From Trinidad to Ferndale Updated October 6, 2022
Public and Commercial Gardens
Most are accessible at any hour. Listed north-to-south.
Sue-meg State Park Native Plant Garden, 4150 Patrick’s Point Dr., Trinidad. Started by the Trinidad Garden Club in the 1960’s and periodically re-vitalized by volunteers working with State Park staff, this diverse garden has a map and plant list to use in it. What started as a Bracken-filled meadow is now quite forested.
Trinidad Museum Native Plant Garden,400 Janis Ct., Trinidad ( behind the museum). A fairly large, creatively designed, volunteer planned and maintained, diverse, authentically local, native plant garden.
Hammond Trail Streetside Strip at School Rd. and Fischer Ave., McKinleyville. A narrow strip with a fun assortment of colorful native perennials and some grasses. I wonder who created and maintains it.
Arcata Tractor Supply, 5251 Mad River Parkway (off Giuntoli Ln), Arcata. This landscape shows the result of a knowledgeable, professional landscaper working with the corporate customer’s requirements. The species are mostly California, but not Humboldt County, natives, and are cultivars that perform well in mass production and diverse garden conditions.
Bureau of Land Management office, 1695 Heindon Rd. Beds right in front of the building.
Potawot Health Village, 1600 Weeot Way, Arcata. (immediately north of Mad River Hospital). Twenty acres of the United Indian Health Services campus is restored wetland meadows for cultural education, wildlife habitat, recreation, production of native plants for cultural uses, food production, and spiritual meditation, as well as stormwater management. It is known as Ku’ wah-dah-wilth (“comes back to life” in Wiyot language). Two miles of walking trails meander through the wetlands and uplands.
Mad River Hospital, Janes Rd., Arcata. Beds in front of the Shaw Medical Pavilion make a good effort to use Evergreen Huckleberry and a few other native species.
Walker Garden, Humboldt State University, on the walkway between Science D and the greenhouse. This container garden has species very carefully selected by Dr. Dennis Walker to bloom while students are present and to show a diversity of plant families. These species are native to California, but not necessarily Humboldt Co.
Arcata Community Center Native Plant and Wildlife Garden, 300 Community Park Way (on the hill beside Healthsport in Arcata). Established in 1999 under an agreement between CNPS and the City of Arcata, this is a diverse bed designed to attract native wildlife, in particular the six-legged kind, planned and maintained by Pete Haggard.
Arcata Marsh Interpretive Center, 569 South G St. New plants and species signs have been added to this established garden in a recent revision by Paul and Lynne Abel and other volunteers.
City of Arcata has installed native plants at many infrastructure projects, such as the Community Center, the roundabout on Sunset Ave and Foster, the firehouse on 10th St, the city parking lots on 7th St, the sidewalk strip on Samoa Ave. Most of these show what happens with lack of maintenance (weeding) despite good intentions.
Sequoia Park Zoo, 3441 W St., Eureka. Practicing what Douglas Tallamy advocates, for the sake of wildlife of all sizes, the zoo has firmly committed to converting their landscape entirely to native plants. The Eureka Sequoia Garden Club organizes volunteers to expand, improve, and maintain it. Open daily except Monday. Admission charged. Caring for animals requires money! https://www.sequoiaparkzoo.net/
California Department of Fish & Wildlife, 619 Second St., Eureka. Around two sides of the building is a carefully designed native plant garden that uses species commercially available at the time. The small trees are Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo), not a native, but a well behaved, easy-to-grow, right-size species related to Madrone.
Second and H Streets, a curbside garden around a City of Eureka parking lot. Despite a troubled history highlighting the different landscaping styles of the garden creator and the city’s maintenance crew, thirteen species of native, woody plants persist here, some in bizarre shapes. There is also a non-native tree.
GHD Building, 3rd and H Streets, Eureka. At least 23 species of natives, mostly perennials plus a few shrubs, are in the narrow beds around the parking lot and the building.
Jefferson Community Center, 1000 B St., Eureka. On the B St. side are two, adjacent pollinator gardens (mixed native and not) installed by Bill Rodstrom to show that even a small space can host a diversity of pollinators. A native plant landscape is developing in beds on the downhill side of the buildings. More volunteers are needed to maintain and enrich it.
Eureka Waterfront Trail along Waterfront Drive west from C St. The strip between sidewalk and street (which I’m told landscapers call the “Hell strip”) has been planted with about 9 species of California native plants.
Humboldt Botanical Garden, 7707 Tompkins Hill Rd., Eureka (behind College of the Redwoods). Has an extensive California native garden, lots of other amazing gardens, and extensive trails through natural riparian and hillside habitat , as well as traditional ornamental gardens.An energetic group of volunteers carries much of the garden work. Admission charged; they put your money to good use! www.hbgf.org
Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, Loleta (Hookton Rd. exit). A small but rich, sheltering garden. in an expansive landscape. Check what hours the entrance gate is open:
Hadley Gardens, 665 Main St., Ferndale. Opened officially in June 2022. Designed by Julian Berg; plants chosen and installed by Samara Restoration. Highlights native plants and has other features like a living wall.
Ferndale Garden Club Parklet, on the left near the end of Main St. by the turn into the Community Center. (corner of Francis and Berding Streets) Native shrubs are also along the bocce ball court.
Residential Gardens Viewable from the Street (listed North to South)
Please respect the owner’s privacy; stay on the sidewalk. Listed north-to-south.
Every gardener knows that a garden is never finished. After all, it is dealing with living, growing things, so by definition is changing constantly. For the same reason every garden, even a native plant garden, needs maintenance, which different owners can provide in different amounts, depending on other aspects of their lives. We appreciate these owners sharing their creations so that we can see native plants and how they perform in real gardens.
Many gardens have non-native as well as native plants combined, for historical, sentimental, practical, or irrational reasons. In looking at these gardens do not assume everything is native! You have to learn to identify the species! Practice native plant identification in our natural areas using a good field guide.
169 Driftwood Ln., Trinidad (off Patrick’s Point Drive near the state park).
99 Langford Rd. (off Scenic Dr.), Trinidad Almost entirely native, merging with the forest behind.
1386 Fernwood Dr., McKinleyville.
322 Chartin Rd., Blue Lake. A diverse, almost-all-native garden installed with the state’s “replace your lawn” program.
141 G St., Blue Lake. (the corner of First and G, diagonal to post office). natives. Mostly
980 Union St., Arcata (between 7th and 11th, uphill side). Always cheerful with California Poppies, this small yard is entirely native. The owner has had to learn to pull out poppies for the sake of having other species. She has also had to remove or prune shrubs as they reach full size.
2151 Lewis Ave, Arcata (Greenview development). A typical front yard in a development, this garden is small but packed with diverse species to provide pollinators what they need and caterpillars for birds, while maintaining some order and attractive beds.
1701 Virginia Way, Arcata (Sunny Brae) A stunning, remarkably artistic, and usually floriferous garden, entirely native. The owner is now working on making the back yard a habitat garden.
2904 Williams, Eureka (Williams & Grotto in Henderson Center area) The side yard on Grotto St. is almost entirely native; the front yard on Williams St. is mixed native and non-native.
2424 B St., Eureka Front yard is almost entirely native plants.
2578 Donna Dr., Eureka (at the top of Humboldt Hill). A very diverse mix of common and esoteric native species. A list is available (possibly nearby this document on the website). Created and maintained by Brant Landscaping.