One of the most lovely and perhaps least known treasures in downtown Cincinnati is the walled garden near the Walnut Street entrance. Accessible from both the Reading Garden Lounge and also from the Popular Library, the garden is a peaceful, verdant retreat in the midst of a busy city. Notable garden features include the brick serpentine wall enclosure, four mature hawthorn trees, a charming bronze sculpture entitled “Boy and Heron,” and 17 large granite boulders—obtained from near Dayton, Ohio. With its undulating walkways, lush plantings, reflecting pool with bubbling fountain, tables and chairs, it’s a restful place where visitors are welcome to enjoy eating any lunch or snacks they bring, read or just relax.
The garden was originally created in 1955 when the Main Library first opened at Eighth and Vine streets, and was redesigned and enlarged by approximately 33% in 1983 when the Library expanded. The enhanced garden was made possible by funding from the Federated Garden Clubs of Greater Cincinnati and Vicinity, with additional support from the Garden Tour of Cincinnati Inc. and gifts from the family and friends of Kyle F. Brooks, an avid gardener and trustee of the Public Library from 1973 until his death in 1979.