Designing a Children's Garden for Experiential Learning in the South Carolina Botanical Garden

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  • 1 Clemson Univ., Horticulture, Clemson, SC 29634-0375
  • 2 Clemson Univ., Horticulture, Clemson, SC 29634-0375
  • 3 Clemson Univ., Horticulture, Clemson, SC 29634-0375
  • 4 Clemson Univ., SC Botanical Garden, Clemson, SC 29634-0174
  • 5 Clemson Univ., SC Botanical Garden, Clemson, SC 29634-0174
  • 6 Clemson Univ., SC Botanical Garden, Clemson, SC 29634-0174
  • 7 Clemson Univ., Bob Campbell Geology Museum, Clemson, SC 29634-0130
  • 8 Clemson Univ., SC Botanical Garden, Clemson, SC 29634-0174

An interdisciplinary team of Clemson Univ. faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students partnered with the South Carolina Botanical Garden staff and children from the “Sprouting Wings” after-school garden program to plan and design a 2.5-acre Children's Garden. Imaginative and educational, the plans call for a series of outdoor theme gardens. Proposals for 13 theme gardens include a “Dinosaur Dig”, a “Food for Thought Garden”, a “Hide-and-Seek Garden”, a “Terraced Sitting Garden”, an “Ethnobotany Garden”, a “Wonders of Water Garden”, a “Learning from Nature Outdoor Classroom”, a “Carolina Fence Garden”, a “Cottage Garden”, a “Bold View Butterfly Garden”, a “Woodland Wonderland”, a “Playful Plaza Garden,” and an “Arbored Entrance and Exit Garden.” Project methodology included research, case studies, site analysis, program development, preliminary plans, master plan, and individual garden designs with plan views, elevation drawings, detail drawings, and plant lists. Using an experiential learning pedagogy, a design class of 15 students contributed an estimated 2,000 hours of work while learning about landscape design. Results included 30 drawing boards depicting research, analysis, and design proposals, which were presented to the South Carolina Botanical Garden Staff for approval in Fall 2003. Note: This material is based upon work supported by the cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension service, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, under Agreement No. 2002-38411-122122. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.

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