Dedekam Ornamental Terrace Garden
About the Garden
This garden is named for the Dedekam Family, great admirers of botanical gardens and early supporters of Humboldt Botanical Gardens. This garden is at its best from spring until late fall but is interesting and attractive all year long. One of the benefits of a perennial garden is that new plants always shine when others fade. In horticulture, the term ‘perennial’ usually refers to an herbaceous plant that is hardy in the region where it is grown.
The driving force behind creating this garden was two-fold. The Dedekams wanted to, in Bob’s words, “knock visitors socks off with something spectacular so that they will want to come back and give back to the garden”. And the the family wanted to give back to the community as thanks for all the community gave to them.
The Dedekam Ornamental Terrace Garden was designed to represent a rainbow with descending bands of color. Plants were selected for their foliage or flower color, hardiness and overall quality.
One of the striking features of the Humboldt Botanical Garden is the formal, stormwater fed runnels that the flow from the top of the Dedekam Ornamental Terrace Garden into the Lost Coast Brewery Native Plant Garden water feature. The sound of water rushing down the runnels is well worth a trip to the Garden during the rainy season.
Smoke bush - Cotinus coggyryia
The Smoke bush plant found in the purple band of the rainbow is normally an upright, loose-spreading deciduous shrub that matures to 10’ – 15’ tall. The shrubs in the Dedekam Garden are maintained at 3’-4’ tall by pruning every winter. This plant gets its name from the billowy hairs attached to spent flowers that turn a smoky pinkish color in the summer. These plants, because of the annual pruning, don’t exhibit the smoking, but are particularly outstanding in the fall when the stunningly dark purple leaves seem to glow.
Growing Conditions: average, medium moisture, well=drained soil, full sun
Dwarf Blue Spruce - Picea pungens glauca ‘Montgomery’
Found in the blue band, this low growing relative of the Colorado blue spruce is an outstanding silver-blue, low growing plant. Even though the Dedekam Garden is far from the Colorado climate one would expect this spruce to be happy in, these slow growing, mounding plants have flourished and provide a good structural element.
Growing Conditions: most soils, full sun:
Sea Holly - Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’
Sea Holly features prickly, teasel shaped flowers of steel blue that are a favorite for cutting or drying. The steel blue color also infuses its stems and upper leaves. These versatile plants are found in the blue band of the Dedekam Garden and bloom throughout the summer. They are perfect for well-drained, sunny borders but also do well in pots.
Growing Conditions: full sun, low water, dry soil
Giant Silver Mullein - Verbascum bombyciferum
Found in the white band, this perennial is a wonderful, bold architectural plant. Plants form evergreen silvery grey wooly leaves their first year then send up candelabra like spires of soft yellow flowers. Native to the mountains of Greece, the Giant Silver Mullein is an extremely tough, drought tolerant plant. As a bonus, it self-sows and is deer resistant.
Growing Conditions: full sun, tolerates poor soil, low-average water