The Central Garden at Fredericka Manor is the main recreation area for this 24 acre senior community located in the northwest corner of Chula Vista. The project scope was the complete renovation of the original 1960s water feature and landscape.
The beginning point of the project design was the desire to reduce water consumption. Retention of the existing trees and site topography was mandatory, while the mowed lawn was to be replaced with a botanic garden of exotics, specimens, California natives and Mediterranean plant materials, and a low water use drip system.
Over 150 different species of trees and plants were included in the plant palette – including many that attract birds and butterflies – especially Monarch Butterflies – to promote egg laying for future generations. A project plan and plant identification exhibit and system is also being provided for plant curious residents.
The water feature is a ‘biologic’ installation with aquatic plants and koi fish in the ponds and stream. California native and Mediterranean riparian trees, grasses and cobble edges blend the water into the garden at large. Pairs of Mallard Ducks frequent and have raised families in the past, and it is anticipated that this will continue.
The primary focus of the design is for residents in the second floor dining hall to view the garden as a theater, through the floor to ceiling windows. The waterfall and surrounding garden provide a visual engagement and the project is illuminated with low voltage LED lighting allowing for day and night viewing. A future pavilion is located in the center of the garden and is being permitted for construction in the immediate future. The intent is to create interest and motivation to visit the garden. A level of engagement that gets the residents into the space to interact with the garden and experience the visuals, sounds, wildlife, fragrances – exercise for the senses as well as the body.
Site furnishings at the two overlooks and benches around the perimeter trail will provide relaxation, viewing and social opportunities. As the project establishes and matures and the seasonal characteristics of the landscape occur, a year round benefit to the community and residents will be realized.