Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Anthem Park, Vancouver, WA

Anthem Park. There's a small park just off of Main Street, Vancouver, WA that is worth visiting if you are in the area. It's between W. 24th and W. 25th Streets to the west of Main Street.

When we worked downtown we used to park a block away from Starbucks on our coffee break. That way we could walk through the park on our way to get coffee. It was a relaxing break and sometimes I miss it. So when we go downtown together we'll stop there, as we did yesterday.

The park is part of the redevelopment of an entire block into a mixed use site that includes commercial and residential uses. The park also serves as an access to a neighboring senior apartment building.  

It includes a public plaza with benches, a stream, granite and cement walkways, and a really beautiful mixed planting that has held up over the years. 

This is how it looks now in winter, most of the foliage is pruned back. There's a mix of evergreen and deciduous trees, with lots of grasses and perennials lining the stream bed.

You can see one renegade Black-Eyed Susan blooming. The plant is in the foreground above, someone must have hesitated cutting it down when they spotted the bloom. If it were in my yard it would be cut down to the ground, but I like the odd texture of the spent blooms.

I look to this landscape as a template for low-maintenance, year-round planting. Here are a couple of photos I'd taken earlier in the year. If you are in Vancouver, look for it just west of Main Street.  It's a great space no matter the season.

Grasses, Bears Breech, and Hosta along the creek bed
the Black-Eyed Susan in front

Grasses and Spirea line the walkway near the fountain

Is there a unique place or park that you love? Feel free to share it with us in the comments section.

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