Paine Art Center breaks ground on new formal garden

    This rendering shows a formal garden to be built at the Paine Art Center and Gardens in Oshkosh. (Image courtesy Paine Art Center and Gardens)

    OSHKOSH (WLUK) -- The Paine Art Center in Oshkosh is getting an outdoor face-lift.

    Ground was broken Thursday on a formal garden.

    A vision for a special garden at The Paine Art Center is one step closer to becoming reality.

    Doug Hoerr, landscape architect for the project, said, "It's going to be world class."

    The two million dollar garden will be built behind the Paine's new conservatory building.

    The Paine has had so many projects in recent years, that it's taken nine years for work to get started on the formal garden.

    Aaron Sherer, executive director of Paine Art Center, said, "This garden is part of a much larger master plan for the whole property, to give us the infrastructure we need to be a real vibrant cultural organization."

    But now that the garden is the focus...

    Hoerr says he has an intricate vision for what's to come.

    "There's a fountain in the back, there's a fountain in the foreground, it's sunken, you walk under arbors with flowers hanging overhead, there's beautiful flowers along the walkway," Hoerr said.

    The garden is about 15,000 square feet. But the Paine director says it's not just the size of the garden that makes the project such a big undertaking. It's also all the architectural elements that will be added to the garden.

    Sherer said, "There's a three tier fountain that will be centered right on those gates."

    The Paine's director says the hope is that the garden will bring in visitors from all over the region, all year long.

    Sherer said, "We call this a three season garden. So in spring we'll plant tulips, it'll have a summer planting, and it'll have a fall frost-hardy planting."

    Hoerr said, "It's just a jewel of the Midwest. The garden will add to and supplement the experience of visitors."

    Giving people the chance to view nature as a work of art.

    Work on the garden is expected to be complete by September.

    But the director says it may take some time for the plants to fully flourish.

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