Following the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma, the English Garden has been restored and re-opened to the public! Work on infrastructure repairs began on January 14, and we look forward to watching the plants grow and blossom.
In September 2017, Hurricane Irma hit Jacksonville and caused devastating flooding at the Museum. The lower tier of all three formal garden spaces, which are listed in the National Register of Historic Places, remained submerged for more than 24 hours, resulting in the uprooting of plants, detached railing along the river, broken lighting, pervasive salinization of the soil, large amounts of debris, and significant impact to much of the physical infrastructure, including drainage, electric, fencing, and the well that services the landscape. Garden restoration takes time. It is a complex process to evaluate the hardscape and infrastructure integrity, and to assess plant viability and soil health.
Cummer Museum Gardener George Sotelo said, “We didn’t know what we had until we lost it. Through lots of hard work and generosity of the community, we have finally seen progress in restoring the English Garden portion of our local treasure. Stop by and enjoy all the work that has been done!”
Work continues in the Italian and Olmsted gardens, and we look forward to seeing the historic Cummer Gardens back to the way they once were. We are preparing to finish restoration work by the end of summer. Thank you to all the generous donors for their support to make this restoration possible.
The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens would not be the vibrant civic resource it is without the philanthropic support of our community. It is only through this generosity that the Museum is able to fulfill its mission to engage and inspire through the arts, gardens, and education.