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Green River’s PRIME TIME program visits Enumclaw’s Anderson Gardens

PRIME TIME adult learners relax in the garden.PRIME TIME adult learners relax in the garden.

Enumclaw's Anderson Garden was host to 15 Green River Community College PRIME TIME students this past week.

Owners John and Doreen Anderson graciously shared with the group stories about the history and points of interest of this colorful garden. They took the group on a tour of the four acres of rhododendrons, azaleas and pocket gardens scattered around the property, as well as many unique garden benches John makes from fallen trees, stumps and other materials.

The history began in 1961, when Bob and Betty Anderson moved to Enumclaw and bought land filled with rich, black volcanic soil deposited by Mt. Rainier thousands of years ago.

They transformed it from a hayfield into a beautiful, lush garden with a collection of more than 100 species and 400 different hybrids of rhododendrons. Complementing the hybrids are hundreds of companion plants (trees, shrubs, and flowers) carefully chosen for form, leaf texture, color and compatibility with nearby plants. The garden has since been passed down to the next generation, John and Doreen, who have continued to develop and nurture the garden.

Anderson Gardens owner John Anderson with student Don Alexander.
Anderson Gardens owner John Anderson with student Don Alexander.

In addition to the garden tour, John shared that he is an avid triker and enjoys gliding through his garden, mountain roads, trails and beaches. He brought out his toys for the group to ride through the lush grassy area.

PRIME TIME is a Green River Community College membership program for active adult learners ages 55 and over. Members enjoy intellectual learning through short non-credit courses, discussion groups, social activities and educational tours.