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Cheekwood Estate and Gardens Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden
Children's Garden Program Development

3. Fromme Design and Hodgson and Douglas collaborated with Cheekwood Staff and Donors to create an enchanted space celebrating the Estate’s history, art, horticulture, and the native Tennessee landscape. Goals included achieving ADA access, adding spectacular new horticultural displays, creating venues for rentals and programs, and achieving seamless integration with existing adjacent spaces. 

Water spills down a series of Creek Cascades through the tunnel-like Willow Thicket and into the Turtle Pond, an exhibition of native chelonians. Storm water runoff collects in the Lower Rain Garden where native wildlife make homes. The octagonal Studio Pavilion and Plein Air Plaza overlooks plantings spilling down the Wishing Well Hillside. The Wishing Well itself bubbles, froths, and mists to the delight of youngsters. 

Toddlers find a shaded paradise in Little Woods, an enclosed space dedicated to free play. The Quarry, Little Adventure Path, Duck Puddle, and Tea House provide hands-on and imaginations-on interactive adventures. 

Summer-blossoming shrubs surround the Labyrinth Glade, a sun-dappled space focused on a stone pattern inviting exploration and contemplation. A “secret” side passage leads to the Big Adventure Path, a series of balance beams, elevated stepping stones, and rope bridges crossing beneath existing trees. Visitors encounter a stroll through a gardenesque forest in the Tennessee Woodland Walk, a celebration of showy cultivars of native plants. Nestled like a ruin amongst the vegetation, the Living Library encourages visitors to become a naturalist and explore the wonders of Tennessee’s geology, flora, fauna, and culture.

The Children’s Garden opened in March 2020.

Photos courtesy of Cheekwood Estate and Gardens and Seth Parker


Related Projects
Cheekwood Estate & Gardens Holiday Lights
Cheekwood Estate & Gardens Parterre Garden

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212 Brynwood Lane
Sanford, FL 32771