international garden in the works

groundworks studio was commissioned to create a new international garden and to transform an existing amphitheater space for the Waddell Language Academy. groundworks studio's design seeks to transform both spaces into dynamic, learning environments, evocative of the countries' languages of origin.

Visitors to the International Garden are greeted by a welcome sign nestled within the American Meadow Garden, with symbolic animals from France, China, Japan and Germany, inspired by Japan's Children's Day celebration. This garden celebrates the beauty of the American landscape with a mosaic of flowering understory trees and swaths of shrubs, wildflowers and ornamental grasses.

Four outdoor rooms are carved out of the courtyard and reflect the languages taught at the school. The tradition of music informed the design of the German Garden with bluestone bars representing the staff in musical notation. Ferns and evergreens evoke the Black Forest. Across from the German Garden is a dragon head with seatwall, inspired by Chinese New Year festivals. The floor takes on a cracked ice patterning, found in traditional Chinese screens. A gravel pathway through a grove of hybrid magnolias connects with the French Garden. A stone bridge draws one into the French garden, an abstraction of Monet's water lilies depicted with a gravel field with bluestone ellipses (water lilies) floating within. A striking gold fleur-de-lis sculpture emerges from the French Garden. A catfish shaped berm rising out of the earth, inspired by the Japanese Earthshaker myth forms an inviting boulder seating area for the Japanese Garden. The character for tree is embedded into the floor and a Japanese maple offers shade. Red circle plantings of Shenandoah switchgrass and red paver circles suggest the rising sun of the Japanese flag.

Call groundworks studio to get started on your next modern landscaping project, and check out more cool projects on their website.