The Magic of Children's Gardens

Inspiring Through Creative Design

Lolly Tai, with a Foreword by Jane L. Taylor
Book Cover

PB: $37.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1448-9
Publication: Mar 21

HC: $75.00
EAN: 978-1-4399-1447-2
Publication: Mar 17

376 pages
8 x 10
697 color photos, 27 tables


Praise for the hardcover edition:
“(Tai) breaks down each garden's goal, concept, and design, providing plant lists and showing sketches and photographs of completed projects around the United States. Beauty and educational value are given their due... but for kids, whimsy always wins.”—Landscape Architecture Magazine

“Lolly Tai provides detailed examples of noteworthy children's gardens in North America. These include ones at Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York and Chicago Botanic Garden in Illinois, designed to encourage learning and play through the stimulation of all five senses. Packed with photographs, illustrations, and suggested criteria, this book explores designs that foster children's interactions with plants and the outdoors to nurture their affinity for nature.”—The American Gardener

Children’s gardens are magical places where kids can interact with plants, see where food and fibers grow, and experience the role of birds, butterflies, and bees in nature. The Magic of Children’s Gardens, now in paperback, features hundreds of comprehensive drawings and gorgeous photographs of successful children’s outdoor environments, detailed explanations of the design process, and the criteria needed to create attractive and pleasing gardens for children to augment their physical, mental, and emotional development.

Exposing youth to well-planned outdoor environments promotes our next generation of environmental stewards. The Magic of Children's Gardens offers practitioners a guide to designing these valued spaces.

Table of Contents


1. Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Children’s Garden
2. Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Discovery Garden
3. Paul Smith Children’s Village at Cheyenne Botanic Gardens
4. Chicago Botanic Garden’s Regenstein Learning Campus
Grunsfeld Children’s Growing Garden • Kleinman Family Cove • Nature Play Garden
5. Children’s Garden at Hershey Gardens
6. Helen and Peter Bing Children’s Garden at the Huntington Botanical Gardens
7. Ithaca Children’s Garden
8. Luci and Ian Family Garden at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
9. Longwood Gardens’ Indoor Children’s Garden
10. Michigan 4-H Children’s Garden at Michigan State University
11. Morton Arboretum Children’s Garden
12. Vicky C. and David Byron Smith Children’s Garden at Naples Botanical Garden
13. Everett Children’s Adventure Garden at the New York Botanical Garden
14. Childhood’s Gate Children’s Garden in the Arboretum at Pennsylvania State University
15. Children’s Garden at River Farm
16. Ann Goldstein Children’s Rainforest Garden at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
17. United States Botanic Garden Children’s Garden
18. Children’s Discovery Garden at Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark
19. Enchanted Woods at Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library

Illustration Credits

About the Author(s)

Lolly Tai is Professor of Landscape Architecture at Temple University and coauthor of the award-winning book Designing Outdoor Environments for Children.