10 Botanical Gardens in the US to Visit

The United States has a wide variety of beautiful public gardens across the nation. From Sea to shining sea, here are ten of the best US botanical gardens and an introduction to their histories.

1. From the State of Washington, Ohme Gardens

In 1929 Herman Ohme and his wife bought 40-acres of land for an orchard. The natives thought he was crazy to put so much work his property. Initially these gardens were private but were opened up to the public after the community and friends and family convinced them to do it. Herman and his wife sustained the park until his death and then his son took over until 1971. At that time, Washington State Parks and Recreation purchased the park and it is now managed by the Chelan Country. This garden sports evergreens, pools, and irregular terrain. It also offers spectacular views for wedding receptions and photographs. (Ohme Gardens)

2. In Kauai, Hawaii, Waimea Canyon State Park
Mark Twain called the Waimea Canyon” the Grand Canyon of the Pacific and it is truly a sight to behold with the canyon being 10 miles long and a mile across, and a depth of 3,500 feet. This area was created by an event on the earths surface more than 4 million years ago, and today contrasts striking amber and russet colored rocks against plush green vegetation of the native rain forest.

3. In San Francisco, California, The San Francisco Botanical Garden

Said to remind visitors of Jurassic Park, the sfexaminer.com points out, “The Primitive Gardens at the Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum in San Francisco makes visitors think, “what -if-a-raptor-rushes-out-of-the-bushes-feel” (SFExaminer)

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4. In Galveston, Texas, The Moody Gardens

This combination theme park, water park and Rain forest pyramid offers a mix of both education and fun that focuses on nature. The Rain Forest Pyramid features a blend of animals, fish and botanical greenery from rain forest areas in Africa, Asia and America against a background of pools and waterfalls. This park is open to the public however it is owned by the State of Texas and does charge a fee to get in.

5. In Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, Longwood Gardens

Situated in Kennett Square, Longwood Garden’s has over 11,000 varieties of plants and flowers and has both indoor and outdoor gardens amidst pools and water displays. From April to May you can find tulips, marigolds, snap dragons, azaleas, and Virginia bluebells all in bloom. Founded by Pierre DuPont, Longwood Gardens is dedicated to sharing education of horticulture with visitors and students alike.

6. In Boylston, Massachusetts, Tower Hill Botanic Garden

This is a beautiful garden that is owned and operated by the Worcester Country Horticultural Society (WCHS) and is free to the public. Their mission is to advance the science, while improving the process and education of horticulture. The WCHS was incorporated in 1842, and has continued to build the gardens according to a Master plan that is scheduled to be completed by 2040. The Tower Hill Botanic Garden is comprised of several small gardens including the Cottage, Vegetable, Wildlife and Secret Gardens. In April during the month of April, you can find Squill, Hellebore (Blue Lady, Yellow Lady), Corenlian Cherry and Reticulated Iris in bloom.

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7. Winterthur, Wilmington, Deleware

Situated between New York City and Washington, DC, is Winterthur. Henry Francis du Pont (1880-1969) made this country estate called Winterthur his home.
He was n avid antiques collector and horticulturist. Winterthur features a monthly bloom calendar and has over 1000 acres of rolling country side that provides a sense of history and has a museum of antiques. This estate is said to be on par with English estates that took a century to build and “greatest surving example of its kind in the nation.”

8. In Washington, DC, The United States Botanical Garden

The United States Botanical Garden is right near the US Capitol and is featuring Orchids: A Cultural Odyssey until April 11th. They also are featuring Begonias until May 27th. It’s history began in the 18th century when George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison discussed a dream of a national botanical garden. It was established on the National Mall in 1820. This garden includes a conservatory, the National Garden, and Bartholdi Park. It falls under the jurisdiction of the Office of the Architect of the Capitol, and has since 1934.

9. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn, NY

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden has an abundant number of special gardens and began its humble beginnings at 39 acres set aside by the state of New York in 1897. Since then, the Native Flora, Children’s Garden, A Rock Garden, Fragrance Garden, the famous Bonsai collection, Japanese Hill-And-Garden, and many other spectacular micro-gardens have been developed. The BBG is breaking ground on a new visitors center and has continued to upgrade and add new interests year after year.

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10. The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens, Cincinnati, OH

Blooming this week at the Cincinnati Botanical Gardens are Siberian Squills, Glory of the Snow, Daffodils, Hyacinth, Alleghany Spurge, Stinking Hellbore, and Butterburs. The Cincinnati Zoo is blended with the Botanical Gardens for educational purposes, to show the inter-dependency of animals and plants.

Patricia Schultz, 1000 Places to See Before you Die