Supporting the Power of Gardens

A beautiful and lively mix of pollinator friendly plants. Photo: Teresa Renee Norris

A beautiful and lively mix of pollinator friendly plants. Photo: Teresa Renee Norris

Gardens are both cultural artifacts and living entities; a reflection of their time yet forever changing with conditions. Pacific Horticulture is launching its 40th year of publishing and, just like the previous 39, we’ve got our eyes on the future while acknowledging the rich history of the landscapes around us.

Milestones are significant. In this issue we’re taking a look at two historic West Coast landscapes marking their centennial in 2015. Read curators’ juicy behind-the-scenes perspective of how they manage the venerable trees in Seattle’s Dunn Gardens while also creating a dynamic landscape (read flowers) for visitors. And a San Diego garden historian examines the power of the 1915 Panama-California exhibition at Balboa Park to influence landscaping conventions—for better or worse—for generations to come.

Stories on seed saving and planning a garden as a living habitat take us into the future mindful of our landscape’s role in supporting natural systems. Whether your garden is a better fit for Oxalis that thrive in the shade of Pacific Northwest conifers or exotic Protea in sunny Southern California, without a doubt West Coast gardens can support an incredible diversity of plants. We know we’re lucky.

We’re also calling out a few heroes of West Coast horticulture: Ed Carman, Marshall Olbrich and Lester Hawkins, and Barbara and Roland Pitschel. Thanks to their dedication and passion we have a rich legacy of plants, the remarkable Western Hills Nursery, and San Francisco’s Bernal Heights. Late in our production schedule we learned of the passing of Dick Dunmire. We’re honored and privileged to include a tribute to one of the West’s great plantsmen in this issue.