Garden Design Process Begins

Design Vision Session

Over the past few weeks, our garden design process has gotten off to a fantastic start! I thought I’d share with you an update on how we’re progressing.

We recently completed two design sessions that helped the board and our Perkins+Will design team begin to shape the vision for the future garden’s Master Plan.

Leo Alvarez and Ralph Johnson
Architect Ralph Johnson (left) and Landscape Architect Leo Alvarez.

Our designers shared with us their analysis of the botanical garden site. That assessment includes the many things that must be considered when completing our Master Plan. For example, since the north, east and west sides of the property have fairly significant slopes, it presents unique design opportunities for us to figure out how to make the best use of that space for plantings and people.

Perkins+Will also completed an inventory of the types of gardens offered at botanical garden in the United States. As you might have guessed, rose gardens are the most common, followed by gardens designed for children. The inventory will help us understand which gardens are popular with the public and what we can offer that will make Louisville’s garden distinctive.

One of my other favorite pieces of their work was a study of the average amount of space used for features like gardens, conservatories, and parking at other botanical institutions. While the size of conservatories was relatively consistent, the space allocated to individual gardens varied greatly, depending on how much land each botanical garden has to work with. We noticed that many gardens our size (23 acres) typically have 7-9 garden collections on their sites.

Through a number of activities, attendees gave the designers direction on things like what the character of the future gardens should be, visual styles we like, types of activities that will be taking place in the future gardens, and ideas for what will make the gardens unique.

The design process will continue over the coming months, with a final design expected by late fall of 2014. Watch your email and Botanica’s web site for information about our upcoming community input session and the reveal of the final design.