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The Shade Garden

Construction of the Shade Garden began in spring 2008, and was largely finished and in use by the end of the summer. Students completed the north end of the site in spring 2009.

Shade Garden with a pergola
The shade garden at WSU-Pullman Campus.

The Design

Old conservatory
The old Horticulture conservatory – photo by Peggy Collier

The Shade Garden was built on the site of the old Horticulture Conservatory. Under a pergola, a variety of plants were used to highlight traits such as  shade tolerance and cold hardiness. Both native and adapted plants were used.

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

From the cast-in-place seats to the planting beds and borders, students poured almost 7 tons of concrete,  spread 32 tons of gravel, and hauled 20 cubic yards of compost-topsoil mix.  The walkways are composed of porous paving materials which allow rainfall to percolate into the ground, rather than running off.

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