Girl playing in dino dig
Children's Secret Garden project
The Children’s Secret Garden is located in a shaded area set eight to ten feet below the elevation of the nearby parking lot. Visitors will be able to enter the garden through its main entrance using a slope slide (to be added) or steps. Garden trials from the east and west will allow more level and accessible entrances. This is a garden that focuses on experiences for young children and the young at heart. Different garden areas, plants, hardscape and water features will provide an opportunity to integrate play with a respect and appreciation for things that grow. Children will be educated on how plants are a valuable part of our everyday life. Plants with lush, bold foliage and plants that hide delightful secrets of flower, texture or seasonal change will dominate this garden. The Tree House (already completed) provides an opportunity for outdoor education amongst the trees – literally – and visitors will be able to explore the landscape from a slightly different perspective.
The gardens within the Children’s Secret Garden:
- Tree House: This ground level outdoor covered classroom will feature a rain wall which will continuously water the adjacent Meat Eaters Garden containing carnivorous plants.
- Bog Garden: A recirculating stream will feature a diverse array of plants that grow in wet sites. Children will be able to cross under the stream using a tunnel. At the end of the stream is the Sunflower Garden where flower sprinklers will shower children with water on warm summer days.
- Parent’s Corral: This picnic area for families or events will overlook a sand lot. Memorial bricks, paid for through patron donations, will be featured in this area. (Completed)
- The Banana Split Sundae Garden will be located in the center of the Children’s Secret Garden. As the name suggests, this area will feature plants that look, smell or are named after chocolate, vanilla, strawberries, bananas, pineapple and other sweet treats. (Completed, except for water feature)
- Music Court: Here fun musical instruments will be available for the children to interact with. (Completed)
- Dino Dig: A Fossil Hunt area will feature materials mined from Aurora, North Carolina. (Completed)
- Labyrinth: This low spiral hedge will lead children to reach the center where a surprise awaits. (Completed)