Designed in Patches
Our park was designed with specific areas in mind, based on topography, natural moisture and sun/shade patterns, as well as soil composition and expected community use. Each patch is listed below, with descriptions of the plants and activities planned for that patch.
The Orchard is home to over 10 varieties of fruit trees. Apples, Plums, Pears, and Cherries! Unlike traditional orchards, nature does not plant a single species in a given area. The Orchard patch supports a variety of crops that offer harvests throughout the year.
Chives are a perennial member of the onion family that can be harvested multiple times throughout the year!
Comfrey is a medicinal that has been used topically to treat a variety of symptoms. More importantly this plant is great for garden health. The leaves grow quickly so they can be mulched in place to fertilize the garden and retain water, or they can be added to compost to accelerate the break down of materials. Comfrey also makes a great companion plant for trees because its deep roots access and share nutrients that would otherwise be unavailable to shallowly rooted plants.
Gooseberry stems are covered in thorns so you should wear gloves when harvesting. The berries should be picked for jelly in early July - August when the fruit is slightly immature.
Haskaps, also known as honeyberries, are cold hardy berries that fruit in late June-July. This plant is new to Montana and is well suited for cold winters.
Jostaberries are a thornless cross of gooseberries and black currants. This sweet purple berry is ready for picking from early-mid summer.
Wax Currants are native to Montana. The red berry is ready to harvest in late July-September.
Cherries are ready to pick in July-late August.
Western sand cherry
Cherry Pie Standard (pie)
Apples, Pears, and Plumbs ripen in late August-September.
Golden Spice Pear
Berry & Herb
The park features two bioswales. These low lying landscape features are designed to collect rainwater and runoff from paved surfaces. Unlike city stormwater management which diverts rain and melted snow to a limited number of holding ponds, bioswales function like a living drain.
Water collects in the vegetated swale.
Leaves, stems, and roots slow the flow of water so the soil can absorb it.
Pollutants can then be decomposed, broken down by bacteria, or absorbed by certain plants.
The Lilac Hedge is one of the oldest plants in the garden park. Before the garden was planted, the hedge was the most popular feature among humans and animals. The lilacs added color to the park when the transplants were establishing themselves and maturing, and the beautiful flowers continue to blossom every summer.
In 2018, under the direction of local artist, Jennifer Thompson, Bryant Middle School students built a human-sized nest from twigs and branches. This ephemeral art project is tucked away in the hedge so you’ll have to search a bit to find it.
The water-wise patch is based on the xeriscaping principles of reducing the need for irrigation. Originally developed for drought-afflicted areas, xeriscaping is ideal for dry climates and places without reliable access to fresh water.
Benefits of Xeriscaping
Reduce Waste and Pollution