Located opposite the Milner Plaza on Museum Hill in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Santa Fe Botanical Garden celebrates and cultivates the rich botanical biodiversity of the region across 12 acres of beautiful landscapes.
Designed by landscape architect W. Gary Smith, and covering more than 12 acres with breath-taking views of the surrounding mountains, the gardens consist of impressive and unique collections – all of which highlight distinct elements of New Mexico's rugged terrain and spectacular flora. The Orchard Gardens are home ranks of fruit trees flanked by a beautiful green meadow garden, while the Ojos y Manos: Eyes and Hands boasts the century-old Kearny’s Gap Bridge. The best way to experience the wealth of natural biodiversity within the gardens is to take a free guided tour, which is offered daily by local experts. A Temporary Visitor’s Center and Garden Shop are open year-round for information and a range of garden items.
The Santa Fe Botanical Garden was founded in 1987 as a vision of a small group of local gardeners, botanists, and environmentally oriented citizens. As the botanical garden grew, it took on a 35-acre site with a spring-fed pond called the Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve, which is home to a remarkable diversity of fauna and flora, including riparian plants, birds, and invertebrates. In 2001, the 1,350-acre Ortiz Mountains Educational Preserve was acquired by the Santa Fe Botanical Garden, and in 2006, the Santa Fe Botanical Garden received 11 acres of land from the City of Santa Fe and created the Santa Fe Botanical Garden at Museum Hill.
The Santa Fe Botanical Garden is made up of the Santa Fe Botanical Garden at Museum Hill, the Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve, and the Ortiz Mountains Educational Preserve.
The Santa Fe Botanical Garden at Museum Hill
The Santa Fe Botanical Garden at Museum Hill features a Meadow Garden, a Shrub Rose and Lavender Walk, a North and South Ramada, Perennial Borders, a Meadow Garden Sculpture, and an Orchard. Ojos y Manos: Eyes and Hands presents a place to explore ethnobotany – the shared history of humans and plants in northern New Mexico – through hands-on experiences and observation. Designed by landscape architect W. Gary Smith, this interactive learning space will serve as the epicenter for the Garden’s educational programming, including art, cooking, science, and weaving. The area features two exploration places, three dedicated outdoor classrooms, and a 100-seat learning pavilion, along with tiered gardens for annual crops, and other ethnobotanical plantings.
The gardens also feature a network of walking trails set out on eight acres of the Arroyo de Los Pinos, including the Main Trail, which stretches from the Old Pecos Trail to the Orchard, Courtyard, and Naturalistic Gardens. Several secondary trails wind through the Arroyo de Los Pinos and meet the Main Trail in various spots.
The famous Kearny’s Gap Bridge has been relocated to the Santa Fe Botanical Garden at Museum Hill as a fitting tribute to the iconic New Mexican Bibb family. Built in 1913 by the Missouri Valley Bridge and Iron Company, the bridge is 62-foot long and 16-foot wide free-span, steel, subdivided Warren pony truss bridge and an iconic piece of history.
The Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve
Named after naturalist Leonora Scott Muse Curtin who came to New Mexico in 1889 and used locally grown herbs to treat the sick and injured, the Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve is a 35-acre nature preserve situated next to El Rancho de las Golondrinas in La Cienega. Located south of Santa Fe and home to a bountiful diversity of plants and wildlife, the Preserve features three distinct plant communities or zones, namely riparian/wetland, transitional, and dry uplands. Guided nature walks of the Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve are offered the first and third Saturday from 10:00 am, and no reservations are needed.
The Terence S. Terr Botanical and Horticultural Library is home to over 2,000 books on botany, horticulture, botanical history, regional flora, and landscaping, along with other literary treasures. The Library is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
The Santa Fe Botanical Garden offers a wide variety of educational programs for visitors of all ages, both of the sites, including the Santa Fe Botanical Garden at Museum Hill and the Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve. Adult programs include botany classes and workshops, garden tours, lectures, and guided hikes and walks, while youth and family programs include Garden Sprouts, Arts Alive!, Wetland Wanderings, Tuesday Family Mornings.
The Santa Fe Botanical Garden is located at 715 Camino Lejo in Santa Fe and is open to the public seven days a week from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm from April through October, and Thursday through Sunday from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm from November through March. The Garden Shop is located in the temporary Visitor Center at the front entrance to the Garden and sells a variety of books, garden tools, clothing and scarves, home décor, and garden-related gifts, all of which are inspired by the natural world.
715 Camino Lejo, Santa Fe, NM 87505, USA, website, Phone: 505-471-9103
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