McKay Dee Butterfly Garden

Io designed the Butterfly Garden addition to the Annie Taylor Dee Guest Home at McKay Dee Hospital in Ogden UT. The Guest House and gardens are designed to provide physical and emotional support for caregivers and families of patients being treated at the hospital. The butterfly garden creates a quiet contemplative space where individuals can find emotional and spiritual healing through nature, in a symbiotic space that also provides habitat for dwindling butterfly populations.

The layout of the garden itself is based on a labyrinth design, a meditative path that spirals toward a central space. In this case, the path zig-zags, traversing the natural grade change of the site. The path is made of compacted chat, a surface that is both ADA accessible and permeable, it’s texture and meandering pattern invites visitors to slow down and to tune their senses to the sights, sounds, smell, and feel of the space. Corten steel retaining walls create flat terraces suited to planting. Here, large swaths of mixed perennials are grouped by color (purple, yellow, and pink) and contain a mix of grasses and butterfly food and host plants including, Butterfly Weed, Salvia, Yarrow, Hollyhocks, Coreopsis to name a few.

The Butterfly Garden is publicly accessible, adding a unique space to the hospital’s already beautiful campus. It is also connected to the hospital’s nearly mile-long walking trail.


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