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Sunken Gardens

Sunken Gardens features an annual floral display that consists of over 30,000 individual annual plants which are redesigned to a different theme each year. The theme for 2014 is "Thunder Birds."

As the only Nebraska garden listed in the “300 Best Gardens to Visit in the United States and Canada” by National Geographic Guide to Public Gardens, this is a special place to many.  Located at 27th and Capital Parkway, this 1.5 acre lot was first developed in 1930 and most recently renovated in 2004.  Visitors can tiptoe through the tulips every spring and watch the thousands of annuals bloom all summer long and then enjoy the peaceful winter interest of the varied trees and shrubs.

Sunken Gardens continues to grow thanks to generous donations from people inspired by its beauty.  There are several ways to support Sunken Gardens including purchasing a Paving the Path brick or One Flower Forever. For information on other ways to contribute to the Sunken Gardens endowment fund, call 402-441-8258.

Garden Features

Healing Garden

The Healing Garden (or White Garden) is located in the upper level on the west side.  The design was inspired by the famous White Garden at Sissinghurst Castle in Kent, England created in the 1930’s by Vita Sackville West and Harold Nicholson.  The gathering of white blossoms inspires calm, serenity and meditation.  Visitors are encouraged to experience the ethereal quality of the garden on moonlit summer evenings.

 

Perennial Garden

Perennials are located throughout Sunken Gardens but are featured in the upper level on the north side.  There you will find varieties of shade loving plants including hostas, viburnum and hydrangeas.

 

Annual Garden
Thousands of annuals are planted, many by volunteers, corresponding to a different theme each spring.  Primarily serving as design inspiration, garden themes have included Tropicalismo, Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”, Hachimaki – a stylized Japanese headband, "Power of the Peacock", "Purple Haze" and "Solar Flair."

 

Volunteer Events

Wake-Up the Beds
Wake Up the Beds is an annual event that invites the public to help our gardeners plant annuals in the Sunken Gardens. This event takes place mid May. Good for individuals or groups. Registration preferred: Email jball@lincoln.ne.gov or phone 402-441-7847, press 0.

Garden Gab
Garden Gab meets at the Sunken Gardens Pavilion, 27th and Capital Parkway every Tuesday and Thursday, May through October, from 9a-noon. These are weekly "Learn and Do" sessions with the Public Gardens staff which cover different weekly topics on the growing culture of plants used in our gardens. Following the sessions, the newly learned skills are then put to use at Sunken Gardens, Hamann Rose Garden and the Rotary Strolling Garden. Visit the Public Gardens Volunteer page for a list of monthly topics.

Garden Docents
Volunteers are needed to provide information and lead guided tour groups through Sunken Gardens, Hamann Rose Garden and Rotary Strolling Garden. Docent training is available.

Put the Beds to Bed
The Put the Beds to Bed event is an annual event that invites the public to help our gardeners prepare the Sunken Gardens for winter. We pull annual flowers and spade the garden for winter resting of the soil allowing it to mellow with the newly added compost. This event takes place on the first Saturday of November. Regstration preferred: Email jball@lincoln.ne.gov or phone 402-441-7847, press 0. Good for individuals or groups.

Rose Garden Spring Clean-Up
Volunteers are encouraged to particpate in "Learn and Do" rose garden spring maintenance program. This program will show volunteers:

  • Proper spring pruning of Hybrid Tea roses and well as shrub rose and miniature rose spring clean-up.
  • Proper maintenance techniques will be shown for general rose care during the summer growing season.
  • Tools of the trade and their maintenance techniques.
This event starts April 14, Monday through Friday.

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