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A New Garden for the Northern Central Valley

Articles: A New Garden for the Northern Central Valley

McConnell Arboretum & Gardens at Turtle Bay Exploration Park in Redding, California. Photographs by Fred Coe

Sloshy, cold winters and dry, searing summers are not obstacles to gardening—they are an opportunity to grow something unique.

That is one of the lessons offered by the new McConnell Arboretum & Gardens at Turtle Bay Exploration Park in Redding, California. The gardens, which opened in May, emphasize plants from mediterranean-climate areas. Redding may be half a world away from Chile and South Africa, but it’s close in climate. The Northern California city’s temperatures swing from one extreme to another in the course of a year. Winters are cold, with lots of rain and occasional snow, while temperatures reach triple digits during long, rainless summers.

One of the garden’s goals, according to John Peterson, president and corporate executive officer of Turtle Bay, is to get people to appreciate the unique beauty of low-water-use, mediterranean-climate plants and to use them in their gardens. He hopes the display gardens will expand people’s awareness of a broader palette of plants beyond ...

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