Kris Jarantoski Campus Garden

New display garden to feature innovative landscape plan

Part of the charm of the new Kris Jarantoski Campus Garden, when complete, will be the surprise—you won't know what's around the corner. The Jarantoski Campus Garden will include a winding garden and an interpretive walk. A path will follow the length of the greenhouses and nursery on the Jarantoski Campus. The path will lead visitors through areas of bald cypress trees, dawn redwoods, and European beech hedges, without revealing what lies beyond the next curve. The interpreted views into the nursery and greenhouses will allow the public to see the fascinating techniques used in the art and science of horticulture.

Wirtz International Landscape Architects, the noted Belgian firm, is designing the Jarantoski Campus Garden. Their innovative landscape plan will unite the entire south campus, including the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Science Center and the plant production facilities, with Evening Island and Dixon Prairie. Wirtz plans to give "this relatively unknown part of the Garden a new soul."

Wirtz International's design features a curvilinear scheme of strong, sculptural plantings. The Jarantoski Campus Garden—Wirtz International's first public project in North America—will convey a distinctive northern and southern identity, characterized by softly mounded yews on one half of the garden and rustling fountain grasses on the other. Wirtz describes the grasses as "dunes of sleeping cats"—one of many stunning landscape elements that add an evocative fairytale quality to a shade garden at once peaceful and avant-garde. Also included will be a shady section for the Garden's acclaimed shade evaluation program, and a sunny location dedicated to rose evaluation. Visitors of all stripes, from home gardeners to plant professionals, will be able to see for themselves how plants grow in native conditions.