Jackson's Garden

Bountiful blooms and a breath of fresh air

The eight-acre Jackson’s Garden is the oldest campus garden on an American college campus. It is a perfect haven for a study break, with its herb, flower and evergreen gardens, a creek, sculptures and a gazebo. Begun in the 1830s by Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy Isaac Jackson, Class of 1826, the garden drew the admiration of esteemed visitors such as John James Audubon (he described it as “superb”), and evolved into a sweeping retreat for both students and faculty. Jackson’s lush legacy remains a favorite campus spot to this day. Students sketch, paint, picnic, nap, practice yoga, meander and muse about life in the garden, which is a certified wildlife habitat. Over the years, many students have found the towering gingko tree brought from Japan to be a perfect reading nook.

Factoid: According to legend, Jackson’s Garden is haunted on the first full moon of the summer by the ghost of a teenage woman named Alice who died in that area 1672.

A fall view of Kappa Gate, the official entrance to Jackson's Garden
Jackson's Garden hula hooping young women
A view of Jackson's Garden
Students stopping on a bridge spanning the Hans Groot’s Kill
A student painting a canvas will seated on the ground in Jackson's Garden.