The Garden Calm, named for its calming shade and microclimate that serves as protection from the sun, is planted with shrubs, trees, and perennials that prefer full or part shade. The Osage orange (Maclura pomifera) tree provides the majority of the the shade for the plants in the Garden Calm. The Osage orange, located at River Farm, has been recognized as one of the largest trees of its kind in the United States by the National Register of Big Trees in 2011. The shade provided by the over-200-year-old tree keeps the garden a few degrees cooler than other gardens at River Farm, making a secluded oasis in the heat of summer.
In addition to the Osage orange, features of the garden include a small brick patio, and bench seating, as well as a millstone water feature. These elements, which combine to create a soothing environment, were donated by Judy Daniels, AHS President’s Council Member, in memory of her late sister Barbara Wall Bond. Daniels also donated many of the blue and white flowering plants that make up the majority of the garden's color.
A recently added architectural feature of the Garden Calm is a small green roof on top of the well house, an environmentally friendly addition to this garden. The green roof reduces/slows down the run-off process and protects the plants and soil on the ground.