Sunken Garden

This garden, with its lagoon connecting it to Lake Carasaljo, is the most lavish of the three gardens designed by Bruce Price. It features a 17th-century marble fountain from a garden in southern France, a double marble staircase flanked by lions, and carved marble benches, which are copies of the benches in the Vatican Garden. The lagoon itself connects to Lake Carasaljo under a bridge also designed by Bruce Price. The bridge was restored in 1999. Water from the lagoon feeds the Apollo Fountain in the Italian Garden. Moss (Sawara) Cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera) is common in this garden, but Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis), flanks the bridge at the southern end of the garden. The lagoon contains water lilies.

The Sunken Garden is most colorful between about April 10 and May 15, when the Eastern Redbud is in flower, along with the azaleas at the base of the double marble staircases and the crabapples on either side of the Sunken Garden. The crapemyrtles behind the 17th-century fountain generally flower between July 15 and August 15.

Mary of the Lions
Crapemyrtles (Lagerstroemia indica) are on either side of the shrine that is behind the Sunken Garden.


Staircase Lion
One base of the double marble staircase, flanked by lions, that leads to the sunken garden. Norway Spruces (Picea abies) are in the background.


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The sunken garden, viewed from the south in April. Virtually all of the tall conifers visible are cultivars of Moss Cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera). The pink trees are Crabapple (Malus sp.).

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The Sunken Garden, barely visible beyond the bridge from the south shore of Lake Carasaljo. The historic bridge is part of North Lake Drive and passes over the lagoon. Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica), Red Maple (Acer rubrum), and several Oak (Quercus) species frame the bridge outside the campus.


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The spectacular 17th-century marble fountain, seen in April. The trees in the background are Moss Cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera) and Crabapple (Malus sp.).

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