Most beautifully designed botanical gardens in the USA guide, American landscape design
The Most Beautifully Designed Botanical Gardens in the US
11 April 2022
Traveling across the US is impressive for many reasons. The US is the absolute perfect place to plan a long road trip since some of the scenery that you see on the road in the different states is a true natural beauty. There are lots of exciting historical monuments and lots of roadside stalls selling farm-fresh fruits and veggies with a side of freshly baked bread and steaming hot coffee every morning.
There are attractions like the largest ball of twine, weird and crazy museums, and houses where famous people lived their lives. Not only are there all these enticing and exciting things to see when you hit the road across the US, but there are also a number of sprawling, beautifully designed botanical gardens.
These iconic gardens in the USA draw thousands of visitors each year because of the sheer variety of plant life that they hold and, in some special cases, the exquisite design of the gardens themselves. From Philly to Atlanta, from San Diego to Portland, America’s botanical gardens are truly a sight to behold. Desert flora, hothouse gardens, roses, architecture to rival the most beautiful cathedrals: these botanical gardens have it all. Check out our list of the top ten beautifully designed botanical gardens in the US.
Garfield Park Conservatory
This Indianapolis landmark was constructed in 1916 by George Kessler, a German landscape architect of considerable fame. While the structure now has decidedly Art Deco leanings, the original building was created with a more traditional curved roof design. The building was renewed to its now Art Deco style in 1955 when it had deteriorated slightly and become a little shabby. The gardens themselves spread over 10,000 square feet and house a number of exotic and local plants.
Portland Japanese Garden
Not only is the Portland Japanese Garden home to many beautiful plants, but also to a three structured Cultural Village. This location was designed entirely by Kengo Kuma, a Japanese architect who was at the head of the design team creating the new stadium for the Tokyo 202 Olympics. This calming space features a spacious courtyard where many performances and events are held, both for profit and to aid the garden itself.
Balboa Park Desert Garden
If you’re looking for a taste of the high desert within the city limits, then San Diego’s Balboa Park desert garden is the place for you. This sprawling location is home to 1,300 plants. Everything from cacti to succulents can be found in this park, along with other drought-resistant plants from all over the world.
Shofuso Japanese House and Garden
This is one of the older gardens on the list, originally being created as a part of the Centennial Exhibition in 1876. Located in Philadelphia, this home and garden cultural gem was started by Tansai Sano, a prestigious Japanese landscape designer. The house itself was a post-war gift from the Japanese people, and its grounds also feature a calm, beautiful pond that covers 1.2 acres of the property. Depending on the weather and the season, you can feed the huge koi who live in the pond or enjoy the gardens and tearoom.
San Antonio Botanical Garden
As the name implies this exquisite garden can be found in San Antonio, Texas. The gardens are magnificent on their own. Still, the thing that makes this location truly unique is the Lucile Halsell Conservatory: a sharp-edged, futuristic structure designed by Emilio Ambasz and unveiled in 1988. The garden is home to more than just plants: it’s also the location of a few historic houses that have stood in Texas since the 1800s.
Atlanta Botanical Garden
Like a few other gardens on this list, the Atlanta Botanical Garden boasts gorgeous Japanese cultural influences. Here, they take the form of more than 1000 stainless steel sphere-shaped sculptural pieces that are arranged around the Storza Wood and can be seen best from the garden’s beautiful canopy walkway. These unique sculptures were created by Yayoi Kusama.
Huntington Botanical Gardens
A trip to Huntington Botanical Gardens offers you more than just a fragrant, beautiful experience of nature, but also an opportunity to see the library and art collection housed within it that is part of the property. Some incredible exotic plants can be found in the Huntington gardens: species of cycad, bonsai, orchid, and camellias to name a few. Check out the greenhouse for a look at some of the most beautiful flowers on the property.
Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens
One of the younger gardens on the list, the Daniel Stowe garden, recently ticked off its 20th anniversary. Founded by Daniel Stowe in 1991, the garden looks over Lake Wylie and has a lovely conservatory to house its more exotic species of plants.
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