Gardner chose to site her Museum on the edge of the newly built Back Bay Fens, a part of Frederick Law Olmsted’s Emerald Necklace, because she saw the potential for this new landscape to enable, inform, and enhance the city of Boston. Today the Museum continues to recognize the importance of landscape architecture through its landscape department, landscape lectures, and landscape exhibitions.
Gardens, both interior and exterior, are an integral part of the Gardner Museum experience today. When Isabella built the Museum, she created an experience that was as much about flowers and plants, artfully arranged, as it was about masterpieces of art. The culmination of that vision is the Courtyard but botanical images can be found throughout the Museum.