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Tidal Garden Resolves King Tides Flooding


June 10, 2021

The Creation of the Bradley Park Tidal Garden

Working with Mother Nature proved crucial when the Garden Club of Palm Beach (GCPB) teamed up with a local landscape design company to solve frequent flooding caused by the phenomena of king tides. The garden club was researching its latest town beautification project, establishing a children’s playground in Bradley Park, when members learned that recurring flooding needed tackling first. An ingenious solution solved the problem—the creation of the Bradley Park Tidal Garden.

A king tide is a higher-than-normal tide that occurs annually and predictably in Palm Beach County. Frequent flooding by king tides and rising sea levels had heavily damaged landscaping at Bradley Park, which had undergone a $2.7 million renovation in 2017. 

The new tidal garden, funded by GCPB and designed by SMI Landscape Architecture LLC, incorporates a sunken-gardens system that directs water from king tides back into the water table at the four acre park. Eighty five percent of the garden is filled with native plants that thrive in water and dry conditions, like salt-tolerant green and silver buttonwood, a lysiloma tree, and lignum vitae trees. Flowering plants like milkweed and blue flag iris were added to attract butterflies. The area has become a natural educational play area for children to climb the cap stone boulders and learn about the king tides. 

This innovative project is the club’s newest gift to the town. GCPB’s next project is the restoration of the Chinese Garden in their demonstration gardens at The Society of The Four Arts. Past projects include the Living Wall on Worth Avenue and the Kaleidoscope Beds on Royal Poinciana Way. 


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