Written by: Cassandra Carter, FSU Intern

Cape Fear Botanical Garden is excited to present the Nature Connects®: Art with LEGO® Bricks to the Fayetteville and the surrounding community! Here is a behind-the-scenes look at the installation of this new exhibit!

Most of us have played with LEGO toys at one time in our life, many of us as kids (some of us as adults) and have created some pretty awesome things dinosaurs, castles, and even towns! What would you do with half a million of them? We have an answer for you….

Over half a million LEGOs are used in these 27 works of art, each of them placed around the Garden to inspire and educate visitors while they visit. But before they were each carefully placed, they greeted the staff and volunteers from wood crates packed on a semi.

Everyone was filled with anticipation when the first crate was unloaded, it was going to be a long process but the cloudy day kept everyone energized and moving forward. It was mesmerizing to watch the process (and amazing fork lift skills) – from maneuvering the crates to the edge of the semi, gently moving them off, slowly driving them to the staging area, and finally lowering them on the ground.

Now, we had seen photos of these sculptures before and knew that they were spectacular but it was not until the uncrating that the talent, time, dedication, and vibrancy of the colors really sinks in. The first unveiling of the Swallowtail Butterfly was oddly symbolic as if the Garden was “transforming” into this exhibit.

Moving the sculptures over to the Butterfly Stroll required the power of staff and a slow moving ATV. The area had already been prepped so installation was quick and required little finesse to make it perfect for visitors!

Voila! A butterfly has emerged!

Home 1

Not all the displays were a smooth installation. Thinking outside of the box is what you have to do when installing sculptures in a pond.

pond unboxing

Concrete, buckets, and gators “oh my!” This was the magical combination that was used to install water platters and koi in the Cypress pond.

The plan for the installation was to use buckets filled with concrete and rebar to keep the sculptures in place while in the water. But first, measurements!

After measurements, the staff hauled the water platters into the pond, and then lined up the rebar with the metal support on the sculptures.


Bam! After finishing touches, the water platters and koi are now greeting visitors – rain or shine!


The Garden’s Board of Directors, staff, volunteers, and generous sponsors are excited to welcome the community to come and get inspired by Nature Connects®: Art with LEGO® Bricks exhibit!


Article by: Cassandra Carter