Groundbreaking for the Valley Garden took place in May of 2008. It will reflect the agricultural history of the Uncompahgre Valley of Western Colorado through the use of old varieties blended with newer varieties of grasses, shrubs and perennials that have adapted well to our semi-arid climate.
The plan for the garden calls for a large central drought-tolerant turf area surrounded by small sub-gardens. The turf area will eventually provide an outdoor area for social gatherings such as reunions or weddings. Retaining walls made from native stone will provide definition and additional seating in the garden. An area between the gardens will display waves of grasses of different heights to add a visual interest.
Since the Montrose climate is excellent for growing roses, a garden featuring heirloom varieties will be featured as well as a few examples of miniature varieties.
The north end of the garden will feature a collection of lilacs, both old and new, as well as a collection of tall perennials with a variety of colors, textures and bloom times.
The east side of the gardens borders a busy street. To block the auditory and visual impact a living fence of dense evergreen trees and shrubs will be planted. Earthen berms already constructed will aid in this blocking effect and will serve to educate visitors to the gardens in this "living fence" technique.
The final sub-garden will be a sensory garden displaying plants with strong aromatic appeal such as lavender, mock orange, bee balm and vibrunum will be planted.As the garden was designed to accommodate outdoor gatherings, a shaded structure will be included to serve a variety of needs such as a classroom, stage or food serving area.
A major water feature will run through the garden, appearing and disappearing as it meanders from the south end to the north end. The "Valley Canal" will be representative of the importance of the Gunnison Tunnel and the canal system that moves irrigation water throughout the valley.
In 2008 the Montrose Botanical Society was awarded a $10,000 grant from Colorado Garden Show, Inc. This grant allowed work to begin on the gardens. Generous donations of materials, labor and equipment from local individuals, businesses and, most recently, 150 manhours from the City of Montrose along with 12 equipment hours have enabled us to make the most of the grant.