Public Gardens & Arboretums


Chicago Botanic Garden

The most striking aspect of the Chicago Botanic Garden is its physical face: beautifully designed gardens brimming with two million plants. Twenty-three different gardens over 385 acres showcase the best plants for the Midwest in a variety of beautiful settings. Three native habitat areas, including a woodland, prairie and river habitat, feature native and endangered flora of Illinois.

Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park

Comprised of 125 acres of natural wetlands, woodlands, meadows and botanical gardens, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan is a year round experience with indoor tropical, arid, Carnivorous, Victorian and seasonal gardens, world class changing sculpture gallery with shows by international artists, and outdoor acreage featuring a world-class sculpture park, children's garden, historic Michigan's farm garden, amphitheater for summer concert events, nature trails and board walks. 

The integration of horticulture and sculpture flows throughout the site, uniquely blending both art and nature, setting it apart from other more traditional botanic gardens or art museum experiences. (Excerpted from the Meijer Gardens website.)

Michigan 4-H Children's Garden

Imagine a special garden created for children and the young at heart. This is the Michigan 4-H Children's Garden, a place where plants, children, and imaginations grow. As one of the horticultural gardens on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing, this garden features over 56 individual theme areas that create a place of wonder, enchantment and delight for people of any age. This website allows you experience any of the 56 theme gardens and explore each one in virtual reality movies as well.

This award-winning Children's Garden is being called "the most creative half-acre in America." Discover the many wonders of the 4-H Children's garden and let your imagination run wild! (Excerpted from the MSU Children's Garden website.)

Missouri Botanical Garden

The Missouri Botanical Garden is really a collection of gardens. Here are a few of the highlights:

Japanese Garden — A 14 acre garden; the largest Japanese strolling garden in the Western hemisphere.

Blanke Boxwood Garden — A formal, oval, boxwood parterre accented by colorful flowers and ground covers.

Kemper Center and Home Demonstration Gardens — Features 23 residential scale gardens and an 8,000 square foot pavillion.

Climatron® Conservatory — A huge geodesic dome housing 1,200 species of plants

A 2 acre Children's Garden

Olbrich Botanical Gardens

Olbrich Botanical Gardens is one of Madison, Wisconsin's premier tourist attractions, welcoming more than 250,000 people each year! Groups and tours from all over the state, country and world come to Olbrich to enjoy an oasis of beauty on the shores of Lake Monona.

Explore the mystery and beauty of nature at Olbrich Botanical Gardens. Stroll through 16 acres of outdoor display gardens including Olbrich's award-winning Rose Garden and Thai Pavilion and Garden. Outdoor gardens are open daily and are free to the public. Enjoy a tropical paradise year-round in Olbrich's Bolz Conservatory, a glass pyramid filled with exotic plants, bright flowers, a rushing waterfall, fragrant orchids and free-flying birds. (Excerpted from the Olbrich Botanical Gardens website.)

Powell Gardens

Powell Gardens is a private, not-for-profit organization located just east of Kansas City, Missouri, with the mission of inspiring people to appreciate, beautify and conserve our natural environment. The Gardens' peaceful setting on 915 acres provides opportunities for learning and reflection through a year-round education program, research and special events. It is known for its spectacular garden displays incorporating native plantings and its contemporary architecture. (Excerpted from the Powell Gardens website.)

The United States National Arboretum

The United States National Arboretum was established in 1927 by an Act of Congress. Its mission is to serve the public need for scientific research, education, and gardens that conserve and showcase plants to enhance the environment. The 446 acre arboretum is located in northeastern Washington DC and receives 500,000 to 600,000 visitors annually.