To contact the committee for more information, click here.
Located at 2000 W. 116th Street, Carmel, IN 46032
The Children’s Garden at Coxhall Gardens is to provide an atmosphere for children to play in the garden and be able to identify the plants that have been planted around each of the building fronts. The plants were selected to coincide with the building of which they were planted in front – i.e. – the Pet Store has lambs ear, catmint, etc. There is also interaction between the Hamilton County Parks Department to assist them with school tours through the area and to continue working with the Parks Department to developing a relationship with them.
History of the Grounds
In 1838, one of Hamilton County’s earliest settlers, John Williams, was born. He moved to Hamilton County in 1855 where he farmed. Ten years later, Mr. Williams built the Victorian home, which still exists today.
In 1961 Jesse and Beulah Cox purchased the farm from Williams.
Jesse wanted to “preserve an oasis in a sea of homes”, so he decided to donate the land to Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Department. Plans for this park include a museum, conservatory, children’s garden, and a greenhouse. The park currently has the Centerpiece, a statue of Beulah and Jesse, Campbell Crossing, restroom facilities and trails.
The Children’s Garden, located on the northeast side of Coxhall Gardens (2200 W 116th St in Carmel) is not your ordinary playground! Void of traditional playground equipment, the Children’s Garden was developed to foster imaginative play while learning about various plant species and diverse ecosystems. The gardens were developed in 2005/2006 by the Hamilton County Parks Department (HCPD) in collaboration with the Hamilton County Master Gardeners Association (HCMGA). The Master Gardeners have maintained this area ever since, each year developing ideas for improvement and plantings, both annuals and perennials.
Members of HCMGA work closely with the Parks Department which provides most of the supplies we need such as plantings (trees, shrubs, flowers), weed killer, mulch (the Parks Department staff mulches), trash bags and cleanup of our waste after we are done volunteering.
The area is composed of several small buildings, such as a Bank, General Store, Pet Store, Coffee Shop and even a Jail which the kids love. Plantings around the buildings are coordinated with the name of the building such as a vegetable and herb garden at the General Store, Dogwood trees and Zebra Grass located at the Pet Store and plants associated with medicinal cures at the Pharmacy.
HCMGA members created and designed an ABC Garden and with approval for development by the HCPD, a wonderful garden with a rainbow-colored sidewalk was created. Each letter of the alphabet has corresponding plantings to that letter, such as Dahlias in the D section, Coleus in the C section and a Quince bush in the Q section.
Other areas of interest are the Pollinator garden area, Solar area with a life size sundial where you are the clock, Snake walkway, Medicine Wheel, Sensory Garden and the Sand River (the Children’s Favorite area).
Our most recent idea presented to the HCPD by Master Gardener Audrey Nelson is the Quilt Garden! This has become one of the most enjoyed and rewarding achievements for the public and the MG’s. This years’ design is called ‘As American as Apple Pie’ and is composed of over 2,000 colorful flowers depicting a framed apple with a worm inside peaking out with googly eyes! This is the third design we have planted; others have been a school house and an abstract flag design. Planting of the Quilt Garden typically occurs the first part of June and anyone is welcome to assist. Lunch is usually provided by the Coxhall Guild.
Current Committee Chairs are:
Leslie Snyder: intern class of 2013
Sherri Moyer: intern class of 2019
Debbie Klingerman: intern class of 2019
Marsha Guerriero: intern class of 2019
Every Thursday (weather permitting) from 9am to noon or whatever time frame works for you!
We do have a couple of volunteers who work every Saturday morning because they work during the week. Commitment to Thursdays is not required.
What we do:
Weeding, Planting, Fertilizing, oversee the Staff mulching, design development and prepping the gardens for winter.
The best part about volunteering in the Children’s Garden is watching and listening to the children play, the camaraderie between the volunteers and listening to the wonderful sounds from the Twin Bell Towers!
If you are interested in volunteering with us or just want to be informed about our scheduled activities please email Leslie Snyder at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll put you on our mailing list.
Hope to see you in the Gardens!
(Article submitted by HCMGA and Committee Chair, Leslie Snyder, September of 2020)
2020 Project — “As American As Apple Pie”
2019 Project — Patriotic Pinwheel “Child’s Joy of Country”
2017 Project — Old-Fashioned School House