UA-26427401-1 Adamson-Spalding Storybook Garden | MasterScapes®

Storybook Garden

Project Details

What is the Adamson-Spalding Storybook Garden?

Funded by a variety of personal and private donations, as well as the Texas Commission on the Arts, the garden is an initiative to utilize an inviting and unique outdoor space to showcase children's literature and inspire families to share the joy of reading together.  On June 8th, 2017, in conjunction with the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council's annual Children's Art and Literacy Festival (CALF), the Adamson-Spalding Storybook Garden will be unveiled on the southeast lawn of the Abilene Convention Center and will showcase five new Garth Williams-inspired storybook sculptures.  

What is MasterScapes® role in the Adamson-Spalding Storybook Garden?

The Adamson-Spalding Storybook Garden project is a collaborative community effort of many individuals and organizations. MasterScapes® is honored to bring the design concept of native Abilenian Mitch Wright to fruition and fulfill the role of landscape contractor for this project. Our responsibilities include project management, contractor and volunteer management, tree preservation, and irrigation and landscape installation. 

Project Highlights

Tree Preservation:  Preservation of the eleven existing Live Oak trees located on the lawn of the Abilene Convention Center was a primary goal of this project.  The project’s Landscape Architect incorporated this goal into the overall design, and the MasterScapes® team gave careful attention during installation to protect these valuable resources.  

MasterScapes® utilized an air spading, composting, and mulching process to prevent harmful soil compaction often associated with the increased foot traffic, machinery, equipment, and materials on site for large construction projects such as the Adamson-Spalding Storbook Garden.  This process also focused on improving air and water circulation and root access to organic materials necessary for optimal tree health.  Using a special excavation tool to gently inject compressed air into the soil around the trees’ roots, eight-inch deep trenches were formed at three-feet intervals around each tree.  Each trench radiated from the tree trunk and terminated at the drip line.  Once the soil was safely loosened, the trenches were filled with a special mixture of sandy loam soil and compost.  Finally, a four-inch to six-inch layer of hardwood mulch was spread under the entire tree canopy to provide an additional level of root protection.  

Plant Material:  Plant material for the Adamson-Spalding Storybook Garden was specified in the design plan based on appropriateness for local climate and soil conditions.  The design highlighted popular plant and tree varieties such as Texas Redbud, Crape Myrtle, Yaupon Holly, Indian Hawthorn, Nandina, Cross Vine, and Asiatic Jasmine. MasterScapes® planted over 40 trees, 220 bushes, 150 vines, and 6,000 four-inch pots of groundcover in the garden!  Visit our Adamson-Spalding Storybook Garden Pinterest Board for more information on plant material used in the garden.  

Project Photo Gallery

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Project Video

For more information on the Adamson-Spalding Storybook Garden, visit:

Storybook Capital of Texas

Abilene Cultural Affairs Council

Abilene Reporter-News:  Storybook Garden nears completion

Abilene Reporter-News:  Storyboook Garden to celebrate reading

Abilene Reporter-News:  Storybook Garden about to bloom

Abilene Reporter-News Photos:  Storybook Garden work begins

KTXS:  Abilene Cultural Affairs Council breaks ground on sculpture garden

KTXS:  Storybook Garden breaks ground

Abilene Scene:  Growing a Storybook Garden