ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Walk Through Jacksonville's Cummer Gardens

Updated on April 10, 2014
BNadyn profile image

Bernadyn is a writer who contributes her work to various websites and magazines and is the Owner/Director for the website, B is 4.

The Cummer Gardens

Italian Gardens
Italian Gardens | Source

Discover one of Jacksonville's Treasures

Take a walk with me down this path, hold my hand while I guide you to one of the secrets of this city and discover a tiny world where life flourishes and spreads its arms graciously to share its wealth with you.

Take a walk with me, relax and slow down while we discover this garden together...

I believe a place worth your time in the city of Jacksonville, FL is The Cummer Museum of Arts and Gardens. It is a well-known museum here so it is not an actual secret. If you live in Jacksonville and have not yet visited or are planning on coming to Jacksonville, I strongly recommend taking time to stop by. It is one of this city's beautiful treasures, rich in history and art. I think the Cummer Gardens is the shining gem of the museum; it captured my eye and my heart and continues to take my breath away no matter how many times I walk through it.

I was introduced to this museum back in college when I was taking an art class. We were required to visit the gallery to work on projects and experience art that coincided with our lessons. During one visit, I stumbled into the gardens and instantly fell in love with its charm and subtle wonders. That was over a decade ago and I have been coming back ever since to stumble upon it some more and take in all it has to offer.

Facts and Information about Cummer Gardens:

  • "The Gardens were created by one of Jacksonville's most prominent families who settled in Florida in the early 1900s. Arthur Cummer and his brother, Waldo Cummer, came from a long line of Michigan lumber barons."
  • Ninah Cummer is the patron of the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens
  • It is located on the banks of the St. Johns River
  • Its history goes back over 100 years
  • Features include live oak trees, rare horticultural specimens, reflecting pools, fountains, arbors, scupltures and more
  • "The jewel in the crown of The Cummer Gardens is the Italian Garden, one of only a handful of extant gardens designed by Ellen Biddle Shipman."
  • The gardens is home to a 175-200-year-old oak tree, Cummer Oak.
  • The Gardens are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
  • The museum hosts special events throughout the year including concerts
  • Weddings can also be held at the Gardens

You can find more information on the Cummer Gardens' website: http://www.cummer.org/gardens-history



Enter the Gardens

The entrance to the Cummer Gardens
The entrance to the Cummer Gardens | Source

A Book on the Cummer Gardens

Upper Tier of Gardens

View from upper tier
View from upper tier | Source

Ninah Cummer's Tea Garden

Source

Tea Garden

Source

Let's take a walk through the Cummer Gardens...

I Found a Place

I found a place where the grass is green on all sides; it grows lavish and lush, dew-stained, glistening in abundance.

Cummer Oak

Source
175 - 200 year-old oak tree, Cummer Oak
175 - 200 year-old oak tree, Cummer Oak | Source

Trees

I found a place where you look upon the wise old trees in awe. Their roots are rooted firmly, standing solid and loyal in the ground, pleased to be where they stand, forever, until they are forced to leave.

What sorrow! What sadness! What a solemn day that day will be if it ever came to be...

The Cummer Oak spans out 150 feet
The Cummer Oak spans out 150 feet | Source
Source

Diana of the Hunt

Artist Anna Hyatt Huntington placed this sculpture in the gardens in 1960.
Artist Anna Hyatt Huntington placed this sculpture in the gardens in 1960. | Source

View of English Gardens and Upper Tier

Source

View of English Gardens

View of English Gardens from upper tier
View of English Gardens from upper tier | Source

Flowers Blossom...

I found a place where flowers blossom, open wide, bloom graciously, inviting you into their magical world where peace lies, whisking you away with the warmth of their welcome.

I found a place where the refreshing breeze sways around you, enticing you to stay longer, to close your eyes, open your heart to the beauty of Mother Nature.

Source

Mother Nature's Treasures

I found a place she holds dear, a place She kindly shares her wealth with you, asking only for your respect in return.

I found a place where her shining glory comes alive through the beauty that surrounds you here, persuading you that this world you stepped in is a sort of dreamy wonderland.

English Gardens

Source

View of the St. Johns River from the Cummer Gardens

St. Johns Rivers stretches 310 miles making it Florida's longest river
St. Johns Rivers stretches 310 miles making it Florida's longest river | Source

Wind and Water

I found a place where gentle wind whispers in your ear, tickles your mind to relax, to lay down in the green grass, to stare into the glittering river while you leave your worries and troubles behind.

Reflecting Pools

View of Reflecting pool in Italian Gardens from upper tier
View of Reflecting pool in Italian Gardens from upper tier | Source

Beautiful Pictures

I found a place where a camera can not capture its true magnificence, only catching snippets of the bigger picture like partial sentences that do not make up the whole story of a book.

Center Walkway of English Gardens

View of Center Walkway of English Gardens
View of Center Walkway of English Gardens | Source

Spark Creative Ideas

I found a place where artists sit under the trees, beneath the moving shadows, to seek inspiration; a place where creative thinkers gaze, wonder among the wonders here and meditate so that they may gain fresh ideas that light up their thoughts.

Wisteria Arbor in English Gardens

Centerpiece of the English Garden is the wisteria arbor by Thomas Meehan designed in 1910.
Centerpiece of the English Garden is the wisteria arbor by Thomas Meehan designed in 1910.

Refuel, Refresh, Re-energize

I found a place where families come to escape from daily chaos that life delivers; a place to pause where the reflective pools reveal the truth: that their efforts and sacrifices are appreciated.

I found a place where you can steal away a few moments to breathe in fresh air, to recharge so that you can take a step back without falling backwards. Instead, this place offers you strength to move forward.

Source

Love

I found a place where lovers can walk hand in hand to dream about the future, to whisper sweet nothings in each other's ear; their love feeding the joy that waits here, yearning to be nourished with happy feelings.

Fountains in the Gardens

Concrete and mosaic peacock fountain by William Mercer.  This fountain is located in the English Gardens.
Concrete and mosaic peacock fountain by William Mercer. This fountain is located in the English Gardens. | Source

Happiness and Joy

I found a place where children can frolick freely through sweet-scented flowers that gaze and sprinkle smiles upon them, rejoicing in their ringing voices.

View with Northern Reflecting Pool in Italian Garden

Designed in 1931 by landscape architect Biddle Shipman
Designed in 1931 by landscape architect Biddle Shipman | Source

View of Southern Reflecting Pool in Italian Garden

Mrs. Cummer was inspired to create the Italian Gardens after a trip from Italy.
Mrs. Cummer was inspired to create the Italian Gardens after a trip from Italy. | Source

Olmsted Gardens

Renovation of this garden was completed in April 2013.  The designs were provided by the Olmsted Brothers firm in 1930.
Renovation of this garden was completed in April 2013. The designs were provided by the Olmsted Brothers firm in 1930. | Source
Source

Gratitude

I found a place where a father can stop time if only for a moment, to pay gratitude to the sun shining another day while he spends quality time with his children, forgetting the exhaustion that plagues him, the tired bones that see no end.

Enjoying the peace and calm on the grass of Olmsted Garden
Enjoying the peace and calm on the grass of Olmsted Garden | Source
Source

Exploring Olmsted Gardens

Source
Source
Source

Memories

I found a place where a mother sees clearly the vision before her, hoping to hold on tightly to the memory, imprison it in her heart, never to be released as she wishes time would stand still and offer a thousand more sweet moments like this.

View of Olmsted Gardens from Upper Tier

The back drop of the St. Johns River adds to the serenity of the gardens.
The back drop of the St. Johns River adds to the serenity of the gardens. | Source

A Book About Jacksonville, FL

Source

Video Tour of Cummer Gardens

Treasures and Gems

I found a place that showers you with gold and riches in its own small but magnificent way.

A Secret Garden

Some secrets are worth revealing ...

As you can from the pictures, the landscape of the gardens is pure eye candy, dazzling with glistening pools, fountains and statues. The scene lures you into its vibrant world of nature's canvas. You can find peace, calm, romance, wonder, inspiration and inner joy here as you take the time to walk its paths or sit still for awhile among its many benches.

Bring your camera and take lots of photos to reminisce on your experience. I have many memories within these gardens with my husband and children so it holds a sacred place in my heart. I can never tire of taking pictures here, finding a new spot to snap a smile or capture a sweet moment.

I invite you to escape into this world alone or share it with someone special.

Either way, I believe you have to see if for yourself to truly appreciate its value and worth!


┬ęBNadyn 2013

View from Upper Tier of Italian Gardens

Source

Cummer Museum of Arts & Garden

Entrance to museum
Entrance to museum | Source

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • BNadyn profile image
    Author

    Bernadyn 3 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida

    RTalloni, you're welcome and thank you for visiting this hub. The gardens are beautiful and calming, a very nice experience in person!

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

    Thanks for sharing your walk in the park with us. It would be lovely to visit Cummer Gardens the next time we go through Jacksonville.

  • BNadyn profile image
    Author

    Bernadyn 4 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida

    Hi Eddy, thank you for reading and sharing. Have a great day :-)

  • Eiddwen profile image

    Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

    A wonderful hub and thank you so much fro sharing.

    Voting up.

    Eddy.

  • BNadyn profile image
    Author

    Bernadyn 4 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida

    Thank you, it's one of my favorite places here and there's a kids' play area inside, too where they can learn about art.

  • kidscrafts profile image

    kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

    What a beautiful park! A great place to observe nature! Great pictures of your children enjoying the nature around them :-) A great family outing!

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful place! I have to keep that park in mind if I go in Florida!