Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

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Looking4Answers
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Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by Looking4Answers »

Would love to hear about your favorite public or botanical gardens. Best times to visit? Which are worth a special trip, which ones only in combination to other attractions in the area? Any not usually listed as must-see gardens, but worthwhile because of special feature(s)?
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nisiprius
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by nisiprius »

All one-time visits, but in 2019 in Tucson, Arizona in May, I was very glad that we opted to go to both Tohono Chul Botanical Gardens & Galleries and also Tucson Botanical Gardens. I'm not a gardening type but we both loved both of them, and they are amazingly different, totally different from each other.
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by Volando »

I’ve only been there once but Longwood gardens in PA is pretty spectacular. I’m not sure about the best time to visit but I know they have seasonal events which could be worth planning around.
Tombobene
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by Tombobene »

The Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis is widely considered one of the top three botanical gardens in the world. More than 150 years old and covering about 80 acres, it really is a gem. It is truly spectacular any season of the year.
camden
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by camden »

Bellingrath Gardens near Mobile, AL; any time of year, but spring when the azaleas are in bloom is particularly spectacular. In summer the flora is great but weather is quite hot.

Garvan Gardens outside Hot Springs, AR. Don’t miss the small “cathedral” on the grounds.
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.

Post by Ktndlx »

Garvan Woodland Gardens, Hot Spring, Arkansas. I was just telling friends how beautiful it was. Acres of land, water features, and a beautiful glass chapel on the grounds. There were peacocks that would eat out your hand. We were there in the spring but were told the Christmas season is a great time to go there, they do an awesome light display.

We were on a road trip and ended up staying in Hot Springs a few days. Spent time on the Bathhouse Row, beautiful old architecture and museums. Did the thermal pools at the Quapaw Bathhouse too.
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by Sam_957 »

nisiprius wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 6:26 pm All one-time visits, but in 2019 in Tucson, Arizona in May, I was very glad that we opted to go to both Tohono Chul Botanical Gardens & Galleries and also Tucson Botanical Gardens. I'm not a gardening type but we both loved both of them, and they are amazingly different, totally different from each other.
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by TexasPE »

Shangri-La Gardens, Orange TX - 90 minute drive from Houston.

https://shangrilagardens.org/

the city also has a well-known museum (Stark Museum of Art)

https://starkmuseum.org/

- worth a day to see both.
Last edited by TexasPE on Sun Jun 09, 2024 10:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Snapper
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by Snapper »

Santa Fe is a favorite of ours.
runner3081
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by runner3081 »

Have heard the one in Denver is good.
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by Bmac »

If you happen to get to the Seattle area, the Kubota Garden is quite lovely. Of course, in relatively nearby Victoria, BC, the Buchart Gardens are excellent.
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by Mr. Rumples »

Lewis Ginter in Henrico (just outside of Richmond) VA, voted one of the best in the US in some surveys. https://www.lewisginter.org/visit/gardens/
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by Mr. Rumples »

runner3081 wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 7:22 pm Have heard the one in Denver is good.
Yes, it is! https://www.botanicgardens.org/our-coll ... ollections

Many of these gardens have reciprocal memberships: https://ahsgardening.org/gardening-programs/rap/
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bobn60014
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by bobn60014 »

In the Chicago area all interesting in their own way, the Chicago Botanic Gardens, The Morton Arboretum, the grounds of Catigny and Anderson Gardens-Rockford. In Madison Wisconsin the Olbrich Botanical Gardens is pretty good.
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by Random Poster »

I’m not much of a garden connoisseur, but McCrory Gardens in Brookings, South Dakota, are nice. And you can hit up the dairy bar down the street at South Dakota State for some great ice cream after the visit.
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by Retiredrocketbuilder »

Big- longwood PA
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

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Big- longwood PA
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by ReadyOne »

bobn60014 wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 7:59 pm In the Chicago area all interesting in their own way, the Chicago Botanic Gardens, The Morton Arboretum, the grounds of Catigny and Anderson Gardens-Rockford. In Madison Wisconsin the Olbrich Botanical Gardens is pretty good.
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If you have a passion for landscape architecture, check this out while in town.

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Frederick Law Olmsted, often regarded as the father of American landscape architecture, made significant contributions to the urban landscape of Chicago. His work in the city includes the design of notable parks and spaces that have become integral to Chicago's identity. Here are some of his key contributions:

Jackson Park: Olmsted, along with his partner Calvert Vaux, originally designed Jackson Park in the 1870s. The park later became famous as the site of the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893. Olmsted's design incorporated lagoons, wooded islands, and a serene landscape, reflecting his vision of creating a natural oasis in the urban environment.

Washington Park: Another part of Olmsted's legacy in Chicago is Washington Park, designed as part of a larger system of parks connected by boulevards. This park features broad open spaces, lagoons, and a pastoral landscape, emphasizing Olmsted's philosophy of providing urban dwellers with access to green, natural environments.

Midway Plaisance: Serving as a connection between Jackson Park and Washington Park, the Midway Plaisance was also designed by Olmsted. This mile-long green space was initially conceived as a grand boulevard and has since been integrated into the University of Chicago campus, maintaining its role as a key green corridor in the city.

Riverside: Though not within the city limits of Chicago, the suburb of Riverside, designed by Olmsted and Vaux, is a notable example of their work in the Chicago area. This planned community, with its curvilinear streets, ample green spaces, and integration with the natural landscape, showcases Olmsted's innovative approach to suburban development. (Brookfield zoo is nearby, also pretty neat.)

These projects reflect Olmsted's enduring impact on Chicago, emphasizing his commitment to creating beautiful, functional, and restorative green spaces for urban populations. His designs continue to influence landscape architecture and urban planning in the city.
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by UnLearnYourself »

Denver is incredible. Includes a large Japanese Garden section, which is my favorite.
stan1
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by stan1 »

The trifecta in the Pasadena, CA vicinity is the LA County Arboretum (the "Fantasy Island" house), Huntington Museum and Gardens, and Descanso Gardens. Add in the Norton Simon and a tour of some historic Pasadena architecture and it is a full 3 or 4 days.
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by calmaniac »

I make it a habit to go to the local botanical garden when I travel. The two below are eye-popping gorgeous!

The Huntington Botanical Gardens, San Marino (posh suburb near Pasadena, ≈30 minutes from downtown LA). Largest desert garden in the world. Multiple other non-desert gardens there as well.

Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden. Miami. Amazing!

Quirky runner-up:
Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens National Park in Washington DC is lovely in July when acres of lotuses and waterlilies bloom.
These photos give you an idea how visually transcendent it can be.
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by Chv396 »

Filoli House & Gardens, Woodside, CA

Huntington Library, San Marino, CA (as previous posters have mentioned.) A beautiful museum and various botanical gardens.

Descanso Gardens, La-Canada-Flintridge, CA

UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens, Berkeley, CA

Berkeley Rose Garden, Berkeley, CA
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Cranberry44
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by Cranberry44 »

Huntington and Descanso in Pasadena/Los Angeles area. Can’t be beat!
billfromct
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by billfromct »

Elizabeth Park in West Hartford, CT especially during June when the roses 🌹 are starting to bloom but are
out all Summer.

It’s about 100 acres & no admission charge.

bill
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CashConfessions
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by CashConfessions »

Just wanted to mention the U.S. Botanic Garden, just next to the Capitol in Washington, D.C. Probably not worth a special trip, but certainly worth a visit if you find yourself in the area, and you've already paid for your free admission via taxes.
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by CAsage »

Lotusland in Montecito, near Santa Barbara Ca. Pricey tickets, but lovely.
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bogles the mind
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by bogles the mind »

The Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh is very nice.
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by Arabesque »

The seven mile Emerald Necklace that snakes through Boston and Brookline has an arboretum, zoo, and swan boats. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emerald_Necklace
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by Valuethinker »

Looking4Answers wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 6:18 pm Would love to hear about your favorite public or botanical gardens. Best times to visit? Which are worth a special trip, which ones only in combination to other attractions in the area? Any not usually listed as must-see gardens, but worthwhile because of special feature(s)?
The one in the Bronx, NYC, is adjacent to the Zoo, I believe.

The Bronx Zoo is an exceptional zoo, and a favourite day of whenever we visit NYC (from London), but I haven't been to the botanical garden.
66Sally
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by 66Sally »

May favorite is Naples Botanical Garden.

https://www.naplesgarden.org/
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by Grasshopper »

For a desert experience, in Phoenix The Desert Botanical Garden.
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by snackdog »

Volando wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 6:48 pm I’ve only been there once but Longwood gardens in PA is pretty spectacular. I’m not sure about the best time to visit but I know they have seasonal events which could be worth planning around.
Longwood is top-ranked in the US.

Other greats include NYC, Chicago, Denver Atlanta, Missouri, Brooklyn, Dallas, and Fort Worth.
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by MrNarwhal »

Not in the US, but I thought Montreal's was exceptional.
https://m.espacepourlavie.ca/en/botanical-garden

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum can be crowded but probably not if you go at the right time.
https://arb.umn.edu/
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by pomomojo »

I can't believe the New York Botanical Garden hasn't been mentioned yet. Their Orchid Show is always impressive. The Train show during the holiday season is always nice though I find it to be too congested to be fully enjoyed.

Coastal Maine Botanical Garden near Boothbay Harbor. Almost as sprawling as NYBC, and includes multiple wooden troll sculptures.
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by UpperNwGuy »

CashConfessions wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 6:26 am Just wanted to mention the U.S. Botanic Garden, just next to the Capitol in Washington, D.C. Probably not worth a special trip, but certainly worth a visit if you find yourself in the area, and you've already paid for your free admission via taxes.
And the US National Arboretum in Northeast Washington DC.
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by sbaywriter »

Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo, Florida, if you find yourself in this area, probably Mar-Apr are best time of year.
RightGuard
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by RightGuard »

San Jose Municipal Rose Garden. She's a beaut. for a mostly volunteer run park.

Opened in 1927 and has some surviving Art Deco flourishes. Pairs nicely with the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum nearby.

Gets crowded in bloom season. Nice neighborhood with some good local spots to eat in walking distance.
life2.0
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by life2.0 »

The Hawai'i Tropical Botanical Garden is worth a trip alone to the Big Island of Hawai'i. It is stunning.
MoonOrb
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by MoonOrb »

A few here I don't think I've seen listed:

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
Portland Japanese Garden
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
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Artful Dodger
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by Artful Dodger »

This is a useful thread. We’re members of the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, which is a jewel. We have reciprocal privileges at most gardens throughout the country and will keep this post in mind when we’re traveling. :D
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by SimplyCurious »

Visiting public gardens has been one of my favorite travel experiences over the decades. When I lived in Minneapolis a day out at the Minnesota Arboretum was a treat every spring, summer and fall. There are acres of gardens of all kinds in a beautiful hilly rural setting. Crowding at this garden has been mentioned by another poster; weekdays are likely to be less crowded unless there is a special event. It is my favorite garden destination of all the dozens I've visited, including Kew Gardens in London.

https://arb.umn.edu

Now living on the east coast, I recommend Longwood Gardens near Philadelphia. It was the lavish country estate of Pierre Du Pont of the family that founded the DuPont Company. Our milder winters make it accessible all year. Visitors to the Philly area might also enjoy Chanticleer, a small and less well-known public garden in Wayne, PA.

https://longwoodgardens.org/

https://www.chanticleergarden.org/
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by cleosdad »

Tombobene wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 6:49 pm The Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis is widely considered one of the top three botanical gardens in the world. More than 150 years old and covering about 80 acres, it really is a gem. It is truly spectacular any season of the year.
Agree 100%
SevenBridgesRoad
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by SevenBridgesRoad »

2nd vote for Portland (OR) Japanese Garden

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

I'll break the OP request a bit and add one that is only slightly not-US: Butchart Garden near Victoria on Vancouver Island, BC. Multiple ways to easily get there if starting in Washington State. High speed ferry from Port Angeles WA is super easy (90 minutes). While there treat yourself to high tea.
neilpilot
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by neilpilot »

Brookgreen Gardens, just south of Myrtle Beach SC.

https://www.brookgreen.org/
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by ArtMan »

Tombobene wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 6:49 pm The Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis is widely considered one of the top three botanical gardens in the world. ...
I am perhaps biased — For a couple of years I lived in STL on a street called Botanical, a half-block from the Garden. St. Louis doesn't get much respect, and that's too bad. A century ago it was one of the largest and most important cities in the country, and that legacy can be seen at the ball park, at the symphony, in several art museums, in architecture both grand and humble, and yes, at the Botanical Garden.
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by TLC1957 »

If you love gardens Longwood Gardens is amazing place a must see. We are members and visit many times during the year. Longwood Gardens is a botanical garden that consists of over 1,077 acres of gardens, woodlands, and meadows in Kennett Square, Pa. It is one of the premier horticultural display gardens in the United States and is open to visitors year-round to enjoy native and exotic plants and horticulture (both indoor and outdoor), events and performances, seasonal and themed attractions, as well as educational lectures, courses, and workshops.

https://longwoodgardens.org

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longwood_Gardens

Just a short drive away are more gardens are in Delaware

https://www.visitwilmingtonde.com/thing ... s/gardens/

With a tradition of horticulture going back 300 years, Philadelphia is America’s Garden Capital.
Visit more than 30 public gardens, arboreta, and historic landscapes, all located within 30 miles of our landmark city.

http://americasgardencapital.org/?fbcli ... IAEGJ_jMo-

If you like mansions more in Delaware with many DuPont family homes and other attractions.

https://www.visitwilmingtonde.com/thing ... tractions/
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

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Looking4Answers wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 6:18 pm Would love to hear about your favorite public or botanical gardens. Best times to visit? Which are worth a special trip, which ones only in combination to other attractions in the area? Any not usually listed as must-see gardens, but worthwhile because of special feature(s)?
Some smaller gardens:
* Minneapolis: Normandale Japanese garden. Combine with Minnesota arboretum.
* Arizona --- Tucson: Yume Japanese Gardens. Combine with Tohono Chul, Tucson Botanical Garden & Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. Phoenix -- Desert Botanical Garden & Boyce Thompson Arboretum. BEST TIME TO VISIT: October to April.
* Los Angeles: Rancho Santa Ana Gardens - very regional. Wrigley Memorial & Botanical Gardens over on Catalina. Combine with LA Arboretum, Huntington, Descanso and ... Disneyland. The gardening at all the Disney's is well integrated into rides and makes very good use of local plants.
* Very Northern California: Mendocino Botanical Garden & Humboldt Botanical Garden. Combine with Redwood trees.
* South Florida: Bok Tower Gardens.
____
Vancouver, British Columbia: Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. Combine with VanDusen Botanical Garden and, of course, Butchart Gardens over on Vancouver Island.
Last edited by MJS on Mon Jun 10, 2024 12:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by fasteddie911 »

Ho'omaluhia on Oahu.
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by muffins14 »

I enjoy the Bronx botanical garden. The rose garden there is impressive
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Re: Favorite public gardens or botanical gardens in the U.S.?

Post by TLC1957 »

Check out the American Horticultural Society

https://ahsgardening.org/gardening-prog ... /?state=PE

If you become a member of one of the gardens listed you can get into other American Horticultural Society gardens for free or reduced rate. We have visited gardens throughout the USA via this program, most with free entry. The website above lists gardens by state click on the link and they will give you entry information.
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