Located in Everett, Washington, Evergreen Arboretum and Gardens is a 3.5-acre public arboretum and natural reserve facility, showcasing 10 themed garden areas along with a variety of walking paths, public art sculptures, and other outdoor amenities. The vision for Evergreen Arboretum and Gardens dates back to April of 1963, when Snohomish County government approval was granted for the development of an arboretum facility on a 3.5-acre grounds within the city of Everett.
The arboretum facility, which was intended to highlight trees, shrubs, and other flora that performed well within the environment of the Pacific Northwest, was officially opened to the public later that year. The arboretum’s mission was expanded in 1980 with the addition of gardens showcasing perennials and herbaceous plants, and a number of renovations and additions were completed throughout the mid-2000s, including the addition of a rock garden and a Northwest native plant trail. In 2013, a major fundraising campaign was embarked upon for the development of the facility’s south end space, with $250,000 raised to add several additional garden facilities, including an educational rain garden.
Permanent Attractions and Gardens
Today, Evergreen Arboretum and Gardens showcases 10 themed gardens throughout its facility, which has been referred to as the “treasure of Snohomish County.” As both a natural wildlife facility and an educational nature resource for the Snohomish County area, the arboretum is free and open to the public throughout the year. The facility is owned and operated by the Evergreen Arboretum Foundation, which strives to provide an international-level accessible, diverse garden facility offering a variety of cultural and educational programming for the Pacific Northwest region.
Visitors may enter the arboretum’s gardens through its Little and Lewis entrance columns, which frame the facility’s walkthrough garden paths and create a peaceful natural relaxation area. A Small Urban Tree Walk area is located near the facility’s entrance, offering a winding path showcasing small tree plantings compatible with modern urban gardens. All tree species on display in the area reach a height of no more than 35 feet at their full maturity, keeping them safe from urban power lines and other structures.
A variety of public art pieces are showcased at the arboretum’s Sculpture Garden, which presents works by renowned Pacific Northwest artists in an outdoor nature setting. The garden’s permanent collection includes the Fibonacci water sculpture by Pam Hom, the glass and stainless steel-based Clarity by Merilee Moore, and the stone piece Cascade Evening by Reg Ackright. Recent acquisitions to the collection include Katzutaka Uchida’s Roundness of the Horizon, and a rotating outdoor exhibit showcases the work of emerging Pacific Northwest artists working in a variety of mediums. Styles represent traditional, modern, abstract, and experimental works.
The facility’s Viewing Mound was sculpted out of excavated landfill from site renovations in the 1980s, offering a newly redesigned garden created in 2005 to provide panoramic views of the gardens’ vistas. A seating area atop the mound offers quiet relaxation, while a metal water sculpture mimics patterns found in nature. Designed in 2007, the Northwest Native Plant Trail features trees, shrubs, and perennials native to the Pacific Northwest area, showcasing plants commonly used in urban and suburban gardens. Home design ideas are also presented at the Northwest Demonstration Garden, which is creatively designed to showcase year-round plant colors, textures, and scents. An “almost-secret” area within the garden also serves as a popular backdrop for photoshoots and personal photos. At the Master Gardeners’ Demonstration Garden, one of the most popular public garden facilities within the Puget Sound region, plant pairing and horizontal and vertical planting techniques are demonstrated, while a Rain Garden showcases environmentally-conscious techniques for collecting and using runoff rainwater from urban structures. A Rock Garden also features low-growing plants common to Pacific Northwest gardens, including miniature conifers, alpine and dwarf shrubs, and perennial flower plantings.
A number of garden areas specialize in native and non-native plant species, including a Japanese Maple Grove, which displays plantings of more than 400 maples that have been featured in Fine Gardening and Sunset Magazine. A Woodland Garden and Fernery showcases plants that thrive underneath fir canopy shade, while a Conifer Garden, the arboretum’s oldest garden, displays cypress, yew, and pine conifer trees. The newly-landscaped South Arboretum area also offers tree groves, informal pathways, and large open relaxation spaces.
Ongoing Programs and Education
A variety of public art and nature classes and workshops are held at the arboretum’s educational center, including summer pruning workshops, wildlife habitat gardening groups, and rock garden and backyard gardener construction courses. Courses are provided to the Everett community at a nominal fee, though all annual arboretum members may participate in classes for free with membership. Annual public special events include a Summer Fest family community event, an Earth Day Frog Fest, an annual plant sale, and holiday family crafting workshops.
145 Alverson Blvd, Everett, WA 98201, Phone: 425-257-8597
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