English Camp Visitor Contact Station on Summer Schedule
The English Camp visitor contact station in the Royal Marine Barracks is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily through September 1. Grounds are open daily from dawn to 11 p.m.
American Camp Visitor Center on Summer Schedule
The American Camp visitor center is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through September 1. Grounds remain open daily from dawn to 11 p.m More »
Brief American and English Camps Visitor Center Closure
The American and English camps visitor centers will be closed from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday, August 27. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
The Formal Garden
The English Formal Garden is one of the more beloved features of San Juan Island National Historical Park, generating enthusiastic comments from visitors from around the world — but especially from the United Kingdom.
The garden you see before you today was planted on almost exactly the same spot in 1972 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the boundary settlement. As with Louden’s concept, this garden is a combination of art, logic and science, the geometric design featuring 13 beds of flowers and shrubs in a circular pattern.
Today the garden is maintained by the park’s maintenance division with the help of volunteers from the community. Each spring more than 700 annuals are planted among the hedges providing visitors with spectacular views by mid-summer.
In 1999, with funds provided through the Recreation Fee Demonstration Program, the park installed a gravity-fed, water-efficient irrigation system in the garden. (In the past, when water tables went down, the park would dip into the cisterns built by the Royal Marines to keep the garden going.) The new irrigation system has reduced hand-watering by nearly 70 percent enabling volunteers to manage the garden. This has freed park staff to work on other maintenance projects, and ensured visitor enjoyment of the garden throughout the summer.
Did You Know?
George E. Pickett, a West Pointer and Mexican War veteran, was the first U.S. commander on San Juan Island. He would resign his commission on San Juan and go on to lead his Confederate division in the climatic charge that bears his name at the Battle of Gettysburg.