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Between a rock and a yard place


Lightly logoMysterious rock art adds to interest in the Riverfront Park Xeriscape Garden

It’s not completely out of the question to find a rabbit in the Riverfront Park Xeriscape Garden. But an elephant? And a jellyfish?

Photo of rock painting - elephant

The elephant

Master Gardener Terry Anderson has spied all three — painted on rocks. An anonymous artist placed the paintings in the garden, he said, to the delight of volunteer gardeners and people passing by.

A discovery
Anderson, who oversees the garden, discovered the rabbit about three weeks ago. “About a week later I was down doing something in the garden, it was a Sunday morning bright and early, and three women rolled up on skates. They were taking photos of the rabbit, and I said, ‘You found the rabbit!,” Anderson recalled. Turns out, he said, that they knew the artist, and they pointed to

Photo of rock art - jellyfish

The jellyfish

the location of two more brightly painted rocks that Anderson hadn’t noticed.

The artist is the daughter of one of the women, who said the secretive placement is related to a community suicide prevention project. And that’s all she wanted to reveal. “She said, ‘Is that OK?’ and I said, ‘Yes, of course, and let your daughter know they’re much appreciated,’ ” Anderson said.

The garden has been vandalized in the past, with people pulling up, tromping on or stealing plant-marker stakes. But so far vandals have left the rocks alone.

Photo of rock art - rabbit

…And the rabbit, hiding under a Pink Cloud

Autumn joy
The garden itself is a work of art this time of year. “The cooler weather has brought on a new flourish, with lots of things in bloom,” including a beautiful coppery rose plant called Autumn Joy, Anderson said. “It’s the most gratifying place I’ve ever volunteered to do something. My co-workers, the Master Gardeners, are just blown away by how many people stop by” to thank them and to share that they’ve incorporated Xeriscape into their own landscapes.

The garden is located along the Apple Capital Loop Trail, near the Nile Saunders Steam Train (map). It’s maintained by WSU Extension Chelan-Douglas County Master Gardeners as a showcase for low-water-use plants and grasses. Chelan County PUD promotes Xeriscape as a water conservation tool and is a garden co-sponsor.

View the garden’s many varieties and learn more about Xeriscape on the PUD website.

  1. Susan says:

    Update 10/2/14: Terry Anderson reports that the rabbit and elephant rocks have disappeared from the Xeriscape Garden. For now, the jellyfish remains. The garden is frequently the victim of thieves and vandals.

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