Sooth the Senses – The Memorial Gardens, our urban oasis, are a lush, tropical rainforest nestled into the heart of the Ormond beachside adjoining the Museum. They feature native and exotic plants, water features, artisan-designed walkways and a gazebo. Visitors can enjoy the solitude of a quiet bench or nook or walk the labyrinth inside the gazebo.
Master Gardener Janett Taylor discusses the garden echo system with a group of visiting children.
Designed by Belgian-trained Chicago landscape architect, Henry Stockman in the 1940s, the gardens feature both manicured landscape and natural areas. Numerous weddings are held in this magnificent setting.
Situated on approximately 2.5 acres at the southeast corner of Granada Boulevard between Seton Trail and Halifax Drive on Ormond's beachside, a separate fund-raising drive, spear-headed by Mrs. Mary Jane McSwain and Mrs. Eileen Butts, a former director of the Florida Board of Parks and Historic Memorials, produced sufficient funds to hire noted landscape architect, Henry Stockman, of Chicago, to design the gardens in the 1940's.1
Built on what was once a sand dune, the Gardens are natural ground that was gently developed into a park. Natural depressions were made into ponds and you can climb the steps near the waterfall to the seemingly highest elevation in Ormond Beach.
Parts of the gardens are manicured landscape and other parts are left in a naturally wild state. Although the gardens are located in the heart of the city, walking the paths gives you the feeling of being in a tropical rain forest.
The Gardens contain five ponds that are home to numerous turtles, frogs and fish. Aquatic plants such as water lilies and water lettuces offer food, shade and natural cleansing within the ponds. Look for marginal bog plants such as papyrus, bananas, ginger lilies and wild flowers, which flourish near the three ponds that were formed by natural depressions.
The Gardens are maintained by Janett Taylor. Ms. Taylor has dedicated more than 30 years to caring for the Gardens, a true labor of love. Ms. Taylor also contributed her considerable knowledge to the garden plantings section of this web site.
1 Historical information for this website was obtained from the book Ormond-on-the-Halifax, A Centennial History of Ormond Beach, Florida by Alice Strickland © 1980 Alice Strickland. Southeast Printing and Publishing Company, Holly Hill, Florida, USA. LC Number 80-50573