How'd they do that?

Posted: Tuesday, August 28, 2001

One of the highlights of the Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventures tour is the upside-down trees used as planters.

But the planters, like many other aspects of the gardens, happened by accident, or as the owners call it, gifts from God, said tour guide Christy Baseden.

When Steve Bowhay, co-owner of the gardens, was doing his renovation work, he was busy digging up a plot of his land, she said. As he turned his rented excavator, he struck tree roots from a downed tree, punching a large hole into the expensive machine, she said.

"Think about it. He'd just spent $400,000 to buy the land from the city and now he put a hole in this rented machine," she said. "He was angry."

Baseden said that Bowhay, out of frustration, used the excavator's mammoth claw to pick up the enormous downed tree by the roots and slam it into the mud.

When the rock and mud settled, Bowhay said he looked at the tree and thought, "Huh ... a planter."

To make a planter, Bowhay drives fallen trees about 15 feet into the ground. With the tree's roots exposed, he puts in moss and potting soil and then transfers flowering plants from his greenhouse.

To this day, sprinkled throughout the landscaping are giant upside-down tree planters Bowhay now makes out of delight instead of frustration.

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