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Must-See Public Gardens in the U.S.

By: Sherri RibbeySherri Ribbey
Whether they're around the corner or across the country, public gardens are worth the trip!

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Don't miss these impressive public gardens!

Looking for some new garden design ideas or some practical tips to step up your horticultural game? Stop by a public garden! While these destination gardens tucked into communities throughout North America generate lots of inspiration, they also produce important horticultural research and educate people of all ages about the natural world. Here are four gardens across the country that we think are worth a visit.


175-public-gardens-longwood-conservatory-spring: Longwood conservatory in spring.

Longwood Gardens

Kennett Square, PA

Well-known for its amazing horticultural displays created by knowledgeable staff, Longwood Gardens has something for everyone: flower-filled borders, woodland retreats, tree houses, a meadow and illuminated fountain shows that will knock your socks off. Read more about Longwood Gardens here.

Plan a visit

Longwood Gardens
1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
General admission $25 memberships and discounts available
Follow on Instagram: @longwoodgardens


Des Moines Botanical Garden Roses: The Greater Des Moines Botanical garden has an amazing rose garden just outside of the geodesic dome.

Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

Des Moines, IA

Built by the city of Des Moines in 1979, the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden began with a geodesic dome housing palm trees (some donated by Longwood Gardens), lots of tropicals and desert plants and just a few outdoor plantings. Big changes in the past 10 years have expanded the outdoor gardens dramatically so there’s even more to explore in this 12-acre urban garden close to downtown. Read more about The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden here.

Plan a visit

The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
909 Robert D. Ray Drive, Des Moines, Iowa
General admission: $12 (memberships and discounts available)
Follow on Instagram: @dmbotanicalgarden

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Idaho Botanical Garden: Dry garden at the Idaho Botanical Garden.

Idaho Botanical Garden

Boise, ID

Here’s a great place to visit if you’re looking for water-wise garden ideas. Founded in 1984 on the site of the historic Idaho State Penitentiary, many of the gardens within the Idaho Botanical Garden still feature the previous buildings’ native sandstone walls. Read more about the Idaho Botanical Garden here.

Plan a visit

Idaho Botanical Garden
2355 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise, Idaho
General admission: $12 (memberships and discounts available)
Follow on Instagram: @IdahoBotanicalGarden


Sarah P. Duke terrace summer: Terrace in summer at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens in North Carolina.

Sarah P. Duke Gardens

Durham, NC

This horticultural treasure tucked into the campus of Duke University was the inspiration of medical faculty member and avid gardener Dr. Frederic M. Hanes in the 1930s. It now includes a diverse collection of plants tended by a staff of 17 and lots of volunteers. Read more about the Sarah P. Duke Gardens here.

Plan a visit

Sarah P. Duke Gardens
420 Anderson Street, Durham, North Carolina
There’s no charge to visit the gardens but there is a $2 per hour fee to park.
Follow on Instagram: @sarahpdukegardens

Published: Feb. 19, 2024
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