Windows on the Floating World – Blume Tropical Wetland Garden officially opened on June 18, 2017. As the largest specialty garden in Mounts history, this wetland garden educates visitors of all ages on the critical importance of conserving and protecting fresh water.
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.
Designed by artists Mags Harries and Lajos Héder, in collaboration with WGI’s landscape architecture division, Windows on the Floating World 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. Additional highlights include:
– waterfalls flowing over natural stone
– an area for wading birds and aquatic life
– permeable concrete sidewalks which allow water from precipitation and other sources to pass directly through, thereby reducing runoff and allowing groundwater to recharge
– the water’s edge area for quiet reflection or Koi feeding
– an interpretive rain gauge which compares current data to previous years which aids in determining how rain levels affect plant life, food and water supplies
– hundreds of different species of wetland plants, shrubs and trees including a Walich’s Dwarf Fishtail Palm, Florida Flame Red Maples, Mexican Papyrus, Water Lilies and more
– a wall covered with Bromeliads, offering some of the best foliage colors in the plant kingdom
– four circular etched glass interpretive viewers strategically located throughout the Garden to educate and engage visitors on key components of a 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.
Windows on the Floating World was made possible by generous donors:
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.