For any longtime customers or new visitors planning a trip to Hidden Gardens Nursery in Camas, time is running out. The independent nursery — long a favorite destination for Clark County gardeners — is preparing to close for good after nearly 30 years in operation.
The nursery’s owner, John Mackay, says the closure is prompted by a mix of factors that he says made it too expensive to run the business, including rising taxes and municipal fees. The property is slated to be sold to a development company called Senexus, which plans to build a 116-unit senior housing complex at the site.
The closure is still about two months away — Mackay says it’ll happen Nov. 1 at the latest — and visitors walking around the nursery this summer could be forgiven for thinking it’s business as usual. Pallets and shelves packed with plants fill every nook and cranny, and row upon row of trees line up along the back fence.
But things are moving quickly behind the scenes, Mackay says, with deep sale prices fueling a turnover rate that sees a lot of the nursery’s inventory changing two or three times per week. The facility is still receiving products that were ordered more than a year ago, so sales have to keep up.
“We’ve probably sold 400 to 500 fruit trees in the last two weeks,” he says.
Growing Hidden Gardens
Mackay began his career as a landscape contractor, and Hidden Gardens Nursery initially grew out of that business.