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  • Writer's pictureGecko Group

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT: PUBLIC GARDENS

Updated: May 23



MYRIAD BOTANICAL GARDENS • DELAWARE BOTANIC GARDENS • PITTSBURGH BOTANIC GARDENS • LONGWOOD GARDENS



 


What has five toes and green thumbs?


Most people know that geckos have 5 toes on each foot, but did you know some of them also have green thumbs? At Gecko Group our passion for gardens, conservation, and storytelling inspires us to create fresh and unique interpretation experiences. Green is also our favorite color!

 

We have been fortunate to use our love of gardening and gardens for helping some of the best public gardens in the country spread their message of conservation.


 

MYRIAD BOTANICAL GARDEN



The Crystal Bridge Conservatory at Myriad Botanical Garden is unlike any other conservatory. The cylindrical structure spans early 225 feet in length over a lake and is covered in hundreds of acrylic panels. The visual effect is remarkable. Inside, the Crystal Bridge Conservatory offers 3 levels of beautiful neo-tropical plantings. For their recent renovation, we developed new interpretive content and interactive elements. A feature of the 2nd floor was creating a new vibrant, lively discovery room space focused on exploring mutualistic relationships between plants ad insects. The Perfect Partners exhibit features custom murals, larger-than-life models, and engaging content.




 


DELAWARE BOTANIC GARDENS



This relatively young garden, formed in 2012, is a gem in southern Delaware. The largely volunteer-run organization spans 37 beautiful acres. Their gardens include woodlands, wetlands, and a meadow designed by renowned Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf. Gecko Group was fortunate to partner with Delaware Botanic Gardens on their garden identity and donor signage. We also developed and designed welcome signage for their gift shop area. The garden identity signs were designed to enhance the viewscapes, tucking unobtrusively into the plantings.




 


PITTSBURGH BOTANIC GARDENS



At the start of our working relationship, we collaborated with the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, a somewhat hidden treasure, on a new site-wide Interpretive Master Plan. We continued our work together, putting elements of that plan into action. First up was new interpretive content for the Garden of the Five Senses. This multi-sensory family garden encourages exploration and play. The new elements gave context for caregivers with open-ended questions. We are happy to continue our collaboration as we work on new wayfinding signage for the East Parking lot and the Welcome Center interior.




 


LONGWOOD GARDENS: The Meadow Garden





LONGWOOD GARDENS: New Heights





LONGWOOD GARDENS: Longwood Reimagined



From the sprawling Meadow Garden to the New Heights exhibit and more, we have enjoyed a long collaborative relationship with Longwood Gardens. Its location in our back yard gives it a special place in our hearts. For the Meadow Garden, we worked to create seamlessly integrated interpretation. The New Heights exhibit showcased the garden’s history and the beauty of its design. Most recently, we created a series of panels and additional closure signage for Longwood Reimagined. This exciting new project is the most ambitious one that Longwood has undertaken. The end result will be, among others, a stunning new glasshouse conservatory. We can’t wait to see it!




 


We work with a wide range of institutions, from higher education, corporate clients, museums, nature centers, public gardens, and more. Public gardens, and other organizations with conservation messaging at their core inspire us. And the site visits are hard to beat! We are proud of the work we have done, and the work we are continuing to do with public gardens around the country.


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