Central Park Gardens was originally created in the early 1990s as part of the Central Park expansion. The gardens fell into disrepair and were revitalized by a team of volunteers beginning in the spring of 2006. Since then the gardens have grown by leaps and bounds, including an abundance of new plants, installation of many contemporary art pieces for the public to enjoy and ongoing free gardening workshops. The Central Park Gardens volunteers, including many community members, have slowly but surely changed the gardens into a vital and beautiful community resource! Below is a pictorial history of the creation and renovation of the gardens.
Gardens before renovation
|A view of the old Rose Garden facing south. Many of the
roses had not been maintained and as a result had become
|A view of the old Rose Garden facing North.
|A view of the garden from the patio in Central Park.
Cnawan Stone sculpture and a long evergreen hedge that
sheltered the garden from the street were the main defining
features of the space.
|Square beds surrounding the sculpture were barely visible
due to the lack of plantings.
|A view from B Street looking east at the future meadow area.
The lawn between the palm trees divided the north from
the south part of the garden, preventing visitors from
experiencing the garden as a whole.
|Many of the original plantings in the central part of the
gardens had died out. New native plantings are now under
the palm trees and wrap around a sculpture of hands by
|This sunny bed in the Vegetable garden was essentially a
blank slate for new plantings.
|A view of the old Waterwise Garden site to the north. The
plantings now surround the flag pole.
In March 2007, after the lawn was removed by the City, we began our first planting in the Meadow!
In Spring of 2007, Boy Scout troop 111 put in our first edging in
the Rose & Flower garden and community volunteers helped
with our first planting there.
In the beginning getting new labels and a wooden sign was a cause for celebration!
In October 2007, we had our first annual Open House and it was a great success!
In early 2008 we received a large donation to construct new
seatwalls in the Sensory garden.
Here are images of the concept and the final product.
In the Spring of 2008, volunteers planted over 400 new plantings.
Members of the Davis Sunrise Rotary Club added new fences to the Rose & Flower garden and Meadow in 2008.
In the summer of 2008, Mark Rivera created a centerpiece for the
Rose & Flower garden entitled
Flutter and Hum to replace a vandalized pot.
The Davis Sunrise Rotary Club came to our rescue once again in Fall 2008 to build us a new path through the Meadow.
Alpha Phi Omega and Davis Sunrise Rotary both came out to renovate the Vegetable Garden pathway.
In August of 2009, the gardens got permanent kiosks that also doubled as art pieces!
In May 2010 Central Park Gardens had its first annual fundraiser that was a Mother's Day Tea held in the Gardens in conjunction with ciocolat.
Civil Engineering students from UC Davis came to add edging to the Sensory Garden.
In October of 2010, the artistic duo of Faducci installed a
caterpillar sculpture funded from the Davis Municipal Art Fund.
The sculpture name, Bellapede, was chosen through a naming contest.
Central Park Gardens today
Today the gardens are a vibrant and beautiful part of the Davis community. People from all walks of life come to enjoy the gardens year-round, especially during the Davis Farmers' Market. The garden's educational goals are met through free gardening workshops given by the Yolo County Master Gardeners and through demonstration plantings to teach people about gardening with natives and drought-tolerant gardening. The gardens host several annual events that bring ever increasing numbers of new visitors to Central Park. The art in the gardens is whimsical, profound, beautiful and educational.... sometimes all at once! You can check out more about the gardens in our Themed Gardens section, however, the best way to experience Central Park Gardens is in person. So come down, visit the gardens, and don't forget to smell the roses!