Today, on 12 May, Public Gardens in the United States are celebrating Public Garden Day with special events and activities for visitors to explore and support the local public garden.

The American Public Gardens Association is a professional organisation that supports public gardens to better serve the public while raising awareness for horticulture. Their vision is to create a world where public gardens are fundamental.

The annual tradition of celebrating public gardens happens on the Friday before Mother’s Day weekend. The day invites school, families and all other visitors to explore the beauty and diversity of their local green spaces and to take advantage of the educational resources these public gardens provide.

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Photo of New York Botanical Garden by Robert Benson

New York Botanical Garden, New York City in New York

The New York Botanical Garden is a living museum of plants, an educational institution and a renowned plant research and conservation organisation located in the Bronx. Founded in 1891 and now a National Historic Landmark, it is one of the greatest botanical gardens in the world and the largest in any city in the United States.

Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales in Florida

Voted best garden and considered a must see in Florida, Bok Tower Gardens is a National Historic Landmark located in Central Florida, 80km from Orlando, close to Lake Wales. The centrepiece of the gardens is the Singing Tower, which houses a 60-bell carillon set and is placed at the highest point of the park.

The Living Desert, Palm Desert in California

The zoo and gardens of The Living Desert are dedicated to desert conservation through preservation, education and appreciation. The gardens, more than 40, have over 1,400 different species of plants that show the diversity of plants growing in the harsh typical conditions of deserts. The Living Desert was one of the first public gardens to represent plants from a given geographical region.

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Photo by Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden

Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, Papaikou on the Big Island of Hawaii

The Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden is located in the Onomea Valley and was first discovered in 1977. The garden is a natural greenhouse and was created to preserve the nature and make the garden site a sanctuary. The gardens have scientific and educational purposes: they are used as a living seed bank and as a study centre for trees and plants of the tropical world.

Portland Japanese Garden, Portland in Oregon

The Portland Japanese Garden is a haven of serenity and tranquillity and is nestled in the scenic West Hills. This garden is considered the most authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan and is a top visitor destination in the state of Oregon. Besides the garden and its distinctive style, it’s also a centre for culture, art and education about Japan and hosts traditional Japanese festivals and art exhibitions throughout the year.

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Photo by Portland Japanese Garden

Website: American Public Garden Association – Public Gardens Day