The River Lodge gardens have been
created for the enjoyment of the community and its visitors. The gardens also represent a
research and horticultural study site for the advancement of education about the plant
group commonly called heather. The vast collection represented here is of international
The City of Fortuna
staff and members of the Heather Enthusiasts of the Redwood Empire ('HERE') with the
assistance of the Fortuna Garden Club started the plants for this huge project as early as
1995. Over 400 different varieties of heather cuttings were prepared for propagating and
The facility was completed three years later and the landscaping was started at that
time. A computer-controlled irrigation system was installed and nearly a thousand yards of
high-quality topsoil, organic matter, peat moss, perlite and vermiculite was mixed and
placed into the beds.
The last weekend in October 1998 saw a large number of volunteers complete almost four
thousand heather and conifer plantings. The landscaping on the south and west side of the facility is currently being installed.
Heather Society, one of the finest heath and heather sites on the web.
surrounds the facility, with plants everywhere. Some of the gardens are used to delineate
parking areas or space to support the lighting systems and are thus found in the parking
lot. The Overlook Garden was planted before water was available to
the area and is therefore composed of drought tolerant plants. An artificial cliff behind the lodge supports a hanging garden of Rosemary.