Gardening and landscape alike take much planning and homework to bring to fruition that vision of a green oasis. Above and beyond that, much heart and soul is put into that endeavor.
In 1931, many minds were at work to make our ‘Model City’ unique as a landscaped friendly town, especially to the many visitors that would be coming from near and far.
More so than today, the challenges were abundant and the solutions limited. This would be the task of a lifetime for any landscape or garden expert.
We know now that expert, Chief Landscape Gardener Wilbur Weed, would be the man for that task. Weed came to Boulder City, then called the Boulder Canyon Project, from Oregon. The contrast of the northwest to the blazing Mojave Desert must have been mind boggling. He enlisted the advice of desert landscapers to assist in the planning of plantings that began along New Mexico Street, through what we call Old Town (our historic district) and onto the focal area where the Bureau of Reclamation’s administration building and housing sits. His first order placed was for 9,000 + trees from Nevada and California nurseries alone.
While the priority of our city planners was to present our town as home of the dam workers, the heart and soul of the individual landscapes and gardens was through the residents of Boulder City. The majority of water usage was reserved for public plantings, so residents reclaimed their own water to sustain their gardens and landscapes. Sometimes it was singular plants in tiny tins or cups. Theirs was a vision on a smaller scale, but just as heartfelt as Mr. Weed’s.
Through the years, our residents have planted victory gardens during World War II, created garden clubs and communities, held public plantings: all in the spirit of our 31’ers.
Check out the Veterans Home grounds, the landscape along Adams Blvd, the Community Gardens at Birch and Colorado streets and many, many of our older residences to see that vision still in progress. All are the workings of the heart and soul of Boulder City, past and present. And, equally, all are a testament of future gardening to come.