Following the construction of the Promenade in 1921, the Turnaround became home to a garden populated with pansies and begonias that brought a lively injection of color to Seaside’s beach front landscape. Since begonias are native to most subtropical and tropical climates, they were originally planted, grown and cared for in the greenhouses at The Tides by the Sea (the resort was originally built by Portland Mayor Charles Barker in 1928 and is still located on the south end of town near the Cove). This small garden became quite popular and was a charming addition to the charisma of the town’s epicenter.
The Turnaround garden was an appropriate precursor to the renowned pocket gardens that pepper the downtown district today. (Click here for an abridged tour of the pocket gardens with the master gardener herself – Seaside’s Pam Fleming.) The one hundred plus miniature gardens can be found in front of shops, at intersections, along side streets, and in various public locations. Of course nowadays you’ll find the Lewis & Clark “End of the Trail” statue in the center of the old pansy garden at the Turnaround. Tall, bronze, and unquestionably heroic, the statue necessitated a redesign of the garden circle to provide for walking space. However, you can still observe some inspired landscaping (including flowers) at this location while you join Lewis and Clark in gazing out over the Pacific Ocean.