News & Press

New Gardens Join Reciprocal Admissions Program

The American Horticultural Society is pleased to welcome seven new gardens to its Reciprocal Admissions Program for 2021. A current membership card from the American Horticultural Society (join now) or from a garden participating in our Reciprocal Admissions Program (RAP) entitles you to special admission privileges and discounts* at 330+ gardens throughout North America! While it may still be premature to travel, it’s never to early to start planning! Read on to learn more about the new gardens that you may want to add to your travel itinerary. Search the map for all gardens participating in 2021.

  • The UCLA Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden is a 7.5 acre public garden, outdoor classroom, and research facility on the UCLA campus in Los Angeles, California. Named for former professor and director of the garden and renowned authority on plants in the carrot family, the Botanical Garden is a living museum, featuring a diverse collection of plants from around the world. The Garden seeks to inspire environmental and cultural appreciation of plants and their relationship to society through education, research, and public outreach. The garden’s beautiful setting fosters health and tranquility for the community and visitors.
  • Celebrating Oklahoma’s native son, actor, humorist, and social commentator, the Will Rogers Gardens have been in use since the 1930’s as a horticultural showplace and production facility of approximately 32 acres, devoted to providing public beauty and horticultural education. A collaborative plan between the Oklahoma City Parks Department and National Park Service, and implemented by Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and Works Progress Administration (WPA), created a naturalistic landscape of small lakes, rolling hills, curving paths, and arboretum, specialty gardens for roses, iris, daylilies, peonies, herbs, cannas, and many structures built from native red sandstone. The horticultural components contain many beautiful display gardens created and maintained for the purpose of edifying and educating the visiting public.
  • Established by former AHS Liberty Hyde Bailey Award recipient John Fairey in 1971, The John Fairey Garden (formerly Peckerwood Garden) is an extraordinary preservation garden on 39 acres near Hempstead, Texas. The garden is widely acclaimed for the originality of its design, its education and conservation programs, and its exceptional collection of over 3,000 plants, including many endangered and rare plants from Mexico, North America, and Asia. Over the decades, the Garden has focused on collecting plants from certain geographic regions and from certain plant groups. Its Mexico and Texas collections are extensive, as are its collections of oak and mahonia. Far beyond just organizational concepts, these collections are representative of plants that have survived the trials of Texas climate and made sense in the themes of John Fairey’s landscape designs.
  • Once the estate of RJ and Katharine Reynolds, Reynolda Gardens of Wake Forest University is a 134-acre center for community recreation and exploration in Winston Salem, in the North Carolina Piedmont region. Visitors are invited to explore Reynolda Gardens during daylight hours year-round. The formal gardens have been restored to the appearance of the early twentieth century plans, combining historic plants with new introductions; and historic design with the best modern horticultural practices. The Conservatory display of exotic plants and working greenhouses full of plants for the gardens and for sale educate and inspire children and adults. Woodland trails beckon birders and runners; a wetland and a meadow of Piedmont native plants provide habitat for wildlife and endless possibilities for enjoying and learning about nature.
  • Wood County Arboretum & Botanical Gardens in Quitman, Texas covers 23 acres. Visitors can enjoy numerous flower and rose gardens including a sensory garden, a waterwise garden, a butterfly garden, and a succulent garden. The property includes a gazebo, a pergola and shade garden, a flagpole and honorarium for fallen soldiers, with benches and statuary throughout. and the historic Stinson House, built in 1869.  The gardens are open year round and are free to the public.

 

  • Located in Maple Valley, Washington (about 30 miles from Seattle), the Lake Wilderness Arboretum is a public garden with 42 acres of forest trails and display gardens. The Arboretum is is a community retreat and an outdoor classroom for nature lovers of all ages. Foot trails meander through the 42 acres of natural forests; grounds also include rock, woodland, and ethnobotanical gardens and a children’s discovery forest. The Arboretum is home to two of the largest collections of western deciduous azaleas and hardy fuchsias in the world.

 

  • The gardens of the Landcraft Garden Foundation in Mattituck, New York (near the tip of Long Island) surround a restored 1840s farmhouse. Garden rooms, hedged in by hornbeam and boxwood, feature various themed gardens within. Additionally, there is a vegetable/herb garden, a formal knot garden, several bog plantings, meadow gardens, and a woodland shade areas. Many of the plantings throughout contain tropicals, subtropicals, tender perennials, and annuals. There are a handful of hardy palms and a large grove of Musa basjoo, the hardy banana. The house and gardens are encircled by ten acres of rehabilitated meadows with mowed paths for viewing native plants and wildlife. The meadows contain grasses, perennials, and shrubs that provide a habitat to deer, fox, groundhogs, rabbits, box turtles, wild turkeys, and many other birds and insects.

News & Press

Explore Lush Gardens Across the Country Via RAP Garden Virtual Tours

Want to tour a botanic garden or arboretum in your neck of the woods or across the country without setting foot out of your home? Now you can, thanks to the virtual tours developed by many of our 330+ Reciprocal Admissions Program gardens.

Following are several gardens offering virtual tours. Did we miss one? Let us know by contacting education@ahsgardening.org, and we’ll add it to the list!

Atlanta Botanical Garden: Lou Glenn Children’s Garden Tour

Birmingham Botanical Gardens: Spring Highlights and Japanese Garden

Botanic Garden of Smith College (Northampton, Mass.): TreeSpeak Tour

Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens (Buffalo, N.Y.): A Glance at the Gardens

Cape Fear Botanical Garden (Fayetteville, N.C.): Virtual Tour of the Garden

Cheekwood Estate & Gardens (Nashville, Tenn.): Cheekwood in Bloom 2020

Chicago Botanic Garden: Virtual Tour of Summer

Conservatory of Flowers (San Francisco): Conservatory of Flowers Virtual Tour 

Cranbrook House & Gardens (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.): Virtual Tour

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden: Virtual Garden Tours

Descanso Gardens (La Canada Flintridge, Calif.): Descanso Digital Tours

Hatcher Garden (Spartanburg, S.C.): Virtual Tour

Heritage Museums & Gardens (Sandwich, Mass.): Virtual Collections 

Huntsville Botanical Garden (Huntsville, Ala.): Virtual Garden Tour

Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens (Richmond, Va.): A Virtual Visit

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (Sarasota, Fla.): Bringing Selby Gardens to You

Missouri Botanical Garden (St. Louis, Mo.): Virtual Garden Tour 

Museum of the Shenendoah Valley (Winchester, Va.): Virtual Garden Tour

Newfields Horticultural Society (Indianapolis, Ind.): Virtual Tour of the Gardens at Newfields

New York Botanical Garden (The Bronx, N.Y.): Read & Watch

Reiman Gardens (Ames, Iowa): Reiman Early Spring Flowers

State Botanical Garden of Georgia (Athens, Ga.): Virtual Tour of the Garden 

Tower Hill Botanic Garden (Boylston, Mass.): Daffodil Fields and Signs of Spring 

Tudor Place (Washington, D.C.): Virtual House Tour

U.S. Botanic Garden (Washington, D.C.): Google Map Tour

U.S. National Arboretum (Washington, D.C.): Spring at the National Arboretum

Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark (Dayton, Ohio): Google Map Tour 

Wilson Botanical Gardens (Wilson, N.C.): The Children’s Secret Garden

News & Press

Six Ways to Virtually Connect With AHS’s RAP Gardens

Visiting public gardens is enjoyable at any time of the year but can be an especially magical event in the spring when blooms are bursting, and gardens are awash with color. While the coronavirus has shuttered the gates of most public gardens and arboreta, that doesn’t mean you can’t engage with them. In fact, many of the American Horticultural Society’s (AHS) 330+ Reciprocal Admissions Program gardens offer a variety of opportunities for remote experiences. Here are some ideas for experiencing RAP gardens while sheltering in place — or taking a break from work from home (WFH) — depending on your visitor personality.

 

1. For Casual Tourists: Do you enjoy visiting gardens to see what’s new or newly in bloom? Selby Gardens Dali exhibitThe Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens offers a virtual tour. The United States Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C. and Dayton, Ohio’s Cox Arboretum offer Google tours that allow you to take a virtual stroll, or scroll, through the gardens. Watch short clips from Marie Selby Gardens (Sarasota, Fla.) about their new Salvador Dali exhibit, “Gardens of the Mind,” which highlights the artist’s use of botanical imagery alongside a surreal display of tropical plants.

2. For In-Depth Scholars: For those who prefer a guided garden tour or enjoy reading interpretive signage, Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago offers a digital tour on Art and Architecture and one entitled Golden Hour, which celebrates its 2020 Spring Flower Show. Denver Botanic Gardens has several digital tours of their gardens and collections (from dye plants to palms), or you can create your own tour by selecting plants and garden features.

3. For Contemplative Types: Some gardens serve as a respite from the daily grind — a place for wandering, meditating, and contemplating. Enjoy a moment of Zen with the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Va. via drone footage of its cherry blossoms (see embedded YouTube clip below). Combine your contemplative practice with creativity via a downloadable coloring page (it’s not just for kids!) from the plant collections of The New York Botanical Garden or Denver Botanic Gardens. Post a pic of your masterpiece to Twitter using the hashtag #ColorOurCollections.

4. For Newbies to WFH: River Farm spring 2020Do you need a diversion from your new WFH situation? Check in on Mr. President and The First Lady – the bald eagles at the U.S. National Arboretum — via webcam feed or check out the arboretum’s blooms on Flickr. Phoenix, Arizona’s Desert Botanical Garden, Washington State’s Bellevue Botanical Garden, and many other gardens – including the American Horticultural Society’s River Farm — post beautiful botanical images to the Flickr community.

5. For Hands-On Learners: Were you registered for a workshop at your local garden, but it got cancelled? Online help is here! The Missouri Botanical Garden has a wealth of visual guides, including ones like “Propagating Plants by Cuttings,” “Renovating an Indoor Houseplant,” and “Starting Plants From Seed Indoors.” Craving a more creative outlet? Construct a green-roofed birdhouse with instructions from Smithsonian Gardens.

6. For Volunteers: Is volunteering for your local garden part of your routine (or do you suddenly have additional time in your daily schedule)? For those of you who want to engage in a productive way, consider a virtual volunteering gig. The New York Botanical Garden is crowdsourcing a volunteer effort to transcribe the papers of Dr. John Torrey, a preeminent 19th century American botanist. Or join the cadres of citizen scientists — individuals that participate in scientific data-collection projects. The Chicago Botanic Garden’s Budburst is one such project that calls on citizen scientists to make careful observations of the timing of plant life cycle events.

 

News & Press

Five Gardens Join AHS’s Reciprocal Admissions Program

Five more gardens have joined the American Horticultural Society’s (AHS) Reciprocal Admissions Program (RAP), which provides AHS members with special admission privileges and discounts at more than 330 gardens throughout North America.

You’ll find information on all five of these gardens on our searchable RAP map. Please make sure to call ahead or visit the websites of RAP gardens before planning a visit, as many of them are closed for the time being.

The newest RAP gardens include:

News & Press

February 2020 Featured RAP Garden: Magnolia Plantation & Gardens

This month, we’re featuring Magnolia Plantation & Gardens in Charleston, S.C. as the American Horticultural Society’s (AHS) Reciprocal Admissions Program (RAP) Garden of the Month. 

Founded in 1676, Magnolia Plantation is the oldest public gardens in America, having opened its doors to visitors 150 years ago. The gardens contain a variety of flowers, including camellias, daffodils, azaleas, and countless other species in bloom year-round.

On March 7, Magnolia will officially open the 2020 season of its Children’s Garden and kick off its Forest School series with an event called “Flower Power!” Among other activities, kids of all ages will hear from a flower scientist about the power of flowers to grow from seeds and about the parts of a flower.

One week later, Magnolia will hold its Spring Market & Symposium featuring the theme: “A Fresh Perspective: Gardens with a World of Inspiring Plants.” Visitors will enjoy workshops, demonstrations, a market, and plant sale.

AHS members residing at least 90 miles from Magnolia Plantation & Gardens receive free entry to the gardens, as well as discounts on educational programs and select special events.

News & Press

January 2020 Featured RAP Garden: Ashton Gardens at Thanksgiving Point

Our Reciprocal Admissions Program (RAP) Garden of the Month for January is Ashton Gardens at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah.

An oasis in the desert, Ashton Gardens features 55 acres of stately gardens and the largest manmade waterfall in the western hemisphere. Visitors can stroll through the 15 themed gardens to enjoy the cascading fountains in the Italian Gardens, visit the “I Am the Light of the World” sculpture garden, get a bird’s eye view of the gardens from the Vista Garden, feed the fish at Koi View Pier, and discover the Secret Garden.

AHS members residing at least 90 miles from Ashton Gardens get free admission to them. The gardens will reopen for the 2020 season on March 28.

Learn more about our RAP gardens.

News & Press

AHS Adds 10 New Reciprocal Admissions Program Gardens for 2020

AHS members now have access to special admissions privileges and discounts at more than 330 gardens nationwide through our Reciprocal Admissions Program (RAP).

The 10 newest gardens to join RAP in 2020 include Durango Botanic Gardens in Durango, Colorado; Connecticut College Arboretum in New London, Connecticut; Hills and Dales Estate in LaGrange, Georgia; Hauberg Estate in Rock Island, Illinois; Oak Park Conservatory in Oak Park, Illinois; Native Plant Trust in Framingham, Massachusetts; Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, Nebraska; Bedrock Gardens in Lee, New Hampshire; Constable Hall Gardens in Constableville, New York; and Haverford College Arboretum in Haverford, Pennsylvania.

For more information about RAP and to pre-order a print copy of the 2020 RAP guide — scheduled for shipping in early February — visit our RAP Garden page. To gain access to this valuable membership benefit, join AHS

News & Press

New Gardens added to the AHS Reciprocal Admissions Program

The American Horticultural Society’s Reciprocal Admissions Program (RAP) now comprises more than 320 gardens, arboreta, and other cultural sites, thanks to the addition this year of several new sites. RAP began in 1990 to encourage visitation to the wealth of gardens and green spaces across North America. A current membership card from the AHS or any of the participating sites entitles you to benefits such as free admission and special discounts. A complete list of participating sites for 2020 can be found at www.ahsgardening.org/rap. Printed RAP Guides are also available for purchase.