Building and landscape design is well under way on the new CHS Garden Center, set to open in early April, at the north end of Madras on Depot Road.
The location, which features an elaborate, rock-constructed water feature near the entrance, will provide a full gardening experience, including landscape consultation and design for all Central Oregon residents.
A grand opening at the CHS Garden Center was held Saturday, April 19. The garden center is located near the Madras Industrial Park at 60 N.W. Depot Road.
Offering an assortment of plants, organic and commercial fertilizers, soils, yard d‚cor and tools, the garden center also includes a staff of experts who specialize in Central Oregon gardening.
The center's main focus is on community education and a schedule of gardening classes offered through the garden center is currently in development.
In addition to the classes, a big screen TV will broadcast gardening programs and Internet access is available to visitors, along with a library of gardening books.
Customers will have a variety of gardening and landscaping supplies from which to choose, as well as plants specially selected to help make Central Oregon gardens look their best in this drier, high desert climate.
"It's really exciting to see the center taking shape," said manager Scott Duggan. "Our goal is to provide an informative and comfortable place to learn about landscaping and gardening."
The 4,000-square-foot retail area includes a coffee bar and a premium selection of ceramic pottery for both indoors and outdoors.
Landscaping of the CHS Garden Center grounds has also begun. Duggan explained that with a brand new facility, they have the benefit of creating a unique look and feel for the outdoor area.
"The plants will grow pretty slowly until the soil temperature warms up, but we encourage folks to continue to stop in throughout the spring and summer because the look will definitely evolve over time," he said.
Gardening in Central Oregon can present several challenges. "Our sometimes unpredictable growing season can make choosing the right plants more difficult," added Duggan.
"CHS's history of assisting local farmers with areas of crop and soil fertility management, allows us to help take the guesswork out of gardening and landscaping in our area. By offering plants that are native to the area, in addition to having a selection of drought and cold resistant cultivars, we hope to provide gardening solutions to area residents," he said.
Another unique aspect of the CHS Garden Center is its ability to staff a full-time landscape designer and consultant. Karen McCarthy brings 15 years of experience in residential landscape design and installation. She is available to provide assistance in updating a mature landscape or designing one for a new home.
CHS Garden Center is locally operated and affiliated with CHS Inc., formerly known as Cenex Harvest States Cooperatives, a diversified energy, grains and foods company committed to providing essential resources to communities worldwide.
For more information, call 475-2068 or visit the garden center's new Web site, at www.chsgardencenter.com, featuring garden-related resources, information and tips.