A botanical garden can be many things to different types of people. One thing’s for sure, whether you garden a lot, a little, or not at all, botanical gardens have something to offer you.
On the most basic level, botanical gardens are generally established for scientific and/or educational purposes. Many will have one or more areas of specialization, such as an exceptional lilac garden or a noted iris collection. They are, however, more than just a place for scientists or students to study plants!
Botanical gardens offer many for both the new and experienced gardener; take a stroll through one and see what strikes you. Maybe it’s an interesting combination of colors or a contrast in foliage that catches your eye. Perhaps you’ll gain insight on plant selections for a particularly difficult spot in your yard, such as underneath a canopy of trees, where conditions are shady and dry. Is there a season when your garden is looking a bit blah? Go to the botanical garden and see what’s blooming. Plants are often labeled, so you can go to a local nursery and easily recreate the effect.
Most botanical gardens offer opportunities for the public to learn topics such as pruning, plant care, organic gardening, and more. There are often classes geared for children. Many accept volunteers, which can provide you with a chance to learn and to meet other gardeners, always a great source of information, advice, and generally some free plants! Events like concerts, art shows, and holiday parties are often held on the grounds. Check your local botanical garden’s website and see what’s happening. There’s sure to be something that piques your interest. And don’t forget the most important role a botanical garden plays: offering a beautiful environment in which the public can walk, reflect, paint, or just relax and enjoy!