Sunken Gardens

The koi pond at Sunken Garden.

Sunken Gardens features a new floral scheme designed by the Garden Artists every year. These displays feature over 30,000 different annuals.
The 2021 theme was “Ruby Slippers" the 2022 theme is “A Wonderland”.

The only Nebraska garden to be listed in the “300 Best Gardens to Visit in the United States and Canada” by National Geographic’s "Guide to Public Gardens", this enchanting place is important to many. Formerly a neighborhood dumpsite, this 1.5 acres was first developed in 1930, and was transformed into an iconic feature of Lincoln. The Sunken Gardens have been the backdrop to decades of memorable occasions. 

Most recently renovated in 2005, improvements included handicap accessible entrances, walkways and parking, entry garden pavilion, new sculptural elements, restrooms, renovated lily ponds, restored cascading water feature, and additional lawn space for events. Inspiration by artist Mary Buckman is in loving memory of Beatrice

Visitors can tiptoe through the tulips every spring, and watch the thousands of annuals and perennials bloom all summer long. The art installations, varied combinations of trees, shrubs, and perennials provide especially quiet and peaceful points of interest throughout the winter season. 

Admission is free, all are welcomed. Donations are accepted. Restrooms are open from April to October from 9 AM to 8 PM.


Features of the Sunken Gardens

Healing Garden

The Healing Garden (or White Garden) is located in the upper level of Sunken Gardens.  The design was inspired by the famous White Garden at Sissinghurst Castle in Kent, England created in the 1930’s by Vita Sackville West and Harold Nicholson.  The gathering of white blossoms inspires calm, serenity and meditation.  Visitors are encouraged to experience the ethereal quality of the garden on moonlit summer evenings. 

Perennial Garden

Perennials are located throughout Sunken Gardens but are featured in the upper level on the north side near the "Rotary Pavilion" . There you will find varieties of sun and shade loving perennials including hostas, viburnum and hydrangeas. These plants provide inspiration to gardeners of all abilities looking to add perennials to their own gardens.  

Annual Garden 

Thousands of annuals are planted each year by staff and volunteers during the Wake up the Bed's event. They are planted corresponding to a different theme revealed each spring.  The garden themes are often influenced by conversations the gardeners have with those who come and enjoy the space. Garden themes have included "Tropicalismo" styled designs; themes inspired by, Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”, Dr. Suess, Hachimaki – a stylized Japanese headband, "Power of the Peacock", "Purple Haze", "Solar Flair", and "Moon River".   

Water Features

The Sunken Gardens is home to two Lily Ponds and a cascading waterfall. In addition to providing habitat for aquatic plants, these features also bring the element of water into the garden. Not only lovely to look at, the sound of trickling water engages your senses creating a thoroughly relaxing, peaceful setting. The Lily Ponds bring even more life and beauty into the garden. The ponds are home to colorful and playful koi, hardy water lilies, lotus, and a rotation of tropical aquatic plants.  

Art Installations

Sunken Gardens is home to several of Lincoln's better known public art pieces. Through the generosity of several Lincolnites, the garden has been embellished with statues and sculptural elements since its creation in the 1930's. "Rebecca at the Well" once graced the bottom pool of the waterfall, but after decades of weathering her concrete form was retired and a bronze replica, "Rebekah at the Well", was placed at the top of the waterfall. "Reveilli" and "Kneeling Figure" can both be found in the upper level of the garden. "Rotary Pavilion" was added in the 2005 renovation, creating a welcoming plaza near the new parking lot, it's laser cut panels tell the story of the four seasons, featuring several whimsical landmarks. In 2022 "Inspiration" by artist Mary Buckman was added to the garden in loving memory of Beatrice "Mike" Seacrest.

Paving the Path

The brick path installation was part of the 2005 renovation. A way to memorialize loved ones, proclaim your love and support to the garden for future generations. Honor special friends or family members, celebrate graduations or weddings or commemorate holidays by purchasing an inscribed brick to be placed in the walkways at the renovated Sunken Gardens. 

One Flower Forever

One flower will be planted in honor of someone special, annually, at Lincoln's Sunken Gardens 'forever'. All donors receive a commemorative certificate suitable for framing which can be presented to the honoree or honoree's family. Names of honorees will be recorded in the inter-active kiosk at the Sunken Gardens Pavilion. 

Garden Manners

For everyone’s enjoyment of the garden, please: 

  • Do not pick the flowers or stand in the displays 
  • Attend to children at all times 
  • Stay on the paths and lawn areas 
  • Leash your dog; pick up and dispose of pet waste 
  • Walk your bicycle 
  • No skateboards or roller blades 
  • No swimming, wading or feeding the fish 
  • No smoking in the garden
  • Pick up and properly dispose of all trash 

For garden tours, please contact 402-441-8267.


Rent Period: 3 hours
Capacity: 56
Rental Fee: $180.00
Additional Hour: $60.00
Deposit: $100.00

Park areas are open to the general public during periods reserved for weddings and associated activities. Our staff work hard to keep our park and public garden areas beautiful, but weather happens. Please keep this in mind when scheduling your event.




Commercial Photography

Lincoln's parks and public gardens have provided beautiful backdrops for generations of family photos. When you or your photographer are taking pictures, we ask that you be mindful of, and minimize disruption to, other park users and garden visitors. Please also take care to avoid damaging any flowers, plantings, turf, or park property.

If your photo shoot is large and/or it could disrupt normal park or public garden operations, you make need to seek a Special Use Permit. If fees for photography services are collected on site, a Permit to Conduct Business may be required. Wedding reservations are available at our wedding designated sites. Please contact 402-441-7847, Ext. 0, or email, for additional information regarding both Special Use Permit and wedding reservations.

Thank you and enjoy those beautiful pictures!


2021 Design


Ledges East of the Falls (1)


Sunken2021-_Page_01.jpg(JPG, 1MB)

  • Ageratum, "High Tide"~ blue
  • Alocasia 111acrorrhizn, Upright EE 64
  • Asparagus Fem, "Meyerii"
  • Begonia, "Top Hat" -pink
  • Begonia, Viking XL, "Red On Chocolate"
  • Calmadium, "Fast flash" - red
  • Coleus, Flame Thrower series, "Salsa Verde"-yellow
  • Colocasia, Black Elephant Ears
  • Colocasia, Var. Elephant Ears, "Maui Sunrise"
  • Dichondra, "E111erald Falls"
  • Dichondra, "Silver Fnlls"
  • Fuchsia, "Firecracker" variegated - red
  • Ginger
  • Impatiens, "Beacon" -orange
  • Impatiens, "Beacon" - red
  • Impatiens, "Beacon" - white
  • [po111ea, Sick Kick, "Black Heart"
  • Lantana, Luscious Series, "Bananarama" -yellow
  • Lantana, Royi1le, "Pina Colada”
  • Peruvian Daffodils, Hymenocallis narcissiflora 70
  • Pineapple Lily, Eucomis "Burgandy Sparkles" 7
  • Salvia, "Victoria" - blue
  • Sunpatiens, "Compact" - orange
  • Sunpatiens, "Compact" – red
  • Sunpatiens, "Compact" - white

South Entrance - C Street (2)


Sunken2021-_Page_02.jpg(JPG, 701KB)

  • Angclonia, "Super White"
  • Ageratum, "Bumble” - blue
  • Banana, “Eusete”
  • Begonia, Viking XL, “Red On Chocolate”
  • Begonia, “Top Hat” – pink
  • Canna, 'Tropical", red/bronze
  • Coleus, “Rediculous”
  • Coleus, Flame Thrower series "Salsa Verde" - yellow
  • Coleus, Color Blaze series, "'Wicked Hot” - orange
  • Cleome, "Senorita Blanca”
  • Dahlia, “Mystic Enchantment”
  • Dahlia, "XXL Taxco"
  • Lantana, Luscious Series, “Bananarama” - yellow
  • Lantana, Royale, “Pina Colada”
  • Marigold, “Bali” - yellow
  • Peruvian Daffodils, Hymenocallis narcissiflora
  • Salvia, “Victoria”, blue
  • Vinca, Pacifica XP, " Burgandy Halo"
  • Coleus “Chocolate Red”
  • Coleus “Salsa Verde”
  • Impoea “Black Heart”
  • Sun Patiens - Red


Ponds (3)


Sunken2021-_Page_03.jpg(JPG, 852KB)

North Pond

  • Alocasia, Upright EE
  • Banana, Green
  • Begonia, "Cocktail Series" - red
  • Canna, "Pretoria” -orange
  • Canna, "Tropical" - red/bronze
  • Celosia, "Dragon's Breath" 135
  • Celosia, "New Look" 170
  • Coleus, Color Blaze Royale, "Apple Brandy"
  • Coleus, Color Hinze series, "Golden Dreams”
  • Colocasia, Black EE
  • Colocasia, “Illustris”
  • Papyrus, Cyperus, ""Prince Tut"
  • Zinnia, "Profusion Lemon"

South Pond

  • Alocasia, Upright EE
  • Banana. Green
  • Begonia·, "Cocktail Series" - red
  • Canna, "Pretoria" - orange
  • Canna,. "Tropical" - red/bronze
  • Celosia, "Dragon's Breath'"
  • Celosia, "New Look"
  • Coleus, Color Blaze Royale, "Apple Brandy"
  • Coleus, Color Blaze sc1·ies, "Golden Dreams"
  • Colocasia, Black EE
  • Colocasia, "lllustris"
  • Papyrus, Cyperus, "Prince Tut"
  • Zinnia, "Profusion Lemon"

Tropical Pond Plants

  • Colocasia, Black leaf EE (water acclimated)
  • Colocasia, "Illustris" (water acclimated)
  • Papyrus, Cyperus, "King Tut"
  • Papyrus, Cyperus, “Prince Tut”
  • Thalia
  • Tropical Water Lilies
  • Tropical Water Lotus


East Beds (4)


Sunken2021-_Page_04.jpg(JPG, 659KB)

  • Ageratum, "Bumble Blue"
  • Alocasia macrorrhiza, Upright
  • Angelonia, "Super White"
  • Banana, “Ensete"
  • Banana, Green 5
  • Caladiums, " Fast Flash" - red
  • Carma, "Tropical" – red/bronze
  • Cleome, "Senorita Blanca"
  • Coleus, "Kong Mosaic"
  • Coleus, "Rediculous"
  • Coleus, "Wicked Hot" - orange
  • Dahlia, "Mystic Enchantment" - red
  • Dahlia, "XXL Taxco"
  • Impatiens, "Beacon" - red
  • Impatiens, "Beacon" - white
  • Lantana, ''Bananarama'' - yellow
  • Lantana, " Pina Colada"
  • Marigold, "Bali" - yellow
  • Vinca, " Burgundy Halo"


Northeast Corner (5)


Sunken2021-_Page_05.jpg(JPG, 793KB)

  • Angelonia, "Super White"
  • Ageratum, "Bumble Blue”
  • Alocasia, Upright EE
  • Asparagus Fern, "Meyerii"
  • Banana, "Ensete” -red
  • Banana, Green - big
  • Begonia, Cocktail, "Vodka" - red
  • Begonia, Cocktail, ''Bada Bing" - white
  • Canna, "Tropical"- red/bronze
  • Celosia, "New Look", red/bronze
  • Cleome, "Senorita Blanca"
  • Coleus, "Apple Brandy"
  • Coleus, "Rediculous"
  • Coleus, "Wicked Hot" - orange
  • Colocasia, "llustris"
  • Cypress Vine, big Obelisks
  • Dahlia, "Mystic Enchantment" - red
  • Dahlia 1 "XXL Taxco,'
  • Gomphrena, "Strawberry Fields"
  • Lantana, Luscious Series, “Bananarama”
  • Lantana, Royale, " Pina Colada"
  • Diplodenia, Red [vines)
  • Marigold, "Bali" - yellow
  • Vinca, Pacifica XL "Burgundy Halo"


North Beds (6)


Sunken2021-_Page_06.jpg(JPG, 796KB)

  • Angelonia, “Super White”
  • Banana, " Enstete" - red
  • Banana, green
  • Begonia, XL, "Red on Chocolate"
  • Begonia, "Top Hat" - pink
  • Canna, "Tropical" - red/bronze
  • Celosia, "New Look" -red
  • Celosia, "Dragon's Breath"
  • Cleome, "Senorita Blanca"
  • Coleus, "Apple Braudy"
  • Coleus, " Rediculous"
  • Coleus, "Salsa Verde" - yellow
  • Coleus, "'Wicked Hot" - orange
  • Cololcasia, "lllustris"
  • Dahlia, "Mystic Enchantment"
  • Dahlia, "XXL Taxco"
  • Hibiscus, "Luna" - red
  • Ipomea, Side Kick, "Black Heart"
  • Lantana, '~Bananara1na" - yellow
  • Lantana, Royale "Pina Colada"
  • Pennisetum, "Fire Works"
  • Peruvian Daffodil
  • Salvia, "Victoria” - blue


Northwest Ledges and Wheel Beds (7)


Sunken2021-_Page_07.jpg(JPG, 800KB)  

Northwest Ledges

  • Acalypha, Chenille pendula "Fire Tails"
  • Alocasia, Upright EE
  • Asparagus Fern, "Meyerii"
  • Begonia, "Top Hat” - pink
  • Begonia, Viking XL, "Red on Chocolate"
  • Canna, "Pretoria"
  • Canna, "Tropical" - red/bronze
  • Capsicum, Orn. Peppers, "Black Onyx"
  • Capsicum, Orn. Peppers, "Hot Pots Yellow"
  • Capsicum, Orn. Peppers, "Sedona Sun"
  • Caster Beans, Black
  • Celosia, "Dragon's Breath"
  • Coleus, " Rediculous" - red
  • Coleus, Flame Thrower series, "Salsa Verde''
  • Coleus, Color Blaze, "Wicked Hot" - orange
  • Colocasia gigantia, "Thai Giant EE"
  • Dichondra, "Emerald Falls"
  • Dichondra, "Silver Falls"
  • Dusty Miller, Senecio cineraria, " Silver Dust"
  • Ipomea, Side Kick, "Black Heart"
  • Marigold, " Bali" - yellow
  • Millet, " Jade Princess"
  • Pennisetum, "Prince"
  • Salvia, "Victoria", blue

Wheel Beds

  • Celosia, "Sol Lizard Leaf”
  • Coleus, Color Blaze, "Lime Time" - yellow
  • Coleus, Color Blaze, " "Wicked Witch" - red

Pavilion Beds (8)


Sunken2021-_Page_08.jpg(JPG, 573KB)

Pavilion Entrance Beds

  • Calibrachoa, “Superbells Lemon Slice”
  • Calibrachoa, "Superbells Red"
  • Calibrachoa, "Superbells Yellow"
  • Dichondra, “Silver Falls”
  • Lysimachia, “Goldilocks”
  • Mondo Grass, Black
  • Papyrus, "Prince Tut”
  • Pennisetum, "Fire Works"

Pavilion Bed

  • Alternanthera, “Little Ruby”- red
  • Alternanthera, "True yellow"
  • Coleus, Color Blaze Royale, "Apple Brandy"
  • Lantana, On a Standard - yellow

Ledges West of Falls (9)


Sunken2021-_Page_09.jpg(JPG, 1MB)

  • Acalypha, Chenille pendula, " Fire-tails"
  • Ageratum, "Bumble Blue"
  • Asparagus Fern, Meyerii
  • Begonia Viking XL, "Red On Chocolate"
  • Canna, "Pretoria'' – orange
  • Canna, “Tropical” - red
  • Capsicum, 01', "Black Onyx"
  • Capsicum, OP, "Hot Pops Yellow"
  • Capsieum, OP, "Sedona Suu"
  • Caster Bean, Black
  • Coleus, P. Sun series, "Dark Chocolate”
  • Coleus, "Rediculous" - red
  • Coleus, "Salsa Verde" - yellow
  • Coleus, "Wicked Hot" - orange
  • Colocasia, Elephant Ear, Black Glossy
  • Dichondra, "Emerald Falls"
  • Dichondra, "Silver Falls"
  • Centaurea, " Colchester Silver"
  • Euphorbia, "Diamond Frost”
  • Guara, "Stratosphere White"
  • Impatiens, “Beacon'' - red
  • Impatiens, “Beacon'' - white
  • Ipomea, Side-Kick Black Heart
  • Latana, “Bananarama” - yellow
  • Lantana, Royale "Pina Colada"
  • Marigold, "Hali" - yellow
  • Melampodium, "Jackpot Gold"
  • Millet, " Jade Princess"
  • Pennisetum, “Prince”
  • Salvia, "Victoria" - blue
  • Sunpatiens, “Compact" - red
  • Sunpatiens, “Compact" - white
  • Vinca, Pacifica XL "Burgundy Halo"


Street Entrances (10)


Sunken2021-_Page_10.jpg(JPG, 718KB)

D Street Entrance

  • Alternanthera, "True yellow"
  • Begonia, Cocktail series, Vodka - red
  • Salvia, "Victoria", blue
  • Zinnia, "Zahara Bonfire"
  • Zinnia, "Zahara White"

C Street Entrance

  • Alternanthera, True yellow
  • Begonia, Cocktail Series, "Vodka"- red/bronze
  • Salvia, "Victoria", blue
  • Zinnia, “Zahara Bonfire mix”
  • Zinnia, “Zahara White”


Healing Garden - Upper Level (11)


Sunken2021-_Page_11.jpg(JPG, 851KB)

West Side

  • Alocasia, Upright EE
  • Caladium, "Aaron'·
  • Colocasia, "Maui Sunrise"
  • Sunpatiens, " Compact" – white

East Side

  • Coleus, Flame Thrower series, "Salva Verde"
  • Sunpatiens, "Compact"- red


Capital Parkway Sign Bed (12)


Sunken2021-_Page_12.jpg(JPG, 497KB)

  • Ageratum, "Bumble Blue"
  • Canna, "Tropical" red/bronze
  • Coleus, Flame Thrower series, "Salsa Verde"
  • Salvia, "Victoria" - blue
  • lmpatiens, "Beacon" - red
  • lmpatiens, "Beacon" - orange



 Click image to open larger photo. 


S 27th St & Capitol Pkwy, Lincoln 68502  View Map

Google Map
Tagged as: