Sundial: 973
State/Province:  Iowa Country:  USA
Dial Type:  Horizontal Dial Condition:  Excellent
  Latitude and Longitude: 41° 32.541' N  90° 34.535' W
  • Vander Veer Botanical Park
    215 W Central Park Ave, Davenport, IA. Dial is located in the Old World Gardens on the south end of the park near the stone fountain.
  • This is a 40-foot diameter sundial made only from flowers. Hours are shown from 6am to 6pm. The gnomon is made of steel and wire mesh with sweet autumn clematis growing on it. The clematis vines are kept trimmed and tied up to keep the shadow from getting too big. The gardner commented, "If I were doing it over I would use a metal piece for the shadow finger." There is a steel frame in the ground to mark the outer edge and all the divisions of where to plant the plants inside the bed. The plants in the inner area of the sundial change from year to year – in 2019 it was two colors of marigolds. Alternanthera or Joseph’s Coat are used on the outer edge by the numbers. These flowers are sheared to keep them low and compact. The numbers are planted with green Alternanthera and surrounded by a band of red Alternanthera. These flower numbers are sheared with small electric grass shears and kept about 2 inches above the red band. Other plants in the sundial garden include large “elephant ears,” cactus-like agave, alyssum, ageratum and lime green and purple nicotiana. The purple nicotiana becomes fragrant after dark, providing an olfactory as well as a visual delight for visitors watching the lights play on the fountain.
General Information:
  • Owner: City of Davenport Iowa, parks department
  • Designer:
  • Builder:
  • Construction Date: 1906
References: Web Links:
  • The sundial garden is patterned after the one that surrounded the original iron fountain, donated by the park’s namesake, A.W. Vander Veer. That fountain graced the site from about 1906 until it was replaced with the present stone fountain in 1935.

Last Revised: 2019-07-270 11:02