The 10 Best Botanic Gardens in The US
1.Denver Botanic Gardens (Denver, Colorado)
The Denver Botanic Gardens have been a Colorado favorites since first opening in 1951 at its current central Denver location. Today the 23-acre original site includes immaculately manicured grounds and an educational center. The Gardens have also expanded to three other sites including a 750-acre plant refuge in the suburb of Littleton, an alpine trail on Mount Evans west of Golden in the Rockies that is lined with natural mountain wildflowers, and Centennial Gardens originally commemorating the Colorado Centennial. Throughout the year the Gardensâ€™ website tracks what is in bloom. There is so much to see here with all corners of the globe well represented. All locations are not to be missed.
2.Brooklyn Botanic Garden (Brooklyn, New York)
Located in the heart of one of New York Cityâ€™s five boroughs, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is the most visited botanic garden in the US. Truly an oasis within an urban jungle, the area provides a stark natural and beautiful contrast to the surrounding area. There are over 12,000 unique plant varieties located on 52 acres full of immaculately manicured grounds full of winding paths. Founded in 1910, the experience includes a cherry tree avenue, a rose garden covering 1 acre and a fragrance garden designed for the blind. Where else in New York City can a visitor spot rabbits and turtles in their natural environment? The experience is so engrossing one might forget where they are.
3.Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (Coral Gables, Florida)
The Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, located on the outskirts of Miami, Florida, is Americaâ€™s preeminent collection of rare plants of the tropical variety. Established in 1938, the 83-acre gardenâ€™s official mission is to conserve tropical plants by promoting tropical plant diversity and is the founding member of the Center for Plant Conservation. Many exotic species can be viewed here including over 100 rare species indigenous to southern Florida and the Caribbean. Highlights in the garden include a huge variety of palms (over 550 identified species) and cycads â€“ one of the most ancient varieties of plant life and, consequently, threatened with extinction.
4.Chicago Botanic Garden (Chicago, Illinois)
The world-renowned Chicago Botanic Garden has been in existence for over a century but became what it is today in 1965 after a long period of inactivity. The Garden covers 385 acres situated on nine islands encompassed by lakes at the outskirts of the city. Today, it has developed into a world leader for scientific research and a great educational center for the public. The Chicago Botanic Garden boasts the highest membership of any US botanic garden at over 46,000 and is the second-most visited with over 750,000 visitors a year. The whole display includes some 9500 unique plant varieties.
5.Arnold Arboretum (Boston, Massachusetts)
Maintained by Harvard University, the Arnold Arboretum is the oldest such public display in the United States and is a world leading plant research center. First established in 1872, the Arnold Arboretum covers 265 acres of land in the Jamaica Plain area of Boston. Truly a Boston urban oasis, over 7000 plant varieties are represented with special emphasis on the many varieties of plant life found in North America and eastern Asia. The collection includes some original plants used to introduce new species to North America from Asia. Detailed records are maintained that can show the precise location of every particular plant on the grounds.
6.UC-Davis Arboretum (Davis, California)
The University of California â€“ Davis Arboretum, located about 15 miles west of Sacramento, California, is home to over 4000 species with emphasis on the variety that thrive in Davisâ€™ widely varied temperature, which ranges between 14Â°F and 118Â°F yearly. The Arboretum covers approximately 100 acres and is the premiere garden of its type in California. Highlights here include the Carolee Shields White Flower Garden â€“ designed after moon-viewing gardens in India and Japan that feature light shaded blooms, and the Redwood Memorial Grove full of the famous giant trees. For the full effect of the White Flower Garden, visit at night during a full moon.
7.National Tropical Botanical Garden (headquarters in Kauai, Hawaii)
The National Tropical Botanical Garden is actually composed of three gardens on the island of Kauai (McBryde, Allerton, and Limahuli), the Kahanu Garden on the island of Maui, the Awini and Kaâ€™upulehu preserves on the Big Island, and The Kampong, across the continental United States in tropical Coconut Grove, Florida. All are located in the only authentic tropical locales of the United States and feature tropical plants. The Garden was created by a congressional charter in 1964 and a network of gardens was deemed necessary in order to encompass the varied ecosystems of tropical plants. The Kampong, Malay for â€œcluster of dwellingsâ€ was the personal collection of Dr. David Fairchild who founded the Fairchild Tropical Garden in Coral Gables, Florida. All are located in beautiful, pristine locations and should not be missed.
8.Memphis Botanic Garden (Memphis, Tennessee)
The Memphis Botanic Garden is the American Southâ€™s finest example and is a showcase of plant life indigenous not only to the area, but to the far-reaches of the planet. Covering 96 acres including lakes, woodlands, gardens, the revered Japanese Garden of Tranquility, and the Sensory Garden, this attraction brings in over 150,000 visitors annually. A visit here is an educational one where 23 specialty gardens emphasize different types of plant life from cactuses, to dogwoods, to magnolias, to a garden designed specifically to attract butterflies. The W.C. Paul Arboretum is a showcase of rare trees and is a must see for horticulturalists.
9.United States Botanic Garden (Washington DC)
Officially maintained by US Congress, the US Botanic Garden includes the Conservatory, National Garden, and Bartholdi Park and is located adjacent to the grounds of the US Capitol. Congress first designated the grounds in 1820 and in recent years the whole area has seen a lot of new development with the National Garden opening to the public on October 1, 2006. Bartholdi Park was created in 1932 and is a popular location for public gatherings. A butterfly garden, rose garden, and the First Ladiesâ€™ Water Garden can be viewed in the National Garden. The original conservatory, built in 1933, recently went through a 3-year renovation project. Yearly, the US Botanic Garden features a holiday-themed display called â€˜A Midnight Clearâ€™ that is sure to please holiday visitors to the nationâ€™s capital.
10.Missouri Botanical Garden (St. Louis, Missouri)
Created by St. Louis businessman Henry Shaw when he opened his garden to the public in 1859, the Missouri Botanical Garden today includes the original home of Mr. Shaw located on 79 acres of lush grounds in the heart of St. Louis. Highlights include the 14 acre Japanese garden named Seiwa-en (garden of pure) that is the largest such garden in the Western Hemisphere, the Climatron geodesic dome conservatory featuring exotic tropical plants, and a childrenâ€™s garden complete with a limestone cave and tree house. The Missouri Botanical Garden also features an extensive collection of camellias, a type of tea flower. Mr. Shawâ€™s mid-19th century country home has also been immaculately maintained, as have his original gardens.