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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Washington Voices

Garden designer offers workshops

An author and landscape designer who helped restore the Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens in Spokane will be giving a pair of workshops on garden design on Sept. 26 at the Corbin Art Center.

Richard Hartlage, who was a consultant on the $1.4 million Moore-Turner restoration, will talk about the art of planting design during the workshops from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 26.

He will go over the history of garden design and the influences and philosophies that play into the creation of specific garden effects, including high-impact color displays or subtle backdrops for garden architecture or sculpture.

The wide-ranging discussion will include advice on building garden spaces with plants and using plants as accessories in garden “rooms.”

Hartlage’s workshop will provide a narrated tour of the heritage gardens.

According to a press release from the city, Hartlage will show how the art of planting design has a long history, starting with the Greeks and Romans, that developed into the late 19th and early 20th centuries with Gertrude Jekyll and William Robinson, who were proponents of a naturalistic style, Hartlage said.

“Modernists have reinterpreted the use of plants in both extravagant and minimalist ways, and we will look at some of these practitioners’ styles and their relevance to our gardens,” Hartlage was quoted as saying.

He is now an associate principal at AHBL in Tacoma, managing its landscape architecture division, with clients across the country. He has published several books, including “Bold Visions for the Garden.”

The Moore-Turner gardens opened to the public in 2007 and have become a popular attraction.

The gardens are a faithful restoration, based on photographs and other records, of an estate garden that dates back to the 1889 construction of the Moore-Turner mansion, which was a Kirtland Cutter architectural gem and was occupied successively by the Moore and Turner families.

The mansion was torn down in 1940 and the elaborate garden fell into disrepair. The site became part of the city’s Pioneer Park at Seventh Avenue and Stevens Street and underwent restoration that began with a research effort in 1998.

A $1.2 million grant by Spokane businesswoman Myrtle Woldson made the restoration possible.

The Corbin House is an adjoining historic mansion in Pioneer Park and is used today as the city’s Corbin Art Center.

The $20 workshops are open to the public. Registration is online at For more information, call the center at (509) 625-6677.

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