Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Washington State University

Demonstration Gardens

There are three WSU Master Gardener demonstration gardens in Whatcom County:

• Hovander Demonstration Gardens
• WeGrow Garden
• Roeder Home

Mosaic of images of the different gardens at Hovander

Demonstration Gardens at Hovander Park

Located at Hovander Homestead Park Ferndale, Washington. (MAP) The demonstration garden provides the public with educational information and a visual demonstration of what can be done in-home gardening.

The demonstration gardens include vegetables, small fruits, herbs, weed identification garden, native plant garden, perennials, dahlia garden, and a greenhouse. Signs are used extensively throughout the garden areas.

Hovander Demonstration Gardens Brochure (pdf)


Each spring 2,000 tomatoes for the annual plant sale are raised in the greenhouse, and each summer volunteers carry out a demonstration for propagating different plants and techniques for public education.


Each garden bed features a favorite children’s book – you will find Peter Rabbit among the lettuce, Jack climbing the beanstalk, and Paul Bunyan minding Paul’s Little Free Library, where children can “take a book, leave a book.” The garden is open to all youth, while programs and events focus on ages 4-8.


The sunny dahlia garden is designed to provide a cheerful space in which to view the wide variety of dahlias that can be grown in Whatcom County.


One of the most popular gardens, the garden displays over 100 weeds with educational signs about each one. Learn the many useful aspects of weeds.

History of the Weed ID Garden
Behind the Scenes at the Weed ID Garden


Located near the back kitchen door of Hovander House, this garden contains herbs likely harvested by Mrs. Hovander for cooking and herbal remedies. Visitors can walk the path and enjoy the old-time herbs necessary to sustain early pioneer family life.


This garden contains a variety of herbs from around the world that are finding their way into contemporary cuisines.


Visitors can observe gardening techniques in action and ask questions about their own food growing endeavors. Summer workshops reveal the basics of vegetable gardening in Whatcom County and how to prepare a fall vegetable garden. Over 1,800 lbs of food each year is donated to the Ferndale Food Bank.


To showcase the beautiful plants of the Pacific Northwest, this garden features a wide variety of trees, shrubs, perennials, and ferns, including a few ornamental favorites such as Evergreen Huckleberry, Mock Orange, Star-Flowered False Solomon’s Seal, and Wild Ginger.


The annuals, perennials, and shrubs in this garden provide food and habitat for butterflies, hummingbirds, flower flies, and many kinds of bees, including honey bees, mason bees, leaf-cutter bees, and pollen bees, as well as a variety of other pollinator species such as moths and bats. Plants are chosen to provide pollen and nectar throughout our long growing season.


It is a joy to see the changing seasonal beauty of the perennial garden. Featuring heritage trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants that would have been available to a pioneer gardener. Visitors may come to find inspiration for their home gardens.


Great Plant Picks are a selection of plants that have been studied for their performance in our maritime Pacific Northwest climate.


In this garden we apply selected university based field, greenhouse and lab trials/research to demonstrate techniques and results to our community of home gardeners.


Work parties are held each Wednesday mornings, this demo garden is managed by Whatcom County Master Gardeners. This is a teaching garden and we welcome the public to visit, take photos, ask questions and get involved. Work at the Hovander Park site begins the last week of March and continues through October. Each year approximately 1,200 volunteer hours go into the demonstration garden projects.

Produce from the garden is donated to the Ferndale Foodbank. This organization distributes food to needy members of the community. Each year the Master gardeners donate approximately 1,000 pounds of garden produce. Master Gardener members also use some of the produce for sampling and to do “taste tests” of various garden vegetables.

Master Gardener volunteers are available to answer gardening questions at Hovander Park on their scheduled work days; Wednesday and Saturday mornings from 9:00 am until Noon, April through October.

WeGrow Garden

Blueprint of the WeGrow Garden

Youth Vocational & Public Education Garden


WeGrow Garden Website

Mission: To facilitate community development through adult and youth education, low-barrier vocational programs, and food security.


This urban garden is made possible by a partnership between Washington State University Extension, WSU Whatcom County Master Gardener Program, Northwest Youth Services, and the city of Bellingham Parks and Recreation Department.

Logos of sponsors

Special thanks to CHS Northwest and the Hamond Family Foundation for their generous financial support, and to Bellingham Parks and Recreation for providing this space.

Roeder Home

Roeder Home

Working hand in hand with Whatcom County Parks, this demonstration garden showcases the renovation of a heritage rose garden and its surrounding landscape. Furthermore, this helps WSU Extension develop the public’s knowledge of best practices for restoring and maintaining vintage gardens in a city environment.