The Willow Bend Gardens

Surrounding the Center are Willow Bend and Coconino County’s five habitat gardens made up of plants that are native to the Colorado Plateau. We offer a thirty minute guided tour that will take you through the grounds, highlighting the unique plants and habitat featured in each garden and xeriscaping principles. Please note, this tour is offered by reservation only and costs $5/participant. Please contact Moran moran@willowbendcenter.org, (928) 779-1745 to schedule a tour.

You can also download the Garden Guide and go on a self guided tour (no cost associated).

Hummingbird Garden

This eastern exposure garden provides a sunny morning place for viewing hummingbirds gathering nectar from their favorite flowers. The delicate, tall wildflowers are protected from the hot western sun by a screen of deciduous trees and shrubs.

Lizard Garden

This garden occupies a hot, sunny, dry slope with a southwestern exposure. The rocky terrain is ideal for lizards, ants, and lower-elevation plants. Large basalt boulders absorb the sun’s energy and provide a microclimate for plants and animals adapted to warmer, drier conditions.

Forest Garden

This garden has a northern exposure that provides a cool, shady environment, and includes a combination of evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs. The trees and shrubs also provide shelter and food for birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and insects.

Pond and Wetland Garden

This wetland area inside the Forest Garden provides water and habitat for a variety of wildlife including dragonflies, bats, birds, aquatic insects, and garter snakes. Wetland plants growing along the edge add to the garden’s diversity. We collect water from our roof and parking lot to provide runoff to the pond and wetland, which provides a natural cleaning mechanism.

Wildflower Garden

The meadow area surrounds the wildlife viewing area on the south side of Willow Bend. The meadow demonstrates healthy grassland and contains a variety of grasses and wildflowers, which provide nectar for butterflies and other pollinators.

Native Edibles and Medicinal Garden

This garden, on the east side of the building, showcases the many native plants that are edible or have medicinal applications. In addition, it features heritage varieties of corn, beans, and squash that have been cultivated for centuries by the Navajo and Hopi people. The Native Edibles and Heritage Crop Garden is supplementally watered with our rainwater harvesting system.