The Shelby White and Leon Levy Water Garden is small wetland and riparian environment with a meandering path that leads visitors past a babbling brook and tranquil pond surrounded by resilient plants that flourish at the water's edge.
The diverse palette of trees, shrubs, ferns, and other plants is a mix of ornamentals and “working plants” that filter water and provide habitat and food for wildlife. Many of the species, such as black tupelo, can handle both wet and dry conditions. Other plants prefer consistent moisture, like sedges and rushes, and can be seen growing along the pond and brook. Among the summer highlights are several varieties of Hibiscus, whose large, showy flowers provide bursts of red, white, and pink amid the garden' lush greenery from late July through September.
The pond and stream, known as Belle's Brook, are part of the Garden’s Water Conservation Project which allows the Garden to filter and recirculate fresh rainwater and groundwater throughout its 52-acre watershed, reducing water consumption and easing the burden on the city storm drains.
Siberian iris in June. Photo by Blanca Begert.
The Water Garden in late August. Photo by Blanca Begert.
Monarch and painted lady butterflies on Tartarian aster in October. Photo by Blanca Begert.
Hibiscus 'Lord Baltimore' in late summer. Photo by Alvina Lai.
Japanese pink pussy willow cultivar in February. Photo by Blanca Begert.