Throughout the country, botanical and public gardens give people a fascinating place to escape from daily hardships and take in the beauty of the natural world. Walking through arbors covered in colorful flowering vines to an exquisite display of wild greenery can be so restorative to the body and soul.
Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in nature or to step away from the bustle of the city, here are some beautiful gardens in the eastern half of the US you might consider when you are planning your next getaway.
CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN
Gather ideas for your home landscape, explore the multi-sensory Enabling Garden, and review the top performers in the trial gardens. Our local garden expert recommended this garden as being somewhere that one could learn something new every day.
See their website to check the concert and events schedule too.
MISSOURI BOTANICAL GARDEN
St. Louis, MO
Not your average botanical garden, this is now registered as a National Historic Landmark and has been open to the public since 1859. Looking for notable plant collections? Check. Demonstration gardens? There are 23 to collect ideas from. Conservatories? There are three: a futuristic geodesic dome structure covers over a half-acre, a delightful brick conservatory that dates back to 1882, and a more recent temperate house that features several themed displays.
In short, this is a true destination and one that deserves your support.
CLEVELAND BOTANICAL GARDEN
What this garden lacks in acreage it makes up for in abundance and innovation. From the lush Gateway Garden to the aptly named Inspiration Gardens, you will be amazed by the ideas that you can incorporate into your own garden.
When you’re ready to step into the glasshouse, you can visit both the Dr. Seuss-like landscape and exotic animals of Madagascar, as well as the tropical rainforest of Costa Rica complete with butterflies and gently cooing ground doves.
ATLANTA BOTANICAL GARDENS
Renowned plant collections, beautiful displays, and spectacular exhibitions combine to create an exciting urban oasis in the heart of Midtown. The garden includes 30 acres of outdoor gardens, an award-winning Children’s Garden, the serene Storza Woods highlighted by a unique Canopy Walk, and the picturesque Skyline Garden.
NAPLES BOTANICAL GARDENS
Explore the exciting themed gardens that represent the culture and flora of the tropics, from Bali to Brazil and the Caribbean Islands. Enjoy the delightful Children’s Garden where kids of all ages will delight in the water fountains, butterflies, and a treehouse as they learn about the unique Floridian habitats.
Visitors also have the wonderful opportunity to visit the 90-acre nature sanctuary where mangrove swamps provide habitat for wildlife including eagles, otters, tree frogs, and gopher tortoises.
FAIRCHILD TROPICAL BOTANIC GARDENS
Coral Gables, FL
Begin your visit with a free tram tour around the Garden to learn more about the history, mission, and plant collections—it’s a great way to get an overview before venturing out on your own.
Indulge your senses by walking beneath the exotic Vine Pergola adorned with dozens of colorful flowering vines. Then, visit the Tropical Flowering Tree Arboretum and seek out the allspice tree to appreciate the sweet, yet spicy, fragrance of the foliage. Special exhibits, conservatories, and the aromatic Tropical Fruit Pavilion all combine to give visitors a true taste of the tropics.
UNITED STATES BOTANIC GARDEN
A diverse range of garden experiences awaits visitors here. The historic conservatory houses courtyard gardens, themed garden rooms, and special exhibits. Just outside the National Garden, there are plantings that represent different environments from around the United States.
Across the road from the conservatory, Bartholdi Park is a showcase for exciting plant combinations centered around a stunning fountain.
BROOKLYN BOTANIC GARDEN
Now over a century old, but considered to represent the very best in urban gardening and horticultural display, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a 52-acre oasis tucked within a major metropolis.
Be sure to visit the Water Garden, where a meandering stream flows into a pond that also serves to capture excess rainwater. Summer highlights here include riparian plants, such as summer-blooming hibiscus and sedges that have adapted to live near the water’s edge. This is also a wonderful place to look for dragonflies, frogs, and ducks—a welcome respite from city life.
Kennett Square, PA
If you’re visiting Philadelphia, Longwood should be your primary garden destination. Appreciated as much for its outstanding conservatory displays as the illuminated Fountain Festivals, this world-class garden never disappoints.
Take time to stroll through the 86-acre meadow to experience the best practices in ecological garden design. Marvel at the tapestry of naturalistic plantings, enjoy the butterflies and birds. Listen to the wind rattling seed heads in fall and the cries of hawks wheeling overhead. This is a place that will touch your heart.
*Original article: 20 Best Botanical Gardens to Visit in the U.S. | Garden Design