Schematic Plan

We are cultivating a Botanical Garden with a unique character that is so much more than just a simple garden. The Botanical Garden of the Piedmont will offer a wide array of outdoor activities for all members of our community.

Conceptual Design, by the design team of Mikyoung Kim Design and Waterstreet Studio.

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Boston-based Mikyoung Kim Design is an international, woman-owned, landscape architecture and urban design firm. The recipient of many national awards, including the 2023 The American Society of Landscape Architect Firm of the Year Award, Mikyoung Kim Design is Charlottesville’s Waterstreet Studio, a multi-disciplinary firm which has, since 2008, created purposeful and engaging landscapes that are economically viable and environmentally responsible.

2022 Rendered Annotated Plan

This Schematic Design was updated in the Summer of 2022 to include the acreage added as a part of the land-lease with the City of Charlottesville. The revised Schematic Plan incorporates the entire 14.74 acres and revises the layout of the parking lot and Children’s Discovery Garden to accommodate the stream restoration and Rivanna Trail paths and bridge.  


After first performing a thorough analysis and survey of the garden site, our Design Team then identified its many and formidable opportunities and constraints. A framework of possibilities and conversations evolved with which to engage community stakeholders. They conducted 4 workshop sessions with the Botanical Garden of the Piedmont Board and subcommittee members, 2 well attended public engagement meetings and 1 detailed web survey. Responding to the feedback, the Design Team arrived at a distillation of important guiding principals and provisions.

The Garden will become a four seasons landmark — a place where people of all ages come to play, explore, learn and rejuvenate. Day and evening events as well as special family events will be familiar occurrences. Many opportunities for civic and private gatherings will create a community garden by integrating special memories into the garden experience. Partnerships with catering services will be created to provide full service events and revenue sources through facility rental. The Garden will become a popular destination for weddings, retreats, workshops and so much more.

The Garden must be:

  1. A Place of Healing and Restoration
  2. A Place to Engage the Natural World
  3. A Community Destination that is interconnected with Charlottesville


Art and Science intersect masterfully in this conceptual design. Both sophisticated and whimsical, the vibrancy of this modern-day botanical garden will encourage creative discovery and natural wonder. As highlighted on the schematic plan, our design team has conceived of 13 distinct places for intuitive and experiential learning and play within the Garden. Here, we introduce a few of these key elements:

1. Main Activity Area

Main Building Activity Area

2. Redbud Grove

3. Canopy Walk with Bird Blind

Other Proposed Gardens:

Children’s Discovery Garden
Gateway Walk
Pine Grove
Contemplation & Healing Gardens
Aquatics Garden
Fern, Moss, & Mushroom Gardens
Land Forms & Wetlands
Wildflower Meadow

Visitors and Education Center with Ampitheater – Concept Design

The Garden’s primary entry and architectural focus will be a sizable center for a myriad of visitor services and educational programming. Conveniently just outside the Center, a three season Garden Pavilion will comfortably accommodate a variety of events and classes in an intimate setting.

Redbud Grove– Concept Design

Imagine a springtime stroll on trails that meander in and around a grove of dozens of redbuds in full bloom. It will be a spectacular show of magenta, contrasting beautifully against spreading branches and twisted trunks of darkened bark. Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica), Celadine Poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum), and other native perennials planted throughout this woodland walk complete the colorful palette.

Cercis canadensis (Eastern Redbud) | credit: Betty Truax, Jefferson Chapter, VNPS

Bird Blind – Concept Design

For lovers of fun and creatures that fly, our designers envision a canopy tree walks with a sky viewing platform and a bird blind. Perched in the trees, this roomy enclosure where visitors will be able to catch intimate glimpses and take close-up photos of our feathered friends and other wildlife moving about and below the leafy upper branches of the trees. With ever changing chances for observation, this feature is sure to be a highlight of the Garden.