Event Garden Project

With construction just completed (March 2016), the Event Garden is the newest park project sponsored by the Friends of Holbrook-Palmer Park and the Holbrook-Palmer Park Foundation.


Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Starting in 2013, the Friends of Holbrook-Palmer Park, in partnership with the Holbrook-Palmer Park Foundation, embarked on the creation of a garden in what was an unused overgrown space, located between the Main House and Pavilion.

As part of the 2005 Landscape Master Plan, the improvements entailed designing a new outdoor room that would be central to and connect both the Main House and Pavilion and expand the garden and gathering space experiences associated with these buildings. Ray Freeman of Freeman and Jewell Landscape Architecture was engaged in 2013 to design the space. After a lengthy community and town approval process, Frank and Grossman Landscape Contractors were hired to construct the garden in the fall of 2015.

Unique Features

The Event Garden exemplifies thoughtful design for public spaces utilizing native and drought tolerant plants. A new grove of 20 native Black Oaks (Quercus kelloggii), specifically sponsored by generous members of the Friends and Foundation will develop over time to provide a remarkable place with shade.

An alley of flowering Crab Apples (Malus floribunda) was specifically sponsored and dedicated in memory of the Friends’ long time member and supporter, Betty Jean Ogawa

Hand sculpted benches utilizing large branches from the declining Camphor tree that was removed in the Event Garden area provide beautiful seating.

The design of the garden envisioned to create:

  • An enclosed outdoor flexible gathering space for both formal and informal occasions;
    These could include outdoor meeting, lectures and/or ceremonies for community and/or private groups;
  • A quiet, shady place for individuals and small groups. The space should accommodate up to approximately 150 people, but be configured such that small groups and/or a single individual could feel comfortable and welcome in the space(i.e. individuals or and/or small groups talking, reading or drawing);
  • A space that integrates the civic, rental and recreation uses in the park;
  • A self-contained place with limited connection to the play-ground, that can be used independently of, or in conjunction with either or both the Main House and Pavilion;
  • A pleasing vista from the Main House terrace looking westward;
  • An example of how drought tolerant plants that provide seasonal color and can hold up to public use and the presence of children;
  • A beautiful and memorable experience for all visitors to the park.

Thank you donors!

Tevita Taufehema sculpting benches, click to enlarge

The Friends of Holbrook-Palmer Park and the Holbrook-Palmer Foundation gratefully acknowledge the following donors to this Garden and its rare grove of California native Black Oak trees.

The Thor Miller Family Trust
Blackmore Family
Cushman Family
Rick and Karen DeGolia
Esser Family
Marilee Gardiner, in memory of Ohmy who loved the park
Jeremy and Christina Isenberg
Michael and Frauke Janssen
Brad and Katy Klaus
Paul and Courtney Levinsohn
Joseph and Elizabeth Lewis
Merrill Family
Jessica and Michael Pan-Beasley
Rieder Family
Denise Kupperman and Roger Schwab
Marylue Timpson
Brannan and Laura Vaughn
Bill and Mary-Beth Widmer

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