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.
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.
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".
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.
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.