Springtime! At Madras Garden Depot

My citron cockatoo, Peaches, and I took a road trip to Madras, 50 miles north, to visit Karen McCarthy’s Madras Garden Depot. The nursery is located at Madras’s north end, on Highway 26. It’s a large facility with two easy-access entrances and lots of parking for large and small vehicles.

We arrived in early afternoon, just as Karen was beginning to show a group of customers how to plant bare-root fruit and shade trees.


“Hello Garden Depot!”

I intended to roam among plants inside the greenhouse and surrounding structures and enjoy a stronger feeling of Spring!  Plus, I wanted to photograph Peaches and catch up with Karen who’s a long-time friend.

A huge greenhouse dominates numerous display areas.  The afternoon was warm and inside the greenhouse even warmer. Both north and south doors were open and a fan system operating.

Inside the greenhouse, tropical paradise.

Interesting craft structures surround the greenhouse. Some are decorative and some showcase colorful plant arrangements. Throughout the nursery many varieties of plants and sprouts were set or hanging–and vividly colorful: Springtime!

Plants inside the greenhouse, and quaint surrounding structures.

While Karen demonstrated bare-root facts, Peaches and I wandered, admiring rows of blooming plants–in nursery flats, individual planters, and unique special containers. Beyond the greenhouse, we moseyed among tables covered with plants and arranged artistically. Everything reflects Karen’s very green thumb and fine sense of humor.

Handmade planters, garden decorations, jewelry, from local artisans.

The Garden Depot also carries non-plant items. You’ll see select and unique handmade jewelry and antique findings from local artists.  Displays are arranged to balance the various components, and throughout the nursery balanced designs are apparent.

Color everywhere!

Karen always has loved planting and gardening. She’s a Master Gardner. Years ago, she began working for the large corporation that originally established and owned the Madras Garden Depot. She learned plant knowledge and handling techniques and became a full-fledged gardening expert. After several years in nursery management and lots of hands-on work in the nursery, Karen learned that the corporation doubted whether nursery business suited its long-range plans. She saw an opportunity, bought the Depot, and has never looked back.

While Peaches and I took pictures, Karen helped customers learn about plants’ parts, planting, and nurturing.

Karen demonstrates bare root elements and planting techniques.

Hot tea and cookies always are ready for customers and friends to enjoy on the loading dock. (Have you ever seen a loading dock that’s both casual and beautiful? Karen’s is!)

Tea and cookies on the loading dock.

The Garden Depot welcomes folks like guests, into a comfortable environment. Visitors aren’t pressured to buy, but help is available if needed. Karen and her knowledgeable staff understand everything about plants and planting–especially which plants do or don’t grow in Central Oregon’s complex soils.


Crabapple baby!

The Madras Garden Depot, open Tuesdays through Sundays, is located at 1665 N. Highway 26, in Madras, Oregon 97741. Phone 541-475-2068. Garden Depot has a Facebook page–please visit it, and LIKE it. Karen and staff would appreciate lots of likes. If you have questions, stop in, phone, or email to: info@madrasgarden.com.

Soon I’ll travel there again, for some of Karen’s vigorously thriving tomato plants!


Photos by the author. Thanks for reading and following,

Diana: TrailRiderInCentralOregon@aol.com

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