Design Inspiration from the Huntington Children’s Garden

Sorry about the formatting on this post – didn’t quite make it over well from our old blog post address.

This year, the American Horticultural Therapy Association‘s annual conference took place in Pasadena, and we were so fortunate to have the Huntington Library and Botanical Garden as our host and conference setting. Designers of children’s gardens for healthcare could take a few (or more) pages out of the Huntington Garden’s children’s garden. I’m going to keep the verbage to a minimum with this post and simply provide you with images from my recent visit to this inspiring place of discovery, learning, and play.

Huntington Children's Garden. Photo by Naomi SachsThis door, and the footprints leading up to it, say “this place is for kids!”

A child-sized “green house”…
window boxes and all…  

Green animals! Many of the plants in the garden are what I call “Dr. Seuss plants” – trees and shrubs that are strange and fun. Also lots of plants, such as lamb’s ears and Artemisa Powis Castle, to touch and smell for sensory exploration.

Myriad fountains. Upon seeing some leaves in one fountain (see the short video below), a youngster (probably about ten years old), exclaimed, “Look at the leaves are swirling around in the fountain! That’s so COOL!”

This sculpture might look a bit imposing for a children’s garden, until you see – or I should say hear – it in action.









Comfortable, shady places for parents and grandparents to relax. Beautiful combinations of plants for even the most sophisticated plant-lover.  

But most important, plants designed for young people to run, explore, and play under, over, and through.