Photo Story by Gabriela Reni
Gaps between classes at City College leave students longing for a quiet, beautiful place to relax. While the ornamental garden rarely comes to mind, it is known as a hidden gem at Ocean Campus.
The garden is maintained by the environmental horticulture and floristry department, which has been teaching students since the 1930s. It is located at the intersection of Judson Avenue and Tennessee Street, and measures three and a half acres.
It includes three greenhouses; two large, semi-covered patios; about 40 raised flowerbeds that grow cacti, herbs and vegetables; an English tea garden and a treasure within a treasure––the Zen garden.
The entire garden makes it easy to find peace of mind through meditation, prayer and strolls through wood-carved sculptures and columns. Bridges connect the entrance gate with an empty wooden shed that serves as a shrine, where flowers are offered regularly to the whole of existence.
Open to the public from Monday through Friday, this sacred place also serves as a learning environment for a complete range of classes, such as landscaping, agricultural tool handling and greenhouse maintenance skills—trades of tremendous importance for harmonious living and sustainability on Earth.