Sunken Gardens, Lincoln, Nebraska


We are home again from a 3-week trip to Portland, Oregon. It was a fun but exhausting trip. We drove cross-country, so 10 of those days were spent on the road. Along the way, we stopped frequently for some sight-seeing opportunities and I tried to squeeze in as many gardens as I could. The weather was nice along the way and the way back and we really dodged a bullet by missing the polar cold front that came through this week. The rain had begun in Portland a few days before we arrived but it wasn't that bad. The highlight of the trip was our legal marriage (at least in Oregon and about 30 other states) and we had a very small ceremony with a few friends. I took over 1,000 photos and it will take me a while to work my way through them. 

The trip took us through 8 states - Tennessee, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho and Oregon. On the first day, we drove to St. Joseph, Missouri and stayed the night there. On the second day, we stopped in Lincoln, Nebraska. I read about a garden there that I wanted to see called the Sunken Gardens.


This small garden covers just over 1 acre and is located right in the middle of town on the corner of  a busy intersection. The garden was developed in the early 1930s on an abandoned dump site. A depression-era project, it provided work for unemployed men. The total cost of the garden at the time was $2,500. In 2003, the Lincoln Parks Foundation donated 1.7 million to renovate the gardens. 

This is an annual garden, filled with thousands of plants.





Just across the street was a very nice city perennial garden and rose garden.


Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. What a lot of garden, packed into a smallish space ! It looks fascinating, with its dense planting, and interesting structures. I can't get over how blue the sky is - and how big your country is ! If we travelled by car for 10 days , here in the uk, we would be in the sea for 9 of them ! Your road trip sounds fantastic, travelling through 8 states. We did a road trip in the Deep South last spring , Atlanta down to New Orleans, through the Mississippi Delta, and we loved every minute.
    Congratulations on your wedding!

  2. First of all, congrats on your marriage! It's a shame you had to go so far to make it happen, but then you turned the trip into an adventure, so it's all good in the end. And that garden is indeed lovely! For some reason, I couldn't quite picture Lincoln Nebraska to have a place like that. It's all cornfields, right? Ha ha ha!

  3. RobinL, you are right, Nebraska was not the prettiest state, just mile after mile of fields. This was indeed a hidden gem!

  4. Congratulations! And I'm sorry we OR bloggers didn't all manage to get together and celebrate while you were here.

    1. There was too much going on! There will be other chances hopefully!

  5. Thanks for mentioning this great garden. I live a few blocks away and enjoy the gardens all year. The people of Lincoln donated most of the money for the renovations in less than a year. It's almost always teaming with crowds of admirers.

    Congratulation on your union. We are working on making it legal here in NE but I'm afraid our conservative majority just can't seem to wrap there minds around equality for all.

  6. Congratulations on your marriage!

    I love the "roof" of the rotunda.

  7. What an exciting trip!! Congrats to you both!!! I got a tear when I read the news! What a beautiful place! I'm jealous of your travels!!

  8. Congratulations on your marriage! And best wishes for many, many more years together!

  9. Congrats on your marriage!
    And it looked like a great trip!
    I love Portland! Except for all the rain. :-)
    We were right in the middle of our trip at the same time.
    With Michigan dragging their feet, we'll probably wait until we move to Nevada to get married.
    That should be around our 40th anniversary.

    1. Thanks and congratulations on 40 years! Las Vegas is going to be a big change from Michigan!


Post a Comment