Located in Memphis, Tennessee, the Memphis Botanic Garden is comprised of more than 96 breathtaking acres containing 29 specialty gardens. The garden aims to educate and entertain visitors of all ages about various plant species, gardening, and conservation.
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The land that the Memphis Botanic Garden calls home has quite a long history – one that dates all the way back to the founding of Memphis in 1819. The land was once owned by a well-to-do family by the name of Buntyn. The family became quite successful owners of a cotton plantation that grew from a small parcel of land to a whopping 40,000 acres.
Through the years, the Buntyn family built two gorgeous homes and tended to the property lovingly until the town of Memphis began to build roads and railroads through the property. In 1947, the City of Memphis officially bought the land from the Buntyn family trust and established a city park.
The park itself has had many different names over the years and the surrounding land now includes a golf course. However, the creation of the Botanic Garden began sometime in 1953, when 2,500 iris rhizomes were donated to the park, and in 1957 the arboretum was established. These two major events started to shape the Botanic Garden into what they are today – a world-class destination with gorgeous gardens.
Arboretum: The design of the W.C. Paul Arboretum began in 1957 by landscape architect George Madlinger. There are now more than 170 species of trees, some more than 50 years old, encompassing the entire 96 acres of the Botanic Garden.
Asian Garden: The Asian Garden aims to transport visitors to East Asia through the experience of the landscape. This garden features plants from many East Asian countries, including China, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan.
Azalea Trail: The Madlinger Azalea Trail features dozens of varieties of colorful blooming azaleas along a shady dirt path.
Blue Star Marker: This marker was dedicated in 2007 to honor the United States Armed Forces. It is positioned on the corner of Park Avenue and Cherry Road in an American flag-themed garden designed by Suzy Askew.
Butterfly Garden: The Anne Heard Stokes Butterfly Garden features a variety of blooming flowers that attract many species of butterflies and insects. Visitors can stroll through this lively garden and see all kinds of wildlife, including hummingbirds, herons, turtles, and fish.
Camellia Collection: This garden features evergreen trees and shrubs with a large variety of blooming camellias.
Conifer Collection: This garden features cone-bearing and needled evergreens that are typically rare to the Memphis area.
Container Garden: This central garden features flowers and shrubs planted in oversized containers. There are interesting border beds, benches, and a lovely picnic area.
Daylily Circle: The Thomas Trotter Daylily Garden features more than 500 different daylilies and has been awarded national prizes for its quality.
Daffodil Hill: This garden has more than 300,000 bright and colorful daffodils blooming all over the hillside. There are more than 117 different varieties on display.
Delta Heritage Garden: This garden is meant to engage visitors with the story of the Mississippi Delta through plants.
Desert Garden: This cactus and succulent garden features all kinds of plants, specifically xeric plants, which flourish in desert-like conditions.
Dogwood Trail: A large collections of American and kousa dogwoods bloom along this trail in the month of April.
Four Seasons Garden: This formal garden introduces visitors to uncommonly used plants and arrangements. There is a gorgeous fountain at the back of this garden to enjoy.
Herb Garden: This garden features more than 300 threatened or endangered plants from around the world.
Nature Photography Garden: This garden is currently closed.
Holly Collection: This garden has one of the most extensive collections of holly in any public garden. The entire collection was donated in 1997 by Barbara Taylor.
Hosta Trail: Established in 1999, this garden is one of only two gardens in the United States with a certified hosta collection.
Prehistoric Plant Trail: This trail is for children to run, play, and explore. There are statues of dinosaurs, stone caves, and a sand pit for discovering fossils.
Hydrangea Garden: There are more than 35 varieties of hydrangea planted throughout the garden.
Iris Garden: This garden is the one that started them all. In 1953, more than 2,500 iris rhizomes were donated by Mrs. Morgan Ketchum. This area is covered in circular flower beds filled with a large variety of irises.
Japanese Garden: The Japanese Garden of Tranquility is one of the most photographed areas in Memphis. It boasts a large variety of Japanese trees, flowers, sculptures, and religious items.
Living Wall: This wall contains names of the gardens’ donors and is meant to enclose the concert area.
Magnolia Trail: There are more than 300 magnolia trees planted throughout the garden and they begin flowering in February and last through the summertime.
My Big Backyard: This area is an interactive, hands-on area for children to explore and learn about nature. There are a variety of tours and camps held in this area all year round.
Rose Garden: This picturesque garden features hundreds of roses along a brick-lined path. It is the perfect place to host a wedding or large event.
Sensory Garden: This garden is designed for visitors with special needs.
Sculpture Garden: A collection of sculptures are on display throughout this garden.
Water Garden Room: This room features a large indoor summer water garden. It is filled with pebbles, succulents, and large crystal-clear pools of standing water.
Wildflower Woodland: This area is maintained and allowed to bloom naturally. It contains an abundance of wildflowers, shrubs, and trees.
Memphis Botanic Garden, 750 Cherry Road Memphis, TN 38117, Phone: 901-636-4100