The Meadow Garden
The Meadow Garden, an 86-acre garden at Longwood Gardens, opened to the public in June of 2014. The project is built upon Jens Jensen’s notion that “a garden, to be a work of art, must have the soul of the native landscape in it.” The design enhances and restores a vast meadow, a landscape with its own history, ecologies, and wildlife habitats. The Meadow Garden now serves as regionally important oasis for migratory birds, important pollinators, and other native wildlife.
Winding pathways invite visitors through varied habitats, where a series of spaces and follies call attention to the beauty of a meadow. Visitors become immersed in fields of ever changing color and texture; great swathes of intensive plug plantings take their cues from the species that thrive in upland meadow, wetland, stream bank or woodland edge.
Bridges bring focus to the details of different habitats. The Meadow Bridge floats amongst the Joe Pye Weed and Blazing Star of the wet meadow and serves as a space for gathering and teaching. Guests watch wildlife in the lake from the Hourglass Bridge. The Earth Bridge carries the meadow over a small restored stream. Downstream, a boardwalk crosses the stream amongst a mature Beech Oak woods.
Several rustic pavilions, featuring local building materials and methods, highlight great views. Seated amidst enhanced plantings, the guests’ attention is directed toward the dynamics of the woodland edge, the birds that inhabit the meadow, or the pollinators that buzz around them.
By its very design the Meadow Garden is temporal, ever-changing, and constantly evolving. This will never be a static space and reflects “the soul of the native landscape”.