“Oh, just let’s go around the next corner to see what we can find,” was a favorite phrase of Independence botanist and writer, Mary DeDecker. T
he Mary DeDecker Native Plant garden at the Eastern California Museum is a living tribute to this passionate, self-taught naturalist. The garden is laid out along the banks of Independence Creek and features roughly 100 plants, wildflowers, cacti, and shrubs (most of them labeled) native to the Owens Valley.
The spring wildflower bloom is especially enchanting, with the colorful flowers set against the stunning backdrop of the Sierra. The walking path winds through the landscape, and leads to paths that run north and south along Independence Creek.
The Northern Path leads to Dehy Park, and the restored Carson and Colorado Steam Engine #18. The Southern Path winds through the sage and along the creek to the Independence Campground. Visitors can spend anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours in the garden and along the banks of Independence Creek.