The Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory is a horticultural oasis in the heart of downtown Fort Wayne. Established in 1983 and owned by the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department, the enclosed Conservatory boasts over 25,000 square feet of spectacular indoor gardens, showcasing 502 different species of plants and 72 types of cactus, with a vast plant collection of beautifully maintained gardens and displays. These include a Showcase Garden with lush seasonal displays, an orchid- and palm-filled Tropical Garden with a cascading waterfall, and a tranquil Desert Garden. The Conservatory also presents four changing outdoor garden displays each year, serves as a plant rescue center for endangered species, and provides a variety of educational and outreach programs for the community.

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The Gardens

The Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory features extraordinary displays of beautiful gardens, ranging from tropical gardens to arid desert displays. The Conservatory has three indoor gardens that span over 25,000 square feet and showcase more than 1,200 plants made up of 500 species and 72 different types of cacti.

The Showcase Garden presents four season changing displays every year and includes permanent plants such as gardenias, bamboo, hibiscus, loquat trees, and creeping fig.

The Tropical Garden is a lush oasis of beauty with a cascading waterfall, a pond teeming with goldfish and exotic tropical plants and trees such as banana, coffee, orange and breadfruit trees, 13 different types of palms, cycads, ferns, orchids, and bromeliads. This exhibit is also home to the famous Theobroma cacao tree, otherwise known as the chocolate tree!

The Desert Garden is a tranquil and serene garden that replicates the desert environment of the Southwest and features common plants and trees found there such as the Saguaro cacti, prickly pear, yucca, mesquite and ironwood trees, creosote bushes, fishhook barrel cactus, and jojoba.

The four outdoor gardens feature a variety of perennial shrubs and trees, rhododendrons, and ornamental grasses. The Exploration Garden is a quiet place for reflection with shady pathways, numerous benches, goldfish-stocked ponds and panoramic vistas. Plants and trees in this charming park-like garden include Midwestern trees, shrubs, and seasonal plantings.

The Terrace Garden is a beautiful brick terrace that is surrounded by seasonal plantings and Midwestern trees and boasts the quiet open-air ambiance of a garden plaza in the city. The Streetside Garden is home to flowering shrubs, ornamental grasses, and Midwestern trees and features a bronze statue that symbolizes the bounty of nature by sculptor Tony Frudakis. The Beverforden Garden is packed with color and scent and features azaleas, rhododendrons, and other acid-loving plants.

Educational Programs

The Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory offers a variety of educational and community outreach programs for visitors of all ages, including classes, workshops, lectures and symposiums, day camps, art displays, guided tours of the gardens and more. Children’s interactive, hands-on activities and seminars include Garden Close-Up and Creepy Critters, where children can learn more about the garden environment and the animals and insects that live within it. Youth Education Tours include botanical garden trips, outreach programs and garden classes led by professional horticulturists and docents.

Visitor Information

The Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory is located at 1100 South Calhoun Street in Fort Wayne and is open year-round on Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Thursdays from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm, and Sundays from noon until 4:00 pm. The Empyrean Café is open during garden opening hours and serves a fresh, innovative, and scratch-made menu with exceptional service. The café also offers boxed lunch options and catering services upon request, and there is both indoor and outdoor seating available. The Conservatory gift shop sells an array of garden-related goodies, from books, clothing, home décor and garden accessories to educational toys, souvenirs, and gifts.

1100 South Calhoun Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46802, Phone: 260-427-6440

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