The Garden was developed by English landscape designers Julian and Isabel Bannerman to incorporate the park’s footprint with the shape of the British Isles. A ribbon of Morayshire sandstone – quarried from the highlands of Scotland – wraps around the horticulture. A geography lesson, the sandstone is inscribed with the shires of the British Isles – from Aberdeen to Portland. The ‘Braemar’ stone, worn smooth over the years by the rushing waters of the River Dee near HM The Queen’s home in Balmoral, sits in the South end of the Garden marking the distance from New York to Aberdeen. The composition blends the rich tradition of English gardens with the urban American landscape. New York based garden designers Lynden B. Miller and Ronda M. Brands worked with the Bannerman’s design to create an enduring garden for all seasons, with plants that capture the spirit of an English Garden.
Reminiscences of the Commonwealth are places around the gate and slate path to symbolize the friendship between America and Britain. The four national flowers of the British Isles, rose for England, daffodils for Wales, thistle for Scotland, flax for Northern Ireland – are embossed on the finials of the Memorial Fence.
Gardens can be read like letters, each flower or plant capturing part of a memoir. Amongst the quarried stone and plantings, sent from the English to Americans in a time of mutual loss, this Garden can be read and reread in the days after, remembering, healing and ever cultivating.