View by Season

Spring Garden Visits


Public gardens that feature or contain collections of wildflowers are in blossom in early spring. Wildflowers known as spring ephemerals put on their display before trees leaf out, after which they are often left in shadier conditions the rest of the growing season. Collections of crabapples, azaleas and lilacs are all impressive in spring and early summer. Rock gardens featuring alpine plants typically put on a flush of spring blossoms. Late spring or early summer can be the moment in Japanese gardens when typical plant materials (plum, redbud, lilac and iris) are blooming. Many public gardens also plant bulbs (tulips, daffodils, etc.) for spring display. 

Summer Garden Visits


This is prime time for almost all public gardens, but particularly the high point for rose gardens. All Public Gardens are Worth a Visit at This Time!

Summer is the peak season for roses in particular:

Fall Garden Visits


Public gardens featuring trees which display autumn leaf-color changes can be spectacular in fall. Also, ornamental grasses or fall blossoming plants such as dahlias, asters and chrysanthemums are of particular interest during this season. Gardens that include vegetables will be in harvest mode in early fall.

Winter Garden Visits


The best public gardens to visit in winter are glass houses and conservatories, since these public gardens are immune to seasonal changes. Another option is to visit good-sized arboretums having collections of trees that can be appreciated even in their leafless, wintery state. Certain arboretums also have cross country skiing trails which route visitors through their tree collections.