Join us this month in celebrating the 10th Anniversary of My Big Backyard. Our Horticulture and Education teams have been working hard to get us ready for our birthday celebrations and this garden has never looked better. We are so appreciative of everyone who has played a role along the way to get us where we are today. From The Little Garden Club of Memphis planting the initial seeds and the many local foundations, corporate funders and individuals who have supported us, to the artists and craftsmen who added their special touches and the gardeners,staff and volunteers who have lovingly cared for it…you are all responsible for making My Big Backyard a wondrous experience for the thousands who visit it each year.
When our two daughters ran through as the ribbon was cut in 2009 we were excited to see how the public would embrace this new space created especially for families. As part of the planning team, we spent the previous ten years dreaming of a children’s garden, visiting other gardens across the country for inspiration, and finally working with Terra Designs on the design and construction. We knew (mostly from watching our own children) that this is what kids needed…a place to put down their electronic devices and enjoy outdoor play. We chose the name My Big Backyard because we wanted children to feel like it really was their own…a place where they could get a close-up look at flowers, nibble on mint leaves, observe insects and play in the dirt.
Our daughters in this picture are now in their final years of high school and, just as we’ve watched them change and grow over ten years, we’ve had the privilege to watch My Big Backyard evolve and flourish and are so proud of the impact it has made.
We knew that this garden would succeed in our educational goals of sharing the wonders of nature. We’ve held countless preschool classes, summer camps, school programs and teacher workshops. There have been activities centered around citizen science, gardening, art, music and more. Rotating exhibits have introduced visitors to the magical properties of plants and showcased their amazing adaptations for succeeding in their environment. It truly is a place of learning and gaining appreciation for our natural world.
Perhaps the thing that we didn’t foresee was how this garden would foster so many special moments for families. We’ve watched toddlers make their first mudpies, children touch their first caterpillars, and even some adults make their first s’mores around a campfire. This garden has been the stage for birthday celebrations, young couples getting engaged, and families making traditions out of holiday photos under the “snow”. On any given day we witness grandparents spending quality time in playhouses or groups of young mothers bonding during play groups. It is enjoyed by a diverse group of people of all ages and backgrounds and it has been such a joy to see these experiences and hear stories of happy moments spent playing together in this enchanting garden.
We hope that My Big Backyard has meant as much to all of you as it does to us and that you will continue to visit frequently, bring your out-of-town guests, and continue to support MBG as we look ahead to the next ten years of connecting families with the outdoors and growing the next generation of gardeners.
-Mary Helen Butler, Assistant Director & Gina Harris, Director of Education and Events
For updates and more!
Central Daylight Time Hours:
9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Central Standard Time (Winter) Hours:
9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
We are located at:
750 Cherry Road
Memphis, TN 38117
(Between Park & Southern)