New Sunken Garden is more orchard than garden2 min read

Nadia Banchik, Staff Writer

Being in my fourth year at De Anza College, I remember how I admired the beautiful roses, especially those in light lilac, a pretty rare color, in front of Flint Center in the old Sunken Garden.

I also favored shady old trees with dense, thick branches at the corner across from the student center.

This picturesque view disappeared in one moment with the remodeling of the Sunken Garden.

With the Sunken Garden remodeled, neither a single rose remains, nor were new flowers planted.

There is nothing to catch an eye but monotonous grayish, green grass.

Young trees are desperately trying to fit themselves into their tiny beds amid graveled rectangles in straight rows, makes a gloomy contrast to the fancy palace of the California History Center.

Of those old mighty trees, only half remain.

There are no longer shady meadows and nowhere to hide from the summer sun.

Before St. Valentine’s Day, I tried to find a single flower on campus to take a photo of it for La Voz’s cover for the Day of Love.

There were no flowers anywhere on campus except for some wild ones.

“The roses were not planted in right place,” said Donna Jones-Dulin, associate vice-president for educational resources and college operations.

“The temperature was very extreme for them in that area, so they were dying. Also, the way they were planted was not the original concept.”

“The design of the new Sunken Garden represents the historical significance of this quarter, that also includes the California History Museum.

“The idea was to reflect on what this whole property was initially, an orchard and vineyard,” she said.

“Along with California History Museum advisory and the architect, we wanted to reflect on the history of this site as an orchard,” said Jones-Dulin.

The college also wished to have a space on campus in which student activities could be held.

Sustainability and “nativeness” are other principles for plant design, according to Jones-Dulin.

The Sunken Garden, and all construction projects, were funded from Measure C, a special bond that passed in 2006 with no financing from the college or state, she said.

Because of this, De Anza had to choose plants that require less water consumption.

Students who study at De Anza in a few years will probably find the Sunken Garden more beautiful because the young trees that were planted during the remodeling will grow bigger.

However, current students are doomed to admire this poor, scarce garden instead of the fancy roses embedded in my memory.

And anyway, I don’t believe the initial orchard and vineyard, that were cultivated over there at the late nineteenth century, included graveled rectangles amid the orchard!