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The Tree Ring Plaza is both a destination and the entry point into the Botanical Gardens. A curving boardwalk, mature bald-cypress trees, and views of Ruby Lake reveal glimpses of the many treasures Shangri La has to offer.
The paving of the Tree Ring Plaza pays homage to the longevity and strength of trees, emulating the growth rings of a tree. These rings tell the story of both the age and stresses that trees undergo during their lifetimes. The width of the rings on this plaza varies – just as the rings do in a real tree – due to the availability of water and nutrients.
The two Frog Ponds in the Tree Ring Plaza are part of the original garden and were constructed in 1955 for use by H.J. Lutcher Stark as Water Lily Pools. They are surrounded by small gray cobblestones from Dunkirk, France. The cobblestones were once used in the ballasts of ships returning from Europe to the United States.