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!

Seaside Elk

I was driving into Seaside, along Highway 101 South, and had just passed the Circle Creek Campsite on the left, when I noticed several cars parked off the side of the road.

Learn More
The Pull of Progress – Seaside in 1921

Postwar Seaside saw a boom in growth and development.

Learn More
Seaside’s History is an Honored Guest in Its Present

There are many local landmarks that celebrate the rich history of Seaside, a town that has been enjoyed as a popular beach getaway...

Learn More
Waving the Flag in the Early 1900s

Take a look at a vintage float from the early 1900s Seaside parade.

Learn More
Celebrating the Moms in Our Life

Honoring motherhood through a photo on the beach

Learn More
Riders of the Storm

Winter weather on the Oregon Coast is the flipside to flipside to golden summers, but it can be just as beautiful.

Learn More
Trying to take flight during a wind storm on the beach in Seaside, Oregon.
Tides and Tide Tables: What You Need to Know

If your winter beach vacations to date have required sunscreen, then you clearly have not experienced a magical Seaside day in Jan...

Learn More
The Cove in Seaside

Rain or shine, the Seaside Cove is a must-see-stop whether you’re a tourist or a local. It’s a mixture of sandy and rocky beach. There are tons of parking spots, and Seltzer Park is just across the street. There are public restrooms and a shower to rinse off sandy feet. There are also plenty of benches for both wave watching and people watching.

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
Summer in Seaside can offer as much variety as our local candy stores.
How to Have an Epic North Coast Summer

A summer spent in Seaside is like a good clam chowder — fresh, flavorful and filling.

Learn More
Measuring Seaside’s Success

The barometer for marketing and advertising success of a destination can be tough to measure. There are several metrics we have ac...

Learn More
Episode Six: Phillips Candies

Take a walk down memory lane and discover one of Seaside's oldest establishments: the famous Phillips Candies on Broadway.

Learn More
Finding a Room in Seaside, Oregon

One of the many services we offer at the City of Seaside Visitors Bureau is lodging assistance for visitors. During busy months, V...

Learn More
Barefoot beachcombing: a Treat for Your Feet

Historical photo of children doing some barefoot beach combing.

Learn More
A Dog’s Guide to Seaside

Where else in the United States will you find such a welcoming expansive beach, where Fido can run into the tides, kick up some sa...

Learn More
1st Generation Boardwalk: High Definition for the Old Guard

The Promenade started out as a wooden boardwalk that attracted visitors from far

Learn More
Going for a Dip in the 1920s

Seaside ocean antics in the late 1920s

Learn More
How To Paddle Seaside

Kayaking and paddle boarding options abound in Seaside, Oregon. Find out what you need to know to float the coast....

Learn More