Skip to content

Seaside Stories

Making Seaside Beautiful: Gardens

May 13, 2011 | by Barbara Jensen

Are you curious about Seaside’s flowers and plants? Every time I pass the new garden beds coming to life along Roosevelt (pictured above), I dream of growing my own patch of lettuce, spinach and other edibles this summer. Seeking help on starting a garden plot sent me in search of Pam Fleming, whose reputation as a resource on Seaside’s gardens was a bit understated as I was to discover. I met her at Back Alley Gardens & Natural Nook Florists , 738 Pacific Way in Gearhart.

Billed as perhaps the world’s smallest garden center, Back Alley Gardens developed from the work of Cathie Cates of Natural Nook Florist and Fleming of Nature’s Helper Landscaping. Both see the garden center as an expansion of their special expertise. They each have something new and creative to offer. From traditional arrangements to livings designs, they want to create long lasting container gardens filled with living bouquets. To do this they are cultivating a selection of plants able to thrive in this coastal area. All are invited to bring containers to fill or choose containers from the shop. I did not bring a container but now I know.

What I did bring was my gardening questions and Fleming talked with me and answered questions about the edible variety of gardening. Fleming, a master gardener, and an enthusiastic booster for the Seaside Community Garden (located behind the pool and along Roosevelt near Lyle’s) said that the Community Gardens are a smashing success every year and a resource for local residents wanting a garden of their own. She has been busy planting trees around the raised beds, and I left rather eager to get started.

After meeting Fleming, I simply had to go through town revisiting and admiring the beautiful miniature gardens found around Seaside all over again. Why? I found out that Fleming makes them. Fleming’s Natures’ Helper is the creative force behind Seaside’s one hundred plus miniature garden spots known as Pocket Gardens.

Fleming’s themes and designs are found at the intersections, side streets, and in front of businesses along downtown Seaside, from the turnaround along Broadway throughout the downtown city blocks.  Some of her pocket gardens have themes connected to the businesses they decorate. For example, she planted herbs in front of the Pig and Pancake Restaurant. She is said to plan her gardens in terms of micro climates which is probably why in some of the small more protected garden spaces flowers bloom as early as February.

Her work beautifying Seaside through her many gardens could itself be described as a vision of micro-ginormous proportions. Others have called her pocket gardens living art. However, writer Marilyn Gilbaugh said it better, “Seaside has its riches:  the ever-changing ocean, long stretches of sandy beach, the surrounding mountains…and Pam Fleming’s gardens.”

Leave a Reply

and so much more!

Hot Spots

Just like the windswept Oregon coastline itself, Seaside is ever-changing. While embracing traditional attractions like the Promen...

Learn More
Grab a Great Cup of Coffee or Roast Your Own Beans

Want your favorite coffee drink for free? Easy! Help us keep the beach clean and your coffee is on us. Foggy days on the beach, ev...

Learn More
Fruits of Your Labor

Picking blackberries on the Oregon Coast, local coastal berries

Learn More
How to Treasure Seaside

Learn why one family uncovers more reasons to love Seaside each time they visit. After 40 years of coming to Seaside, there are st...

Learn More
RECAP: Chalk Art Contest on the Seaside Prom

*** Register here for our 2nd annual Chalk Art Contest July 29/30! In celebration of the Prom Centennial, the Sunset Empire Park a...

Learn More
Where to P.L.A.Y. in Seaside

The park is nestled next to Neawanna Creek where ducks float lazily by, a tree lined mountainside looming in the distance. Do a 180 and you get a great view of Tillamook Head to the south.

Learn More
Seaside Nightlife

Above photo: A group enjoys some live music in a photo by Don Frank. Some visitors come to Seaside for the beach, some for the att...

Learn More
Seaside Lifeguards – Kicking off the Summer Season

The lifeguard tower in Seaside ensures a safe and fun beach experience.

Learn More
Making Seaside Beautiful: Gardens

Seeking help on starting a garden plot sent me in search of Pam Fleming, whose reputation as a resource on Seaside’s Gardens was a bit understated as I was to discover. I met her at the Grand Opening of Back Alley Gardens (find by walking through Natural Nook Florists 734 Broadway).

Learn More
Broadway Field is a Community Gem

Renovated Broadway Field is a community gem

Learn More
Episode Three: the Seaside Aquarium

Take the audio walking tour of Seaside

Learn More
Life in the Fast Lane

Riding bikes in Seaside in 1897.

Learn More
Bird is the Word

Birding opportunites abound in Seaside and the surrounding area.

Learn More
Watching Nature Run its Course in Seaside

Wonderful natural beauty in Seaside,

Learn More
Wave Meets Wall

Back in 1925, the waves would encroach on Seaside's Turnaround with a dramartic ferocity

Learn More
Children feed the Harbor Seals at the Seaside Aquarium in Seaside, Oregon.
How to Seaside Inside

Don’t get us wrong: Plenty of beach lovers come to Seaside in the cooler, drizzlier months to enjoy the great outdoors. That’s...

Learn More
How to Bike Seaside in Every Season

If you like to ride a bike, there’s something for everyone in Seaside and something for every season, too. Be it a family of five, an avid mountain biker, friends on a weekend outing, a couple on a date, or someone who likes to combine biking and outdoor exploration, Seaside’s trails and roads, paved and otherwise, have you covered. In fact, there are plenty of reasons to enjoy biking in Seaside throughout the year. Here are some great biking experiences recent visitors have enjoyed in and around Seaside. Get inspired to plan your own trip.

Learn More
Postcards from the Past

Ancient postcards from Seaside's distant past

Learn More