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Moon Garden


The moon garden's moon gate, 1941. Doris Duke Photograph Collection, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Historical Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

The moon garden is a grassy central area overlooking the ocean at the east corner of Shangri La. It provides a serene atmosphere adjacent to the dining room lanai and service wing.

Many original elements, including the moon gate, aquaria and coral path, were removed under Doris Duke’s (1912–93) direction during the 1960s, when she remodeled the dining room and created the codicil to her will that would establish the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. Some original plant types, such as coconut palms and night-blooming cereus, nevertheless remain. Landscape renovations, which were completed in 2009, incorporated more resilient native tropical plants. Several of the plants seen in the moon garden today were cultivated at Shangri La’s on-site nursery by the grounds staff.

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