The Idaho Botanical Garden is located at 2355 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise, Idaho 83712. Telephone number is 208-343-8649, Toll Free is 877-527-8233. The Botanical Garden is open Monday thru Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Friday 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. These hours are for the months of May through October. There are summer special hours (through September) of Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The Idaho Botanical Garden first began as a mission to stimulate interest in, appreciation for, and an understanding of gardening, horticulture, botany and conservation of natural resources. Christopher Davidson, Ph.D. in Botany brought together the Garden’s first Board of Directors in 1984. If you are interested in botanical gardens, the Idaho Botanical Garden would be a lovely place to add to your list of vacation ideas.

Today, the Botanical Garden is a living museum that provides visitors with stimulating experiences in nature featuring native and exotic plant communities, theme and display gardens, and education programs.

The Idaho Botanical Garden collections include:

• Alpine Garden which is rock garden troughs displaying a diverse collection of alpines.
• Children’s Garden is in the first phase
• Don Dick Outdoor Classroom is an arena-shaped grass outdoor classroom surrounded by trees.
• Garden Woods consists of trees planted by Old Idaho State Penitentiary inmates creating an inviting forest and providing shade to the picnic grounds.
• Herb Garden contains plants rich in legend and lore as well as being flavorful and fragrant.
• Herbaceous Border & Historical Iris Collection contains Dykes Medal Iris varieties located parallel to the English Garden.
• The Jane Falk Oppenheimer Heirloom Rose Garden features Heirloom and other old-style roses in a traditional perennial setting.
• Labyrinth Garden is Celtic labyrinth that aids meditation.
• Lewis & Clark Native Plant Garden features plants described by Meriwether Lewis in his journals.
Meditation Garden has many nooks and crannies north of the Children’s Garden.
• Muriel and Diana Kirk English Garden was designed by world-renowned English landscape architect John Brookes.
• Outlaw Field is where an inmate team called the “The Outlaws,” formed and played baseball games in the 1930s.
• Peony Collection was planted in 1992 as a memorial to the parents of one of the Garden’s most ardent supporters, Margaret Tillotson
• Water Feature is home to goldfish, lilies, iris, frogs, aquatic insets and occasional water fowl.

Public Events include:

• The Fall Symposium on Saturday, November 3, 2007. Topics will include what to plant, where to get it, how the conditions compare to other areas, how to use less water and still have lovely, vibrant gardens and more (very helpful to local residents).
• Winter Garden aGlow on November 22nd, 25th and 30th, December 7th and January 5th. The hours are 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Admission price is $6 for adults, $4 for children 4 to 12 years of age and $4 for members.

The Winter Garden aGlow event will feature a display of color and light in the Garden, artistically arranged and beautifully designed. They will be serving hot refreshments and cookies while the bonfires roar in a holiday atmosphere.

Visitors can stroll through the Garden grounds that will have artistically hung thousands of sparkling lights. Other special features include hot cocoa, hot mulled wine or cider for a donation, holiday music, and fire barrels located throughout the grounds. Santa Claus and his reindeer will be present along with some hot roasted chestnuts and live entertainment.

Special Events

The Idaho Botanical Garden is a beautiful and unique setting for birthday and anniversary parties, weddings, receptions, and office meetings. There are special rate packages available for garden clubs and youth groups, meetings for non profit organizations, reunions, clubs, and other organizations in addition to private or commercial use of the Gardens. For more information call 208-343-8649.

Source: The Idaho Botanical Garden Guide

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© 2007 Connie Limon All Rights Reserved

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