The Museum's century-old Native Plant Garden has a new life with its newly updated landscape design. Created to be a living field guide to California’s Central Coast, this garden features three spaces that reflect the area’s important local ecosystems – coastal scrub, chaparral and oak woodland – as well as a butterfly garden and an ethnobotanical area featuring plants that local California Indians used for daily utility.
One of the garden’s crowning artistic touches is a “spirit nest” by Big Sur artist Jayson Fann. Built with the help from Pacific Grove Community High School Students, the interactive art piece of interwoven oak, plum, and willow boughs will accommodate four people at a time and offer a comforting respite from the world outside.
Beyond its modern aesthetic and educational value, the new Native Plant Garden is fulfilling a historic precedent: The 1900 by laws of the Pacific Grove Museum Association state that the "Museum will develop a garden of native flora, which together with the museum shall represent and preserve the life of the region.”
More than 100 years later, the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History is illuminating the progressive ideas of its founders by showcasing the Central Coast’s native beauty in this botanical garden of note.