The groundbreaking ceremony was June 30, with dignitaries, from the left, Bob Schillerstrom (Arboretum Trustee), Gerard Donnelly (President and CEO), Doris Christopher (Donor), Anna Ball (Arboretum Trustee and Donor), Stephen Van Arsdell (Arboretum Board Chairman), and Bob Berry (Donor) performing the honors. The Grand Garden is set to open in September 2022 to tie in with a year’s worth of events during the Arboretum’s 100th anniversary in 2022. The anniversary celebration begins December 14, 2021, and runs through 2022.
Spanning 255 yards east to west, the length of about 2½ football fields, the new “Grand Garden,” true to its name, will be grand in scope. The advancement of the redesign to this historic axis, at the property’s core, is a celebration of the Arboretum’s hundred-year anniversary. The new design preserves the original symmetry based on classical European precedents and introduces an English picturesque asymmetrically balanced landscape garden.
A Centennial Plaza will mark the entrance to the new garden. Looking east, a terrace flanked by waterfalls will serve as a venue for weddings and special events. In the opposite direction, taller hedges will divide the space into six, more intimate “garden rooms.” Augmentations include repeated use of water elements, exuberant horticultural displays, additional gathering areas, intuitive wayfinding elements, shaded seating, and improved circulation (including ADA ramps and paths).