Smelling the flowers in our Midwest botanical gardens

Botanical gardens
Chinese lanterns lit the night sky at St. Louis’ Missouri Botanical Garden in 2015.

Spring is in full bloom. So are the flowers and plants in our area. We thought we’d take a look at the botanical gardens available to Midwesterners to take in nature’s beauty. Lisa and I realized we’ve been to quite a few during our travels wound the Midwest. I know we’ll see more gardens as we do more traveling. Botanical gardens always rank high with us on our travels.

Botanical gardens allow an oasis of natural beauty in city settings. They are popular attractions for visitors and locals, alike.

The gardens offer more than just pretty florals or cute plants. The gardens are often hosts to special exhibits, such as giant Legos figures in the shape of animals, statues representing wild animals, glass-blown art or even Chinese lantern designs.

Botanical gardens
A sleeping bear was part of the “Wild” animals “roaming” Omaha’s Lauritzen Gardens in 2015.

Here’s a look at a few Midwestern botanical gardens.

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum offers visitors more than 1,100 acres of flowers, plants, trails, shrubs and trails. The arboretum is one of the most beautiful we’ve ever seen.

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Minnesota arboretum.

Driving the gardens is a must. There are plenty of areas to park and take walks along trails or through gardens. Minnesota is a beautiful, natural state, and the University of Minnesota’s arboretum adds to the beauty.

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Nice trail at Minnesota arboretum.

An outstanding sculpture garden is located almost in the middle of the arboretum. The sculptures are impressive.

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Minnesota’s sculpture garden has some beautiful work displayed.

Missouri Botanical Garden

Not to be outdone, the Missouri Botanical Gardens in St. Louis is the nation’s oldest arboretum still in operation. It was founded in 1859.

Botanical gardens
Missouri’s botanical garden is in St. Louis.

The Climatron is the first geodesic dome used as a conservatory. It is used to house tropical plants and flowers. It’s open year round.

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St. Louis’ Climatron is a very interesting area to visit.

The Missouri Garden offers several attractive areas, including Japanese Garden, rose garden, a garden dedicated to George Washington Carver and Tower House Garden.

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Beautiful garden at the Missouri Botanical Gardens

During one of our visits, we encountered a family of ducks that was very comfortable around humans. The family roamed the sidewalk and bridge over a pond.

Botanical gardens
A duck family seemed undisturbed by the humans around them in St. Louis.

Powell Gardens near Kansas City

In the western area of Missouri, the Powell Gardens give visitors a lot of beautiful views over 900 acres. Located about 50 minutes from downtown Kansas City, Powell Gardens offers wetlands, several flower gardens and plant attractions.

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Kansas City’s Powell Gardens is an impressive arboretum.

A unique chapel sits near a lake. It was designed by Fay Jones, who studied under the great Frank Lloyd Wright.

Botanical gardens
This chapel is beautiful.

Overland Park Arboretum

We visited Overland Park’s botanical garden during autumn. Lisa is a huge leafing fan, so she had had a great time. OK, we both had a fun time.

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Overland Park’s botanical garden was beautiful in the fall. we look forward to checking it out during the summer.

The botanical garden is a neat place to walk. The trails are laid out well and are easily negotiable. The artwork challenged the natural beauty. A statue represents Monet painting a scene at the lake, with a willow tree as part of the scenery.

Botanical gardens
This is an elaborate sculpture display at Overland Park.

About 85 percent of the park’s 300 acres is set aside for development of the eight ecosystems represented at the arboretum.

Dubuque Arboretum

Dubuque, Iowa, packs a lot of beauty in to its arboretum’s 52 acres. The Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Garden combine floral beauty, wildlife scenery and veterans recognition.

As you enter the botanical garden, you see the veterans memorial. I loved the design they used to create the memorial.

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Dubuque’s veterans memorial is impressive.

Dubuque has several smaller gardens as part of the attraction, including hostas, annuals, deciduous, English, Japanese, perennials and rose.

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Dubuque’s gardens have several attractive flowers and plants.

There is plenty of wildlife that can be seen throughout the garden, including birds, rabbits and ground squirrels.

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Ground squirrel. Shy?

Clear Lake’s Central Gardens

Clear Lake is home to the Central Gardens of North Iowa. The botanical is small, but offers visitors a nice view of several types of flowers and plants.

Botanical gardens
Clear Lake has a small, but attractive botanical garden.

The garden area is a great place to take a stroll, not far from the lake. It’s also the site of a lot of weddings and photo sessions.

Botanical gardens
Flowers are so beautiful.

Sunken Gardens in Lincoln

Closer to our home are the Sunken Gardens in Lincoln. Nebraska’s capital city has quite a few attractions, with one being the Sunken Gardens.

Botanical gardens
Lincoln’s Sunken Gardens has several floral arrangements.

The gardens were built in the 1930s as a way of getting men work during the Great Depression. Today, it’s home to beautiful flowers, including an amazing rose garden.

Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha

Omaha is our home base and we absolutely love the Lauritzen Botanical Gardens and Conservatory. About 100 acres welcome visitors to several flowers, including several types of roses. Trails, plants and other attractions await visitors.

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Omaha’s Lauritzen Gardens is a favorite of ours.

Lauriten added the conservatory in 2015. It added room for about 300 flowers, plants and trees representing tropical and temperate climates. The conservatory gives visitors options to visit the gardens year round.

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We are big fans of the new Omaha conservatory.

Lauritzen is home to a Christmas holiday tradition that displays hundreds of types of poinsettias, including a giant tree made from them.

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The holiday season in Omaha requires a visit to see the Christmas tree made of poinsettias.

Where ever you may live or travel, botanical gardens and arboretums offer beautiful attractions to visit. So, when someone says to stop and smell the flowers, you know you have plenty to choose from in the Midwest.