Concrete gets green with garden planting in Langley

Miles Buckwalter, Clark Goecker and Janet Gift lend a hand to plant the Second Street garden beds on June 6.  - Langley Main Street Association photo
Miles Buckwalter, Clark Goecker and Janet Gift lend a hand to plant the Second Street garden beds on June 6.
— image credit: Langley Main Street Association photo

Many hands made light work of the Second Street garden features in Langley over the weekend. Langley Main Street Association photo | Langley Mayor Fred McCarthy and Sarah Boin, owner of Wander on Whidbey, work on the garden beds along Second Street.

A total of 48 volunteers joined the Langley Main Street Association (LMSA) to plant the new gardens along Second Street, redesigned to be more pedestrian friendly with wider sidewalks, more planters and a central plaza crosswalk.

The 18 new garden beds, stretching from the corner of Anthes Avenue to the Langley Library on Cascade Avenue, are now filled with 1,500 plants, shrubs and ground cover.

According to a news release from LMSA, Cathy Waymire Rooks, a Langley resident and owner of Inspired Gardens, chose plants that would add year-round interest, bold color, contrast and continuity. Plants include digiplexis “illumination flame,” a cross between common foxglove and the Canary Island foxglove with pink and orange flowers, Rooks said, and agastache or hyssop, a drought-tolerant plant in raspberry and apricot nectar colors that hummingbirds enjoy. Dwarf conifers and heathers that change color in winter were also planted.

Pumpkins plants were added to the larger beds to continue the edible landscape theme created at Langley City Hall last year, which won a State Excellence Award for creating a greener community.

A mutual agreement was made between the City of Langley and LMSA to plant and maintain the new Second Street landscape.

“When we saw what the original landscape architects had in mind [for Second Street] we knew we had to make the plantings unique and exciting,” Rooks said in the news release. “Even though they have some nice streetscapes for other towns, we wanted more than nice.”

Volunteers planted all of the new garden features on Second Street except the rain garden area by the Langley Village and the trees, which were completed by SRV Construction.

Volunteers came from all over South Whidbey, including city officials Mayor Fred McCarthy, and council members, Rene Neff and Jim Sundberg. Enough assistance was offered that only two days were needed instead of the planned three-day event.

Two more areas will be planted by LMSA at the Good Cheer thrift store and the Langley Library.

LMSA will continue to water the new garden beds and the hanging baskets that were added this spring, but some volunteers took unofficial ownership of the beds they planted.

Janet Ploof, the LMSA president, was thankful for the volunteers and welcomed their requests to keep the beds weeded.

“Wouldn’t it be fun to have an individual or business owner adopt a bed for one season,” Ploof said. “Community ownership is what makes Langley so remarkable.”

Those interested in adopting a bed should email


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