The University Record, July 17, 2000

Photo stories: Check out the secret garden on Central Campus

Unknown to most of the campus community is an oasis on the south side of Central Campus that is hidden amid the congestion of South and East University streets. A quick jaunt through the School of Education’s iron-gated tunnel entrance on East University brings a visitor into the secret world of sunshine, shadows, quiet and hostas.

In this area, known as the courtyard at the School of Education, is a hosta collection with colors ranging from blue to variegated green and white, and some with definite buttery yellow highlights. Now in mid-bloom, the varieties include such identifying labels as Pizzazz, Paul’s Glory, Halcyon and Abba Dabba Do.

Ken Rapp, U-M landscape architect, and Bill Kronberg, senior horticultural assistant, designed the hosta plantings in the courtyard. Besides hostas, there also are bleeding hearts, ferns, redbud trees, rhododendron, evergreens, ground ivy and sparrows. While Rapp and Kronberg didn’t plan for the birds, their plantings, as well as the vines covering the surrounding buildings, have attracted numerous sparrows that flit from tree to hosta, to vine, to grass and back again.

A welcome respite from the hubbub of campus life, this courtyard garden is outfitted with concrete-formed tables and benches, and offers shade throughout the day in varying degrees except for at high noon.

This now not-so-secret garden is open for students, faculty and staff 8 a.m.–6 p.m. weekdays. Photos by Marcia L. Ledford, U-M Photo Services