Tag Archives: sustainable landscaping

Kaysville: Utah State University Botanical Center

Kaysville, Utah

Utah State Botanical Center

Utah State_Teaching Garden

The focus of the Utah State University Botanical Center is education and research on conservation and wise use of plant, water, and energy resources. The H. Paul and Mary Jane Rasmussen Teaching Garden (pictured) is a living example of example of color, texture and water conservation in the garden.

The Varga Arboretum is arranged according to the irrigation needs of its more than 300 trees and shrubs. There’s also an urban fishery, walking and biking trails, wetland areas that support birds and other wildlife, a volunteer-tended garden that provides thousands of pounds of fresh produce to local food banks, a seasonal farmers market and a full schedule of classes, workshops, educational field trips and other events.


920 S. 50 W.
Kaysville, UT 84037[ 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 ]

Durham: Sarah P Duke Gardens – Duke University

Duke Asiatic-Arboretum1-RF

Durham, North Carolina

Sarah P Duke Gardens – Duke University

Called “the crown jewel of Duke University,” as well as listed among the top 10 public gardens in the country by TripAdvisor, the Sarah P. Duke Gardens is adjacent to Duke University Medical Center.

The Duke Gardens covers 55 acres, with five miles of allees and walks, and includes:

  • The original Terraces and their immediate surroundings,
  • Blomquist Garden of Native Plants, with more than 900 species of native Southern wildflowers,
  • The 20-acre Culberson Asiatic Arboretum showcases plants of eastern Asia,
  • The Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden, teaches visitors about sustainable landscaping, healthy eating and organic best- practices, with  organic vegetable beds, an orchard, fruiting shrubs and vines, a chicken coop, a tobacco barn, and a rain garden.

Open daily from 8 a.m. to dusk. [ info ]

Photo: Bamboo and Japanese-style arched bridge in the Culberson Asiatic Arboretum. Photo by Rick Fisher.

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 ]