Tag Archives: Children’s Garden

Dallas Arboretum Pumpkin Festival

Dallas Arboretum's Autumn at the Arboretum

The Dallas Arboretum ushers in fall with Autumn at the Arboretum, featuring the Texas-size Pumpkin Village. Constructed with more than 75,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash, it’s an impressive site. There’s also an Old Texas Town in the Pecan Grove, even Cinderella’s coach is created with pumpkins, and more than 150,000 fall-blooming flowers throughout the site. According to Fodor’s Travel, this event is rated one of America’s best pumpkin festivals.

September 19 – November 25, 2015.

The Dallas Arboretum features 66-acres of spectacular display gardens that showcase incredible seasonal flowers, ornamental shrubs, trees and plant collections in a serene setting on White Rock Lake. Over 100 varieties of trees, including signature plantings of magnolias, crape myrtles, lacebark elms, live oaks, and red cedar trees. The Arboretum features the only public display of the Huang Collection of azaleas outside of China.


Located on the southeastern shore of White Rock Lake at 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, TX, 75218

Open daily from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Years Day

For more Information please call 214-515-6500 or email  info@dallasarboretum.org

Children’s Gardens: Luci and Ian Family Garden at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center


The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s new Luci and Ian Family Garden gives children and their families a wonderful place to discover nature and the beauty of native plants through “nature play.” Children are enticed to explore mathematical patterns found in Nature, wander a maze made of native shrubs or see how water flows around different Hill Country rocks.

Opening Sunday, May 4, 2014, the 4.5-acre Family Garden doubles the maintained garden acreage at the 279-acre Wildflower Center that is part of The University of Texas at Austin.

familyGarden_features dino

What’s Special

  • Nature’s Spiral, a mosaic–inlaid limestone wall that illustrates the spiral shapes found in nature
  • Creek with dinosaur footprints
  • Metamorphosis Maze
  • Giant tree stumps great for climbing
  • Giant bird nests made from native grape vines
  • Grotto with caves
  • Waterfall
  • Lawn designed with native turf
  • Water activities

“Luci and Ian” are Luci Baines Johnson, daughter of President Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson, and her husband Ian Turpin, who are major donors of the $5 million attraction. The Family Garden, a model for eco-friendly landscaping, is a pilot project of the national Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) program. The Wildflower Center developed SITES in partnership with the U.S. Botanic Garden and the American Society of Landscape Architects and is the most comprehensive national system for rating the design, construction and maintenance of sustainable landscapes. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin is part of the legacy of the former first lady.


Open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday

Noon – 5 p.m. Sunday

4801 La Crosse Avenue, Austin, Texas 78739.

Photo credit: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin

New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show


Bronx, New York

New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show

Saturday, November 15 – January 19, 2015

Who isn’t fascinated with model trains? One of the best displays anywhere is at the New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show featured in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.

More than a dozen large-scale model railway trains—from late-1800s American steam engines and streetcars to modern freight and high-speed passenger trains and trolleys—traverse nearly a quarter-mile of track across rustic bridges, along overhead trestles, through tunnels, and past waterfalls that cascade into flowing creeks. More than 150 scaled iconic buildings, including the Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Center, the Brooklyn Bridge, Radio City Music Hall, and the original Yankee Stadium. Thomas the Tank Engine is even there.

This year in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1964 New York’s World Fair held in Queens, the Holiday Train Show features replicas of the World’s Fair-famed Unisphere, observatory towers, and the Tent of Tomorrow at the New York State Pavilion.

Of interest is the Artist’s Studio, which shows how the replicas are constructed. Models in varying stages of completion, from the framing of the landmark structures to the addition of plant part details such as magnolia leaf roof shingle,s are on display.

Visiting- Holiday Train Show

Advanced reservations strongly recommended. Admission to the Holiday Train Show in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory is by advance timed ticket. Tickets sold in 15-minute increments.

Note: Strollers cannot be taken into the Conservatory, however stroller parking is available.


During the Holiday Train Show, November 15, 2014–January 19, 2015, The New York Botanical Garden is open Tuesday–Friday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Extended hours, 10 a.m.–7 p.m., Saturdays, November 15– January 17; Friday, November 28 (day after Thanksgiving); and December 20–January 1. The Garden is closed all day on November 27 (Thanksgiving) and December 25 (Christmas); it closes at 3 p.m. on December 12 and 24 (Christmas Eve).



Children’s Gardens: Dallas Arboretum’s Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure

Dallas, TX

Children’s Gardens: Dallas Arboretum’s Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure

Entrance-to-Rory-Meyers-Chiildrens-Adventure-Garden2The Dallas Arboretum’s Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden is an extraordinarily fun nature and science gateway for children of all ages – from toddlers to middle schoolers to young-at-heart.

If American children score lower in the sciences than in any other academic area, this museum without walls is the type of destination that may be able to help alter that trend. The Gardens’ unique blend of innovative technology found in the 150 interactive exhibits entertain and educate visitors on concepts such as photosynthesis, pollination, the solar system, erosion and energy.

There are 17 indoor and outdoor galleries featuring native Texas wetlands, a 240-foot treetop skywalk, a Honey I Shrunk the Kids-inspired world about the importance of plants and its parts, and a 9,100-square-foot Exploration Center equipped with the OmniGlobe. One of 50 in the world, the OmniGlobe allows interactive animations to demonstrate real-time weather with an eight second delay, ecosystems, climate-related images, atmospheric changes and the solar system.

The garden also incorporates many sustainable features such as recycled materials, planted roofs to reduce heat, low-flow plumbing, solar panels and a cistern that collects rainwater for irrigation.

The culmination of nearly two decades of nationwide research and $62 million, the Dallas Arboretum is setting the gold standard for outdoor children’s facilities with this garden.

What’s Special

Texas SkywalkDSCN9386_SnapseedThe 17 interactive galleries, including

• First Adventure – features include a caterpillar maze, a sandbox, giant acorns and insects, mushroom seats and tables, a potting shed, a tree house, a babbling brook and a plant petting zoo.

• The Incredible Edible Garden and The Orchard and Vineyard –helps children learn where food comes from.

• Kaleidoscope – Located in a horticulturally beautiful area focused on plant formation and structures, it includes two kaleidoscopes—one of which is 6 feet long— to show patterns and shapes, refraction and reflection. The rest of the gallery shows the world of patterns, shapes and structures in nature and integrates concepts of science, math, art and architecture.

• The Oasis – A rooftop display garden offers a lovely high spot in the center of the garden for visitors to relax and view the nearby learning galleries.

• The Texas Skywalk – An elevated walk that’s 240 feet long through the tree canopy in the heart of the children’s garden.

• Pure Energy – demonstrates how energy from the natural sources of wind, sun and water can be transformed into electricity, with an energy tower, shooting water pistols and sun blasters.

• Habitats – This 500-linear-foot trail through a woodland ecosystem, an adventure bridge, a 30-foot tree snag and a canopy walk above the habitat trail add excitement and challenge.

• The Walk on the Wild Side – This discovery trail includes switchbacks with tracks in the path along the way to help visitors guess which native animal or plant is hiding around the next turn.

• Exploration Center with OmniGlobe – This 9,100-square-foot building employs innovative exhibits and interactive technology to engage children in all aspects of life and earth science exploration. Features include a plant lab for experiments, smart tables, CSI Mysteries to solve, a soil lab and the signature feature, the OmniGlobe.

• Texas Native Wetlands–a 31,000- square-foot wetlands ecosystem experience with floating bridges, boardwalks through grass tunnels and a secluded wildlife blind where children can discover the adaptations of plants and animals living in a wetland environment.

• The Petroglyph Walk – Inspired by Native Americans, the Petroglyph Walk features large rocks with symbols and designs on them, depicting the messages used by ancient Americans to communicate.


Located on the southeastern shore of White Rock Lake at 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, TX, 75218

Open daily from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Years Day

For more Information please call 214-515-6500 or email info@dallasarboretum.org

Camden County: Camden Children’s Garden

Camden County Children's Garden CarouselCamden County

The four-acre interactive Camden Children’s Garden makes gardening fun for children and adults. Exhibits include the Philadelphia Eagles Four Seasons Butterfly House and the Tropical Exhibit, and the Arrow River Train Rid, surrounded by the Railroad Garden.

Ride the Garden’s Carousel on a horse, a rabbit, a rooster, a pig, a cat, a shark or even a hummingbird

Other exhibits include a Dinosaur Garden, Maze, Picnic Garden, Tree House, Amphitheater and themed Storybook Gardens: 3 Little Pigs Garden, the Giants Garden from Jack in the Beanstalk, Secret Garden, Frog Prince Grotto and Alice in Wonderland’s Garden.


Open Friday – Sunday by reservation. The Garden is located across the Delaware River from Philadelphia and adjacent to the Adventure Aquarium, Susquehanna Bank Center, Battleship New Jersey and Riversharks Baseball. The Children’s Garden is easily accessible by the RiverLink Ferry from Penn’s Landing, the PATCO High Speedline, or the River Line train.

3 Riverside Drive
Camden, NJ 08103

Atlanta Botanical Garden Gainesville Opens






May – October, 2015

A swallowtail butterfly with a 5-foot wingspan built with LEGOs.

A swallowtail butterfly with a 5-foot wingspan built with LEGOs.

Nature Connects: Art with LEGO Bricks

September 19, 2015 – January 3, 2016

What more can you possibly build with LEGOs? If you love pollinators, how about a swallowtail butterfly with a 5-foot wingspan? There’s inspiration galore to be found when the Nature Connects LEGO exhibition comes to the Atlanta Botanical Garden in Gainesville, September 19, 2015  – January 3, 2016.

The traveling exhibition made entirely of LEGO bricks was designed and built by New York artist Sean Kenney. Gainesville’s new woodland garden will feature 14 nature-themed installations comprised of 27 individual sculptures.

What’s Special? A 6-foot-tall praying mantis (built with more than 42,000 LEGO bricks) and a swallowtail butterfly with a 5-foot wingspan. There are also duck and ducklings next to the pond, and a hummingbird with a trumpet flower (more than 31,500 bricks) off the Woodland Promenade.

Atlanta Botanical Garden’s new Gainesville location opens

The Atlanta Botanical Garden’s new Gainesville location is now open! Considered a second campus, it’s on land donated in 2002 by the late Charles Smithgall and his widow Lessie in 2002. Also known as the ‘Smithgall Woodland Legacy,’ there’s approximately 168 acres, with a five-acre garden as part of the first phase of development.

Located at 1911 Sweetbay Drive, Gainesville, Georgia 30501. The entrance is located on Cleveland Highway a 1/4 mile north of Limestone Parkway on what was formerly Lakehill Drive. Google Maps is the only accurate online map to find the new address. Do not rely on other GPS navigation.


Visiting the Atlanta Botanical Garden in Gainesville  

The Gainesville Garden is located at 1911 Sweetbay Drive, Gainesville, 30501 and open from April through October, Tuesday – Sunday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and from November through March, Tuesday – Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is $8 adults, $5 children 3-12, and free to children under 3 and Garden members. For information, visit www.atlantabg.org or call 404-888-4760.


Salt Lake City: Red Butte Garden and Arboretum

Red Butte_rose garden

Salt Lake City, Utah

Red Butte Garden and Arboretum

Situated in the foothills of the Wasatch Range in Salt Lake City, Red Butte Garden is run by the University of Utah. More than 100 acres includes 2-3 miles of hiking trails. 18 acres of display gardens feature the Hemingway Four Seasons Garden, Dumke Floral Walk, Children’s Garden, Fragrance Garden, Rose Garden, Medicinal Garden, and the Orangerie.

The Garden also offers advice, tips, classes, and workshops for gardening in Utah.

What’s Special

By partnering with the Center for Plant Conservation and other organizations,the Red Butte Garden Conservation Program has been working to protect more than 250 of Utah’s rare plant species and native habitats throughout the Intermountain West.


Closed Thanksgiving Day and Dec. 24-Jan 1

300 Wakara Way
Salt Lake City, UT 84108

(801)585-0556 [ info ]

Dallas: Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden


Dallas, Texas

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

The Dallas Arboretum features 66-acres of spectacular display gardens that showcase incredible seasonal flowers, ornamental shrubs, trees and plant collections in a serene setting on White Rock Lake. Over 100 varieties of trees, including signature plantings of magnolias, crape myrtles, lacebark elms, live oaks, and red cedar trees. The Arboretum features the only public display of the Huang Collection of azaleas outside of China.

What’s Special

The new Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden

The Garden, designed for preschool to middle school children, is really an 8 acre laboratory with 17 outdoor and indoor galleries, each designed around a key science theme. In each of these galleries there are many hands-on exhibits and real plants and animals that are examples of these science concepts. The children will be immersed in nature; walking on boardwalks through grass tunnels, exploring a full-acre wetlands, walking along the Texas Skywalk through the tree canopy and under a waterfall. They will explore a “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” world where everything is giant-sized, learn that their food comes from plants and the critical people-plant-animal connections- outdoors where nature is real.

The indoor plant lab and discovery center will enable children to discover even more using technology and the tools of science. They will visit a plant lab, a soil lab, a 3-D mini theater; solve a CSI mystery and much more.

The site of this amazing and innovative new garden is at the north end of the Arboretum on the hillside overlooking White Rock Lake. This precious lake-view will also encourage children to see the beauty of nature while unlocking its mysteries.


Located on the southeastern shore of White Rock Lake at 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, TX, 75218

Open daily from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Years Day

For more Information please call 214-515-6500 or email  info@dallasarboretum.org

[ info ]

Austin: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

LBJ Wildflower_wfc_demostration

Austin, Texas

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Lady Bird Johnson, our former first lady, was known for her tireless campaign to beautify America. In recognition of her efforts, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and on it was inscribed this tribute: “Her leadership transformed the American landscape and preserved its natural beauty as a national treasure.”

Part of her legacy is the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin that introduces visitors to the incredible beauty of native plants.

In 1982, Mrs. Johnson and actress Helen Hayes founded the National Wildflower Research Center to protect and preserve North America’s native plants and natural landscapes. Later renamed as the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, the 279-acre site is now an Organized Research Unit of the University of Texas at Austin dedicated to increasing the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes.

The Center’s gardens display the native plants of the Central Texas Hill Country, South and West Texas, while the Plant Conservation Program protects the ecological heritage of Texas by conserving its rare and endangered flora. The Native Plant Information Network is a database of more than 7,200 native species available online.

The cultivated wildflower meadows and gardens feature 12 acres with about 650 species of native Texas plants. The center is one of only three gardens nationally emphasizing native plants.

Other points of interest: A rooftop rainwater harvesting system, aqueduct, and observation tower.

The Little House Courtyard is designed to help young children ages two to six learn about shapes, smells, textures and colors through nature. There’s also a wikiup (a framed hut used by nomadic Native Americans), tree stump stools and large pots in which children can dig for plastic insects and lizards.

What’s Special

Working gardens such as the Hill Country Stream, Homeowner Inspiration Gardens, and the Ann and O.J. Weber Butterfly Garden serve as models for homeowners as they restore their own property to a more natural state.


Open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday
Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday

4801 La Crosse Ave.
Austin, Texas 78739
Phone: 512.232.0100

Photo credit: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin.

[ info ]

Memphis: Memphis Botanic Garden



Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis Botanic Garden

If you think the most popular attraction in Memphis is Graceland, know that the Memphis Botanic Garden has its own legion of devoted fans.

Here are more than 96 acres, with 28 specialty gardens, among them: an extensive holly collection; a hosta trail designated as an American Hosta Society National Display Garden; a Cactus and Succulent Garden; Conifer Collection; Four Seasons Garden; Hydrangea Garden; Azalea Trail; Magnolia Trail; Rose and Iris Gardens.

The Daylily Circle is an official Display Garden by the American Hemerocallis Society and features approximately 500 different daylilies. The Herb Garden is one of the largest in the United States, with 750 species represeningt those which will do well in the Mid-South, or are being trialed.

One of the photographed locations in the Memphis is the Japanese Garden of Tranquility (Seijaku-En). Originally designed by Dr. P.T. Tono of Tokyo, the garden was redesigned in 1989 by garden designer, Dr. Koichi Kawana who  worked with local landscape architect J. Ritchie Smith. Dr. Kawana pioneered the design of traditional Japanese gardens that employ native plants.

Instead of merely reading a list of plants, the Butterfly Garden is a wonderful place to visit, and see firsthand which plants attract different species of butterflies in terms of color and nectar. Many of these plants found here are natives. Herbs such as parsley, fennel, and chives are food for butterfly larvae, while coneflowers, goldstrum daisies, asters, and joe pye weed are nectar sources.

The W.C. Paul Arboretum is a showcase of rare trees and is a must see for horticulturalists.

A wonderful tribute to honor the men and women in the Armed Forces of the United States, the Blue Star Memorial Marker and Garden is designed to represent the stars and stripes of the American flag.

What’s Special

My Big Backyard children’s garden is part horticultural display, part children’s museum, part playground and part imagination extraorinaire.

Memphis Botanic Garden

Memphis Botanic Garden

Among the many attractions, Seedling Circle is a special spot for toddlers while Nature Play features more challenging activities, like fort-building. Raindrop Stop comes on every 30 minutes, with one minute of clouds and thunder followed by two minutes of “rain”.  And in Wormville, young visitors Wiggle like a worm through larger-than-life worm tunnels.


Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

Phone: (901)636-4100

Address: 750 Cherry Road Memphis, TN 38117

General info email: info@memphisbotanicgarden.com [ info ]

Kennett Square: Longwood Gardens

Kennett Square, Pennsylvania

Longwood orchid_house_vertLongwood Gardens

Recently included in TripAdvisor’s top 10 U.S. public gardens, Longwood Gardens is considered by many as one of the great botanical gardens of the world. In the early 1900s, industrialist and conservationist Pierre S. du Pont (1870-1954) decided to save a collection of historic trees from being sold for lumber and bought the small farm near Kennett Square where he proceeded to create the heart of today’s Gardens. In 1946, the Gardens were turned over to a foundation set up by Mr. du Pont.

Today, Longwood Gardens encompasses 1,077 acres of gardens, woodlands, meadows, fountains and an extraordinary 4.5 acre conservatory. Longwood has 20 outdoor gardens, among the highlights:

Caryopteris Allee, or border of bluebeard, plus a rose garden, lilacs, peonies, wisteria, and much more.

Chimes Tower and waterfall features a waterfall and the 61-foot-tall Chimes Tower and the  62-bell Longwood Carillon.

The Topiary Garden has more than 50 specimens in 20 different shapes – from cubes and spirals and birds to a table and chair. The topiaries are sheared every July and August. There’s also an analemmatic sundial constructed by Mr. du Pont in 1939 which is accurate to within two minutes.

Bee-aMazed Children’s Garden takes its inspiration by honeybees, featuring three major areas: the Honeycomb Maze, Flower Fountain, and Buzz Trail.

Peirce’s Park, where some of the trees estimated to be more than 200 years old, has one of the finest collections of trees in the nation. Noteworthy plants: Canada hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), cucumber magnolia (Magnolia acuminata), tulip-tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), London plane-tree (Platanus xacerifolia), littleleaf linden (Tilia cordata)

Longwood Conservatory.  Pierre du Pont built his first conservatory so he could have oranges in the winter. While it didn’t work out for him, today there are oranges in the conservatory, along with a twenty different types of bananas, from the 30-foot plantain to dwarf varieties that can be grown in a container. The original Conservatory was built in 1919, but has been expanded to 4.5 acres which shelters 5,500 types of plants and 20 indoor gardens.  FYI, according to Longwood: “A leisurely stroll through the display areas takes about 1½ hours and covers about ½ mile.”

The conservatory includes roses, bonsai,  ferns (Noteworthy plants: Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata), rabbit’s-foot fern (Davallia fejeensis), staghorn fern (Platycerium), wooly tree fern (Dicksonia fibrosa), bird’s-nest fern (Asplenium nidus), maidenhair fern (Adiantum)). There’s also a display of plants found in Mediterranean-type climates.

Orchid House. The collection includes more than 3,200 different types of orchids with an estimated 200 to 500 plants at peak bloom at any one time. Noteworthy plants: cattleyas (Cattleya), lady-slippers (Paphiopedilum), pansy orchids (Miltonia), dendrobiums (Dendrobium), moth orchids (Phalaenopsis).

Longwood’s performance series. Longwood also has a tradition of showcasing top performing artists since du Pont first welcomed his good friend John Philip Sousa to the Conservatory Gardens in 1922.  More than 400 events are scheduled each year, from organ and carillon concerts to Open Air Theatre productions.

Longwood Gardens is located on Route 1 near Kennett Square, PA and is open daily. [ info ]

Hershey: Hershey Gardens

Hershey gardensHershey, Pennsylvania

Hershey Gardens

When asked to sponsor a national rosarium in Washington, D.C., chocolate magnate Milton Hershey instead decided to create “a nice garden of roses” for his local community.

Now Hershey Gardens comprises 23 acres, with themed gardens  including  Japanese Garden, Herb Garden, perennial garden, an Arboretum with horsechestnuts, Persian parrotia, bald cypress, beech, hemlocks and fragrant snowbell , an Oak Grove,

  • Rose Garden. More than 5,600 roses representing 275 varieties, some originally hand-planted by Mr. Hershey’s gardeners — Hybrid Tea, floribunda, shrub, and miniature roses, and new AARS rose variety winners.
  • Butterfly House Walk with 350 North American butterflies of nearly 25 varieties. Open from Friday, May 24 through Sunday, September 15, 2013. The entire lifecycle of the butterfly can be viewed, with nectar plants for food and host plants for egg-laying and caterpillar feeding. Note: Closed during inclement weather and during extreme heat. Due to space limitations, strollers not permitted.
  • Children’s Garden. Of course there are Hershey’s kisses misters, along with 32 themed gardens

Over 5,600 roses, representing 275 varieties,  Visiting:
Open daily for the 2013 season beginning on Thursday, March 28 and continuing through Sunday, November 3. The Gardens is open on select days in November and December. Wheelchair accessible.

170 Hotel Road, Hershey, PA 17033, phone 717-534-3492

[ info ]

Bronx: New York Botanical Garden


Bronx, New York

Bronx, NY: New York Botanical Garden

Aquatic Plants Gallery in the Conservatory, NYBG

Aquatic Plants Gallery in the Conservatory, NYBG

A National Historic Landmark, the New York Botanical Garden celebrates its 125th Anniversary in 2016.

In 1888, Columbia University Professor of Botany and Geology Dr. Nathaniel Lord Britton and his wife, Elizabeth Knight Britton, who had a keen interest in mosses, visited the London’s Royal Botanic Gardens. The Brittons were inspired to create “a public botanic garden of the highest class” on 250 acres of land in northernmost New York City.

NYBG is considered a classical botanical garden, in that plants are studied, exhibited and people of all ages are taught about plants and the environment. The institution operates one of the world’s largest plant research and conservation programs.

Today, the New York Botanical Garden supports more than one million living plants.  NYBG is considered The collections include dramatic rock outcroppings, wetlands, ponds, a cascading waterfall, and a 50-acre tract of the original forest that once covered New York City. Among the horticultural attractions are 48 gardens and plant collections, including the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden, the Rock Garden, and the Jane Watson Irwin Perennial Garden, as well as outstanding collections of daylilies, orchids, hardy ferns, cherry and other flowering trees, and conifers. The Garden is also home to the nation’s largest Victorian glasshouse, the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.


The NYBG is located at Bronx River Parkway (Exit 7W) and Fordham Road. It is accessible by Metro-North Railroad or subway. The Garden is open year-round, Tuesday through Sunday, as well as certain federal holiday Mondays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Winter hours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., mid-January through February). For more information, please call 718.817.8700 or visit nybg.org

The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, New York 10458

Photo: Aquatic Plants Gallery in the Conservatory. Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

St Louis: Missouri Botanical Garden


The Missouri Botanical Garden is considered by many as one of the top botanical gardens in the world. Garden founder Henry Shaw originally came to St. Louis in 1819 to sell hardware and cutlery, eventually amassing a fortune. Long interested in botany, his travels abroad inspired Shaw to build a garden in St. Louis like the great gardens and estates of Europe. The Missouri Botanical Garden (known as Shaw’s Garden by many in St. Louis) opened to the public in 1859. Today, it’s one of the oldest botanical institutions in the United States and a National Historic Landmark.

Its over 79 acres includes a 14-acre Japanese strolling garden, a Chinese garden, rose garden, English Woodland Garden, Ottoman Garden, the Climatron conservatory, one of the world’s largest collections of rare and endangered orchids and Garden founder Henry Shaw’s original 1850 estate home.

A few highlights:

Victorian District.  The Doris Harris Waters Lichtenstein Victorian District, opened in summer 2008, stretches from the enclosed Victory (of Science over Ignorance) sculpture to the eastern wall, back to founder Henry Shaw’s original city townhouse. (Photo: The Doris Harris Waters Lichtenstein Victorian District, courtesy: Missouri Botanical Garden

Kemper GardenThe Kemper Center for Home Gardening provides education and resources for Midwestern home gardeners through partnership with University of Missouri Extension. There are 23 display residential-scale gardens, including a city garden; butterfly garden; secret garden; family vegetable garden; fragrance garden; ornamental displays for landscaping, lawns and shrubs; rock, shade and flower trial gardens; children’s garden; herb garden; garden for attracting birds; and  demonstration gardens.

Strassenfest German GardenThe Strassenfest German Garden features native flora of Germany and central Europe, in a woodland setting of herbaceous perennials, as well as deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs.

The Fragrance Garden features some of the best fragrance plants for the St. Louis area on display, including examples of shrub and antique roses.

The Children’s Garden is open Mar. 30 through Oct. 31 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

4344 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63110, (314) 577-5100. Open daily, closed Christmas Day.

Website: Missouri Botanical Garden

East Lansing: Michigan State University 4-H Childrens Garden

Michigan State 4H Childrens Garden butterfly_habitat

East Lansing, Michigan

Michigan State University 4-H Childrens Garden

The 4-H Children’s Gardens at Michigan State University is recognized as a model for children’s gardens everywhere. 4-H is the youth component of Michigan State University Extension. Children were asked what they want to see when they visit a garden and this delightful half-acre site with more than 60 theme gardens grew.

In the Butterfly Garden, children walk on the butterfly’s body, shaped by unique brick formations and surrounded by plants that butterflies love.

The Outdoor Garden area is a wonderland for children with an amphitheater for programs and specialty areas such as Creation Station, Tree House, Pizza Garden, Monet Bridge, Spitting Frog Fountains, Alice in Wonderland Maze, dance chimes, Sense-Sational Herb Garden, Jack & the Giant’s Garden, the Cereal Bowl, Rock Garden, Garden of Delight, Pharmacy Garden and the Science Discovery Garden.

Harry’s Herbology Garden

Harry’s Herbology Garden

The indoor garden features a butterfly habitat, container gardens, honey bee exhibit, and – for Harry Potter fans — Harry’ Herbology Garden where you’ll find many  of the plants from the Harry Potter books.

There’s also a G-gague model train (part of the ABC KinderGarden) that runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursdays during June, July and August (weather permitting).


Outdoor gardens open daily, from sunup to sundown.

Indoor garden open 8am to 5pm daily. Enter the building through the doors on the south side (under the teal colored awning). Once inside, follow the green vine on the floor.

1066 Bogue Street
East Lansing, MI 48824

Call (517-355-5191 ext. 1-349

“In a child’s garden, imagination grows.” [ info ]

Overland Park: Arboretum and Botanical Gardens

Overland Park_Arboretum-bridgeOverland Park, Kansas

Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens

Overland Park, Kansas

The 300-acre Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens was recently named one of the Top 10 Glorious Gardens to Explore by Yahoo! Travel.

For homeowners looking for ideas, xeriscape (zer-i-scape) gardens that demonstrate water-wise plantings and design are located next to the visitor’s center. Other attractions include:

Erickson Water Garden with unusual aquatic and bog plants, as well as more than 40 varieties of daffodils and other spring bulbs.

The Legacy Garden and Ailie’s Glade features plants native to Kansas.

A Children’s Discovery Garden with lots to do, including a frog pond, grass maze, incredible shrinking tunnel, and fossil dig.

The Marder Woodland Garden is lovely, with Paw-paw, ferns, dogwood, hickory, jack in the pulpit, mayapples, and there are rhododendrons and azaleas as well.

Hiking Trails wind through the arboretum for all fitness levels. There’s a half-mile asphalt “country road” path with benches. Or, if you’re up to more — nearly five miles of paved and wood chip trails that cross two 75-foot bridges that span Wolf Creek, a tributary of the Blue River that bisects the Arboretum. There are also more challenging trails along limestone bluffs that take you to the prairie and through a cedar forest, redbud and hickory groves.

What’s Special

There’s a one-acre Monet Garden attempts to replicate the blending of colors, light, and shapes found in Monet’s own garden in France. There’s a replica of the famous bridge, weeping willow and lotus pond


Open seven days a week, except closed Christmas Day

Admission to the Arboretum is free on Tuesdays

8909 W. 179 St.
Overland Park, KS 66085
913-685-3604[ info ]

Rockford: Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden


Rockford, Illinois

Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden

The Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden is beautiful throughout the year. Features around the 155-acres include the Nancy Olson Children’s Garden and a Prehistoric Garden, as well as other specialty gardens including Hosta, Grass, Butterfly, Daylily, Peony, Rhododendron and Azalea and, Wildflowers.

In addition, a bur oak grove covers 12 acre, with the largest bur oak trees estimated at over 300 years old. Impressive native trees among the grove include an enormous basswood, giant black cherries, white oak, shagbark hickory, black walnut and hackberry. Plus, over fifty species and cultivars of coniferous evergreens on site represent nine groups from North America, Europe and Asia.

Woodland trails include 1.5 miles of paved paths in two loops and 2.5 miles of unpaved trails through the heart of the Arboretum. In the winter, the trails are great for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

What’s Special

During your visit, see if you can spot the Klehm Arboretum mascots (pictured): Cow-li-flower, Klehmentine and Flora Fauna.


Open Daily: 9am – 4pm

2715 S. Main St | Rockford, IL

(815) 965-8146

Email Klehm

[ info ]

Chicago: Garfield Park Conservatory

Orchids_Garfield Park Conservatory

Chicago, Illinois

Garfield Park Conservatory

Sometimes called “landscape art under glass” (or a visit a tropical island in the middle of Chicago), the Garfield Park Conservatory is also one of the five largest conservatories in the country and a Chicago gem that isn’t to be missed.

The Conservatory is almost five acres and the campus itself covers about 14 acres, with two acres of indoor display houses and 9 ½ acres of outdoor public gardens. Owned and operated by the Chicago Park District, thousands of plants are also grown there each year for displays in Chicago’s parks and public spaces.

What’s special?  Fern Room, Garfield Park ConservatoryThe Garfield Park Conservatory’s display houses include The Palm Room, with more than seven dozen varieties of palm trees, including the Double Coconut Palm; the Fern Room, gives a glimpse of what Chicago may have looked like millions of years ago.

Children's Garden, Garfield ConservatoryAnd, there’s plenty to keep children entertained as well in the Elizabeth Morse Genius Children’s Garden.

A hail storm in 2011 resulted in a great deal of broken glass, which local artists have used to create works of art that are for sale in the Gift Shop.

Opened in April of 1908, the 100+-year-old Conservatory is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Admission is free

Open year round

Daily Hours: 9 am – 5 pm

Wednesdays: 9 am – 8 pm

300 North Central Park Ave.
Chicago, IL 60624-1996

(312) 746-5100

[ info ]

Chicago: Chicago Botanic Garden

English Walled Garden, Chicago Botanic Garden

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago Botanical Garden

The Chicago Botanic Garden is the second most-visited botanic garden of its size in the U.S., attracting more than one million visitors during 2013. While its 385 acres may seem like a lot to cover, from April to October there are tram tours for an enjoyable overview of the Garden’s highlights.

There are more than two dozen specialty garden areas, including a Children’s Growing Garden, Japanese Garden, Native Plant Garden, Rose Garden, and Waterfall Garden. Home landscape gardens are a source of inspiration for homeowners, demonstrating a variety of plantings that are most suitable. – including easy-to-grow for those of us with less than green thumbs.

What’s Special

English Walled Garden.  Designed by John Brooks, there are six garden rooms representing a variety of English garden design styles with plants best suited for the Midwest: a Cottage Garden, Vista Garden, Daisy Garden, Pergola Garden, Courtyard Garden and Checkerboard Garden. Plantings feature boxwood, catmint, clematis, foxglove, English lavender, roses, and yew.

Chicago Botanic Garden Model RailroadModel Railroad Garden. During the summer, the 7,500-square-foot Model Railroad Garden features fifteen trains—including the new Rock Island line, the Santa Fe Super Chief and a Napa Valley train—that travel through miniature scenes of America’s most treasured sites including a St. Louis Riverboat, a Midwestern farm, an old-fashioned main street and the Statue of Liberty.

Shoreline. Nearly one-quarter (81 acres) of the Garden is water. A 60-acre system of lakes winds throughout the gardens and research facilities, including the Great Basin, North Lake, and Skokie River Corridor, with about six miles of shoreline encircles the Garden’s lakes. It’s an excellent resource for erosion control and native plants recommended for shoreline habitats.

Birding. Approximately 255 species of birds have been sighted throughout the Garden. Good to know: April and May are when migratory songbirds are to be found.

Photo: Chicago Botanic Garden [ info ]


The Orchid Show February 15 – March 16, 2014


Admission is free, parking rates apply.

1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL 60022

(847) 835-5440

Chicago Botanic Garden photos

[ info ]

Atlanta: Atlanta Botanical Garden: Chihuly in the Garden

chihuly-3-jason-getz (1)

Chihuly in the Garden at the Atlanta Botanical Garden April 30 – October 30, 2016.

Glass artist Dale Chihuly returns to the Atlanta Botanical Garden with 20 sculptural installations displayed throughout the 30-acre Garden, including in the Fuqua Conservatory and Fuqua Orchid Center.

Chihuly is regarded as a catalyst within the Studio Glass movement, using glass as an artistic medium. Why glass? “There are only a few translucent materials light can go through and glass is one of those. Imagine entering Chartres Cathedral and looking up at the Rose Window, where one can see a one-inch square of ruby red glass from 300 feet away. I have always been attracted to the way light passes through glass,” noted Chihuly on his website.



Fun fact: Eleven members of Team Chihuly installed the exhibition over approximately two weeks. The studio shipped five 53-foot containers from Tacoma, Washington, to Atlanta.

What’s Special

Chihuly Nights: “The magic is in the light.” The Midtown Garden’s extended hours allow visitors to appreciate the dramatic lighting installations in the evening.

About the Atlanta Botanic Garden. The Garden’s 30 acres features the five-acre Woodland Shade Garden (pictured) with Hydrangea, Clethra, Arisaema, Epimedium, Helleborus, Tricyrtis, along with groundcovers, wildflowers and bulbs. The 15-acre Storza Woods is one of the few remaining mature hardwood forests in Atlanta. The two-acre Children’s Garden features a three-story treehouse that teaches visitors about woodland habitats. The Dorothy Chapman Fuqua Conservatory houses rare and endangered plants from tropical rainforests and desert regions. The unique Fuqua Orchid Center houses a High Elevation House, a Tropical Display House and specialized facilities for a new collection of montane orchids that grow at high elevations.
Website: Atlanta Botanical Garden


Daytime hours during Chihuly in the Garden are 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Tuesday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday (closed Mondays). Hours for Chihuly Nights are 6 – 10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

Located at 1345 Piedmont Avenue NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30309. Parking deck with paid parking.

Phone: 404.876.5859