The Meditation Garden’s many nooks and crannies are to the east of the brick road and north of the old Children’s Garden. The Lower Meditation Garden is surrounded in beauty with over 20 different varieties of peony. Enjoy a cool respite from the summer sun with flowing water and a pond adding interest to what was once part of the prison nursery.
The Meditation Garden incorporates and displays plantings and specimens within a microclimate unusual to the mid-elevation desert of the West; dappled, medium, and dense shade provided by a high canopy of deciduous and evergreen trees, accompanied by water in the form of ponds and small streams. The use of water and shade in gardens has its roots in the origins of all human interests to garden, dating back 5,000 years to Persia and Asia minor.
Here in the Meditation Garden the plant collection includes broadleaf evergreens, conifers, and deciduous plants that require and prosper from shade, the cool and moist air, and a break from the intense heat and sun of the Boise summer afternoons. Temperatures in the Meditation Garden can be as much as 20 degrees cooler than open, exposed locations in the afternoon.
The broadleaf evergreens in particular represent those plants that home gardeners can incorporate into similar, relevant landscape situations including Cherrylaurel (Prunus laurocerasus
), Holly (Ilex spp.
), Japanese Pieris (Pieris japonica
), GoldDust Plant (Aucuba japonica
), and certain selections of the Rhododendon genus.
The deciduous plants in need of this microclimate include Deciduous Azaleas (Rhododendron spp.
), Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia
), Deciduous Hollies (Ilex spp.
), Red Winter Currant (Ribes sanguineum
), Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum
), and many others.
This shaded, cool, contemplative garden is a treasured respite from our intense, hot summer afternoons. We are tempted to spend time outside in the summer afternoon when we can embrace and occupy living spaces like the Meditation Garden. Water Feature
Home to goldfish, lillies, iris, frogs, aquatic insects, and occasional water fowl, the Water Garden has benefited from both plants and labor donated by the Boise Water Garden Society. It offers cool refreshment from the sunnier sections of the Garden.