There are beautiful gardens all over the United States, but west of the Mississippi things are different. You can find alpine flowers in the Rockies, desert plants througout Arizona and New Mexico and the Pacific Northwest has yet a completely different ecosystem.
Here are some of the best gardens west of the Mississippi that showcase the beauty that you can find in the western United States.
Desert Botanical Gardens – Phoenix, Arizona
If you have been under the impression that the desert is devoid of plant life then you are about to have your illusions shattered. The garden strives to show all the different life you will find in the desert and the 145 acre show piece does just that. There are more than 50,000 species of plants found here. Check it out in the spring when the wildflowers bloom, you won’t be disappointed.
Denver Botanical Garden – Denver, Colorado
This place is truly unique as they have managed to combine education, plant life and art all in one place. Their conservation programs works to protect natural habitats, using outreach and education. Throughout the garden there are landscape paintings and sculptures all framed around nature. The have a Japanese garden complete with a tea house that was brought over from Japan and put together by Japanese artists.
San Francisco Botanical Gardens – San Francisco, California
Located in Golden Gate Park, the San Francisco Botanical Gardens are absolutely wondrous. If you get the opportunity visit here between mid January until March when the magnolias are blooming. The sight and smell are incredible, the rich scent surrounded by the pink and white blooms. You will also find here a flower conservatory, a Japanese garden and of course a grove of towering redwoods…it is California after all.
Ganna Walska Lotusland – Santa Barbara, California
Created by the Polish opera singer Madame Ganna Walska she took her collection of plants and made art. While you can argue that all gardens are works of art and you would be right but Madame Walska took it to a whole new level. On 37 acres you will find a theater garden, a butterfly garden, water lilies, lotuses, a Japanese garden. There are some intriguing features like the water stairs and the horticulture clock. The garden also serves to educate with their Fourth Grade Outreach Program, it serves all fourth grade students in Santa Barbara County.
Lan Su Chinese Garden – Portland, Oregon
The name literally translates to “Garden of Awakening Orchids” and the Lan Su Gardens is a must see for horticultural enthusiasts. The city of Portland teamed up with its sister city Suzhou to create a masterpiece. They have a collection of plants and perennials that manage to combine architectural landscaping with exquisite art.
If you get the opportunity do spend a day or two at each of these gardens, they are some of the best gardens west of the Mississippi.e