Welcoming Garth and Interpretive Garden

In 2015, the Hind Foundation provided a $251,150 grant to support the transformation of the main garden areas at Abbey of New Clairvaux by improving the existing garth and creating an interpretive, strolling garden. What was previously barren land surrounding the new Sacred Stones Medieval Chapter House and an area adjacent to Leland Stanford’s historic winery building is being transformed into a beautiful, serene environment welcoming all visitors to the site and encouraging them to stay, replenish and enjoy. Specifically, formal bosques of  trees are being planted to enhance the natural surrounding, two circular cast-in-place concrete seat walls will be constructed (one around an existing Oak tree and one that will become a future washing fountain), decomposed granite pathways will meander through the space, and a native plant palette will show visitors the plants that historically existed on site and once utilized for medicinal or fiber qualities. In addition, the main entry road will be lined with Yarwood Sycamore trees to create an allee, similar to roads and paths found in France, home to many Cistercian Abbeys.  Large shade trees (Zelkova) will be planted on a grid to mimic an orchard layout, creating a dense tree canopy.

Noteworthy Outcomes

  • Sharing History
    New interpretive panels will be displayed, further educating Abbey visitors of the rich history of the site and the Abbey.
  • Nature-friendly Landscaping
    New Cobble-line swales will be planted with native and low-water use plant species that will not only provide aesthetic qualities but also habitat value for birds, insects, and other small wildlife.