Garden Inspiration: 9 Botanical Gardens to Visit this Summer

Given that our products are mostly related to enhancing your garden efforts or preserving the fruits thereof, we love all topics related to gardening. Here’s a favorite:

Whether you’re a new gardener or have a seasoned green thumb, nothing is more inspiring than seeing what gardens can become when the professionals are involved. Botanical gardens are peaceful places to spend a day but they’re also excellent places to learn about native plants and design. Most botanical gardens have classes on specific gardening topics that are open to the public.

Consider taking a trip to your city’s botanical garden, arranging a long weekend around one or working it into your summer vacation. Here are some of the best in the country:

United States Botanic Garden – Washington, DC

This botanic garden is a living plant museum dreamed up by George Washington. Don’t miss the First Ladies water garden or the remarkable glass conservatory that was built in 1867.

Missouri Botanical Garden – St. Louis

A National Historic Landmark, the Missouri Botanical Garden is the nation’s oldest botanical garden in continuous operation. Not to miss is the Victorian garden and the 23 residential-scale demonstration garden. Be sure to check out their recent blog post, Growing a Grocery Store Garden.

San Francisco Botanical Garden – San Francisco

Located in Golden Gate Park, this is a true sanctuary. The microclimate in San Francisco can support plants that can’t be found anywhere else, including their natural environments.

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden – Richmond, Virginia

This large botanical garden is devoted to gardening by the seasons. No matter what time of year you visit, the garden is designed to inspire. If you’re driving through, don’t miss your chance to see the majestic conservatory and the cheerful Children’s Garden. If you’re a Virginia resident, get a membership!

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens – Columbus, Ohio

With a weekly farmer’s market and “retired” plant sales, this is a Midwest must-see. There is a real dedication to art and botanical art here; if you’re an art lover you’ll enjoy the collections as much as the gardens.

Atlanta Botanical Garden – Atlanta

An easy walk from midtown Atlanta, this garden boasts the largest collection of orchids under glass. They’re also dedicated to community education and enormous botanical sculptures. Plan to spend the day.

Chicago Botanic Garden – Chicago

This is a fairly young garden, and the vibe is community-oriented and modern. Displays are spectacular in the summer, and they offer lots of extracurricular activities including late evening hours and events.

Desert Botanical Garden – Phoenix

Think there’s not much to see in a desert? Think again. The Desert Botanical Garden in Arizona has a thing or two to teach everyone about this unique environment and its ecosystems. Whether your local or just passing through, be sure to make time for one of their fantastic evening music concerts in the garden.

New York Botanical Garden – New York City

No list of best Botanic Gardens would be complete without the beloved New York Botanical Garden. There’s so much to do here that you may need more than a day: shop for Oscar de la Renta botanical china, go to an outdoor “backyard barbecue” on Daffodil Hill, attend a class at the Edible Academy, or check out Mario Batali’s Kitchen Gardens and watch a cooking demonstration.

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