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Garden Flood (1975)

Persistent flooding has been a part of the garden since it’s creation, due in large part to it being established on a floodplain. In the early days of the garden, flooding would cause damage to the then wooden labels used in the garden. Many smaller attempts were made to combat this flooding, but none were successful until the mid 1910s, when it became necessary to raise the garden to the high water mark. The garden then enacted a policy to only plant species in the lower parts of the garden that would endure the flooding.

Pictured is the flood of 1975, which encompassed the garden from the river to the north stairway. The flooding carried away many of the wooden labels used to identify the plants. So many were carried away, in fact, that garden staff at the time used a row boat to try to retrieve them. After this flood, the wooden labels were replaced with stainless steal stakes and the label text was changed to it’s current format.

The seasonal flooding has caused the garden to review some of the species that we have been growing. In order to be good stewards, some invasive species have been removed from the garden to prevent their spread downriver.