Windows on the Floating World

Windows on the Floating World: Blume Tropical Wetland Garden

As the largest specialty garden, this model wetland educates visitors on the critical importance of conserving and protecting fresh water. Designed by artists Mags Harries and Lajos Héder, in collaboration with WGI’s landscape architecture division, Windows on the Floating World opened in June 2017.

This garden features open-gridded, 4-foot wide walkways on the surface of the wetlands. Within these walks are four “windows” planted with aquatics and changed out with rotating and seasonal botanical exhibits growing from submerged containers. Four circular, etched glass interpretive viewers are strategically located throughout the Garden to educate and engage visitors on key components of a wetland.

Seasonally dry and wet conditions affect the appearance and accessibility of this garden — like a true wetland.

The creation of Windows on the Floating World was led by Palm Beach County’s Art in Public Places program whose mission is to provide art that complements public buildings, parks and plazas; create a sense of place; enhance community identity; improve design of public infrastructure; and contribute to the missions of the county departments where projects are sited. All sidewalks and walkways are wheelchair accessible in accordance with provisions of the American’s with Disabilities Act. The garden design won the ASLA Award of Honor in 2018 (August 2018 – Windows on the Floating World Wins ASLA Award of Honor)

Garden Highlights
Permeable concrete walkways allow water from precipitation and other sources to pass directly through, thereby reducing runoff and allowing groundwater to recharge.
Wading birds and aquatic life can be seen.
Days of heavy rainfall can cause the garden to fill and cover the walkways.
Natural stone walls are covered with varieties of bromeliads.
During the winter dry season, the lack of rain allows the water time to percolate into the water table or evaporate into the atmosphere. It’s a time for expunging debris, weeds, algae and excessive plant populations. It’s also an opportunity for wildlife to forage for fish, clams and snails in the muck and shallow pools. Although potentially unsightly, it is a natural beneficial occurrence especially in a true wetland area.

Windows on the Floating World was generously supported and funded by Margaret Blume, Friends of the Mounts Botanical Garden, The Batchelor Foundation, Dr. & Mrs. Pedro Diaz, Hedrick Brothers Construction, WGI, Heartsong Waterscapes, Techincal Inspections, A-Cut-Above and Burn’s & Son’s Concrete, Inc., and Palm Beach County’s Art in Public Places Program.

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