and spread 32 tons of gravel and 20 cubic yards of compost-topsoil mix. Porous paving materials that allow rainfall to percolate into the ground, rather than running off, also were used.

The Shade Garden from Wilson Rd

The Shade Garden viewed from Wilson Road – photo by Caroline Pearson-Mims

Learn more

Display Garden Made in the Shade from the 2008 issue of Connections Magazine

Department of Horticulture, PO Box 646414, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6414, 509-335-9502, Contact Us
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