This 1,077-acre expanse of gardens, woodlands, and meadows is a magical experience anytime during the year. It's impossible to cover all 20 outdoor and indoor gardens in a single visit. However, our personal favorites and must-see gardens include the Orangery with its exquisite collection of flowers and foliage, the East Conservatory with its intriguing expanse of waterfalls, fountains, flowers, and pools, and the Open Air Theater with its towering wall of water, hidden fountains and stunning setting for outdoor performances.
This public botanical garden is barely 23-acres but it is impressive. The outdoor conservatory, several theme gardens and sunken amphitheater make this garden a great place to have a fun time. At present, the garden has an Orchid Showcase on that is generating immense interest but exhibits do change regularly. The garden is particularly famous for its annual concert series and the Spring Fall plant sales.
A trip to New York is incomplete without a visit to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in Brooklyn, New York. The 52-acre park has several specialty gardens that you can enjoy but it's difficult to cover the entire garden in a single visit. If you are visiting the park for the first time, make sure you plan your visit around the flowering of cherry trees. The cherry trees were planted after World War I and the trees were a gift from the Japanese Government. During flowering, the entire 52-acre park is filled with the fragrance of cherry flowers. Apart from the cherry trees, the Japanese Hill and Pond Garden and Alice Recknagel Ireys Fragrance Garden are a must-visit because of their unique nature. The Alice Recknagel Ireys Fragrance Garden, in particular, is designed for people with vision disabilities. It is the only garden in the US that encourages visitors to touch and rub the fragrant plants to experience their texture and perfume.
A visit to the Desert Botanical Gardens will be an eye-opener for you and your children. This 140-acre garden focuses on plants that thrive in extreme climates. The handicap-accessible park hosts musical bands, wine-tasting events, dog-days, astronomical gazing, great views, and more than 140 unique plants from all over the world. The park is particularly dazzling in spring when the succulents start flowering.
The Windy City is particularly proud of its Botanic Garden and it has every right to be so. The Botanic Garden is lovely all through the year but the can't-miss Model Railroad Garden is simply stunning. The garden has exquisite miniature trains traveling through an extensive framework of tunnels, bridges, and built-to-scale landmarks like the White House and historic Comiskey Park. Each part of the garden is handmade from natural materials by noted designer Paul Brusse who specializes in garden railway design. This display is a must-see of children and adults alike.
The Atlanta Botanical Gardens are a must-visit for the Canopy Walk. The 600-foot-long skywalk takes the visitor all along one of the last remaining urban forests in the world. The Walk covers Storza Woods and provides an aerial view of the botanical gardens located below. Don't forget to visit the Rose Garden and the Japanese Garden with a quick pop-through to the Children's Garden.
This garden focuses on preserving and displaying tropical plant life in its natural setting. The Garden has five sections: Limahuli Garden and Preserve, Allerton Garden, McBryde Garden, Kahanu Garden, and the Kampong. Each of these gardens has its own living laboratory with scientists and researchers studying the flora and fauna of the unique gardens. Visitors are provided with a map but the parks are famous for its water features, old grove charm, tiered plantings, rare plants, and beautiful views spread out over the island.
The Memphis Botanic Garden is famous for its gardens but it is super-popular for its events. World renowned artistes perform live at the venue and events are fully booked well in advance. Memphians love the garden for its scenic beauty and annual events that include the Daffodish Dash Race, the Family Egg Hunt, and the Mother's Day Jazz Brunch.
The Missouri Botanical Garden hosts several annual cultural festivals including a Chinese Cultural Day, the Japanese Festival, etc. Multiple Asian festivals are held in the garden and visitors can also enjoy special features like the Children's Garden, the Climatron (a geodesic dome greenhouse), the English Woodland Garden, the Blanke Boxwood Garden and the Strassenfest German Garden.
If you want to see a traditional Japanese garden, you don't even have to place a single toe out of the US. The Portland Japanese Garden in Oregon brings traditional Japanese landscaping right to your doorstep. The impressive 5.5-acre garden encompasses five different Japanese garden styles and you can loiter in the Tea Garden, the Stroll Garden, the Flat Garden, the Natural Garden and the Sand/Stone Garden at your leisure. This garden is a must-visit as it combines tranquility and harmony with nature but in a way that represents a completely different culture.