In 2003, a pair of American bald eagles nested in the Garden. For several years, viewers around the world watched our eagle cam, provided through a partnership with Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and WVEC, as this family has raised 19 eaglets. In a sad turn of events, the adult female bald eagle was struck and killed by an incoming airplane at Norfolk International Airport on April 26, 2011.
Since then, the outpouring of support and donations by eagle cam viewers around the world to honor the eagle has enabled the Garden to build a tribute plaza to the eagles. Construction has begun and you can follow its progress on this page. The plaza opened on October 15, 2011
The plaza is located near the entrance of the Tropical Garden and just south of NATO tower. It features a gathering space with several benches, a bronze eagle sculpture and a plaque honoring the female eagle. Pavers mark the space and a deck looks over the Tropical Garden, providing a prime viewing location of the nest used by the eagles most often since 2003. Trees provide shade for those gathered in the space.
The eagle sculpture in the plaza was created by David Turner. The Turner Sculpture studio, foundry and gallery is located on the eastern shore of Virginia.
This garden was created in 1962 to honor Norfolk’s sister city, Moji, Japan and was rededicated in 1963 to Kitakyushu, formerly Moji. The Japanese Garden was redesigned and refurbished in the summer of 1995. The design is inspired by the traditional hill and pond style of Japanese gardens. Look for signature elements in the garden such as evergreen plants, stones and water.
Plants to look for:
False Cypress, Flowering Cherry, Japanese Red Maple & Japanese Live Oak
Completed in 1984, Renaissance Court is magnificent in its design and beauty. Modeled along the classic lines of the Italian Renaissance of the late 16th century, the garden features all of the trademarks of that period. Its wide vista, symmetrically laid out in grassy terraces, is outlined with ornate balustrades. Four statues, one for each of the seasons, stand in the corners of the upper level. Across from the terraces is a reflective pool and fountain. Behind the water is the grand coronation court, the historic site of the crowning of the International Azalea Queen during past NATO Festivals.
This garden features plants that are attractive to the senses – touch, taste, smell, sight, hearing and sound. Herbs and perennials that beg to be touched and smelled fill this sunny garden. In summer the sun heats up the brick pathways, causing the plants in the flower beds to exude their intoxicating perfumes. Visitors are encouraged to explore the different qualities of each plant and enjoy their sights, textures and smells.