Thanks to Iowa’s expansive selection of public gardens, botanical gardens and arboretums, visitors and locals alike can get a glimpse of the state’s gorgeous spring season year-round. Here are some of Iowa’s best botanical gardens to visit.
Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens
The Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, located in the charming city of Dubuque, boasts one of the most impressive and unforgettable botanical displays within the greater United States—in fact, the arboretum is noted as being the largest one in the United States that’s staffed entirely by volunteers. Established in 1980, the 52-acre lot plays host to nearly 13,000 plants representing over 700 varieties, plus an English Knot Garden and a Japanese garden designed by Hoichi Kurisu. For more information, visit www.dubuquearboretum.net.
Newton Arboretum & Botanical Gardens
This three-acre arboretum and botanical garden is located within Agnes Patterson Park in Newton. The Newton Arboretum and Botanical Gardens contains everything from flourishing native trees and shrub roses, to a prairie garden, ornamental grasses and perennial beds. For more information, visit www.newtonarboretum.com.
Arie den Boer Arboretum
The Arie den Boer Arboretum boasts some of the most unique and eclectic flora in both Des Moines and practically the entire state. The Arboretum includes approximately 800 crabapple trees, with the youngest trees in their expansive collection being planted through a donor tree program. For more information, visit www.dmww.com.
Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens
Founded in 1996, the Cedar Valley Arboretum and Botanic Gardens is one of Waterloo’s finest attractions. The arboretum’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for all individuals through horticulture. Located just East of Hawkeye Community College, the gardens are bustling with plant and insect life all throughout the year, and is a must-visit the next time you’re in Iowa. For more information, visit www.cedarvalleyarboretum.org.
State Center Rose Garden
The State Center Rose Garden might not have the “botanical garden” title, but it’s still blossoming with vibrant roses and other stunning flora, nonetheless. Even better, State Center is considered to be the Rose Capital of Iowa—so not only will visitors have the opportunity to take in the stunning sight of endless rose bushes, they’ll also have the chance to learn more about the city’s culture too. For more information, visit www.statecenterrosefestival.org.