Botanical Garden Activities: What To Do At A Botanical Garden

People Walking Through Green Overhung Botanical Garden
botanical garden
(Image credit: Nils Versemann)

There are around 200 botanical gardens in North America and a massive 1,800 more spanning across 150 countries. Could there be so many because of what botanical gardens do? These gardens serve many purposes and often feature special garden activities. Interested in things to do at a botanical garden? The following article contains information on what to do at a botanical garden as well as activities found in a botanical garden.

What Botanical Gardens Do

The origins of the botanical garden can be traced back to ancient China, but the more modern footprint of today’s botanical gardens dates to the Renaissance in the 1540’s. This era was a time ripe with horticultural study regarding the medicinal uses of plants.

At that time, only doctors and botanists were interested in botanical gardens. Today, botanical garden activities draw thousands of visitors. So what are some things to do at botanical gardens?

Things to Do at Botanical Gardens

Botanical gardens feature plant life in all its varied forms, but many gardens also offer concerts, restaurants, and even classes. The activities in a botanical garden are often dictated by the season, yet every season offers something.

During the spring and summer growing seasons, the plants will be at their peak. Even in the fall and winter, the gardens still offer an opportunity to stroll about. Gardeners at any time of the year can admire the different gardens. Many botanical gardens are quite large and may not all be seen in only one day.

Some gardens are quite extensive; therefore, plan to wear good walking shoes. Packing water, snacks, and a camera are a few ways to prepare for your garden adventure. Take your time and really absorb the gardens. There is a connection we have with plant life that allows us to view ourselves as part of a whole rather than one person.

Walking the different areas of a botanical garden will also give avid gardeners some ideas for their own garden. Many botanical gardens have separate areas such as Japanese, rose, or even desert gardens. Some of the larger ones offer classes on everything from propagation to pruning. Many offer conservatories that house exotic species such as cacti and succulents or orchids and other tropical specimens.

Walking is the main activity you will be participating in, but there are a number of other botanical garden activities offered. It has become an increasingly popular place to host musical events. Some gardens allow you to bring your own picnic and spread out a blanket. Other botanical gardens have plays or poetry readings.

While many botanical gardens function somewhat on government funding, most need supplemental funding, hence an entry fee. They may also host a plant sale where gardeners may find the perfect shade-loving perennial or heat-tolerant shrub they’ve been coveting on their strolls through the botanical gardens.

Amy Grant

Amy Grant has been gardening for 30 years and writing for 15. A professional chef and caterer, Amy's area of expertise is culinary gardening.