When the City of Surprise envisioned a public space that was both visually stunning and educational, they turned to Willmeng Construction to bring that vision to life. On September 17, Willmeng and the city unveiled the new Xeriscape demonstration garden, a 2.5-acre expanse north of Surprise City Hall.
The Xeriscape Demonstration Garden educates the public about the garden’s plants and trees that are compatible with Arizona’s Sonoran Desert. Various signage throughout the garden informs visitors about the different species. Treated water is used by the irrigation system with low water consumption. The garden is also tiered to allow for water extraction within the garden.
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The garden was designed by Urban Culture Design and features four unique zones. One shows native plants in the low desert; the second native compatible plant that thrives in arid desert conditions; a third zone is a sensory garden space with different colors, smells and textures; and the final zone are plants with different flowering periods throughout the year to provide a year-round display of color in the garden.
The garden features an amphitheater on the upper terrace for group seating and a seating area. The lower terrace consists of tiered benches to sit on after touring the garden. There are two pieces of garden art created by high school students through the West Valley Arts Center’s Gallery 37 program. Adjacent to the garden is also a water education center where master gardeners hold regular classes to help residents with their gardening or landscaping needs.
The Xeriscape Demonstration Garden was the latest parkland project Willmeng has completed and follows BLVD Water Features Park in Avondale. Willmeng is currently completing work at Buckeye on the 38-acre Sundance Park Phase II and is underway at another park in Surprise, the 12-acre Countryside Park, which will provide the community with eight new multi-purpose sports fields.
The Xeriscape demonstration garden was made possible through funding from the Arizona Department of Water Resources, the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management, the United States Forest Service, the Mountain States Wholesale Nursery, and the City of Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission. The major commercial partners on the project were Cruz Concrete, Carter’s Inc. Landscaping, Echo Canyon Electric, Atwater Construction and M&J Construction.