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PLACES TO VISIT CONIFERS

USA: East - Central - West -- Canada -- Europe: Continental - UK -- New Zealand
 
  USA East
 
 
 
 
   
 
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Arnold Arboretum
Boston MA

One of the most famous arboretums in the states. Make a visit in late October to see their amazing grove of mature Pseudolarix.

 
 
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Bartlett Arboretum
Stamford, CT
 
 
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Brookside Gardens
Wheaton, MD
 
 
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Chanticleer
Philadelphia, PA

This is THE ONE !! No matter where in the country you live (or even on another continent!) it is a MUST VISIT garden. It is the most cutting-edge garden in the NorthEast of the US. No doubt about it. Trust me. There is something every three feet to marvel at. Originally abounds. The paving, the furniture, the railings, and of course the plantings. And the knowledgeable, committed, and friendly gardeners. You'll feel welcome from the time you pay the piddly admission fee to the charming lady at the entrance. But make a note, the garden is not open year round. Check the website but it is normally open Wednesday through Sunday, April to October. Allow at least four hours. And then go to the Scott Arboretum not far away.
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Cox Arboretum
Canton, GA
 
 
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Dawes Arboretum
Newark, OH

Well-deserved fame for its outstanding collection.

 
 
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Gotelli Dwarf Conifer Collection
US National Arboretum, DC

This is, of course, the premier public collection and a "must visit" to see mature specimens of every genera that can be grown in zones 6-7. Remember it is part of the National Arboretum which is off route 50, just outside of DC. Do not confuse the National Arboretum with the National Botanic Garden!

And of course you will want to spend some meditative time viewing the National Bonsai Collection which is here also.

 
 
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Green Spring Gardens 

Alexandria, VA

Certainly worth visiting during different seasons. You are really lucky if you live nearby because they have a seemingly never-ending list of educational programs.

 
 
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Grounds for Sculpture     
Hamilton Township, NJ

But it is also the "grounds" for many mature specimens of unusual conifers providing background for the amazing sculptures. You'll need a half-day there at least. Oh, you did notice the Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Crippsii' in the picture, didn't you?    

 
 
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Holden Arboretum
Kirtland, OH
 
 
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JC Raulston Arboretum
Raleigh, NC
North Carolina State Univ
ersity
 
 
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Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden 
Richmond, VA    

 

A great garden with a great group of people involved. Lots of educational programs.

 
 
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Longhouse Reserve
East Hampton, NY

 
 
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Longwood Gardens
Kennett Square, PA

Although I have taught certificate courses here on Flowering Shrubs, Conifers, and Design in their very extensive adult continuing education program I have to admit the Gardens are more justly known for their outdoor and conservatory display gardens than a significant conifer collection. But you might ask a security guard if you can walk behind the Employee Parking Lot to see the amazing grove of Pinus bungeanas.

 
 
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Morris Arboretum
Philadelphia, PA

Wonderful collection of mature specimens. Part of the University of Pennsylvania so a decidedly academic approach.

 
 
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Old Westbury Gardens
Old Westbury, NY

Great for the partner who is keen on perennials and annuals. But you'll find enough conifers to include in your pictures.

 
 
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Pepsico
Purchase, NY

Visit Wave Hill the same day, about an hour away.

 
 
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Schnormeier Garden       
Gambier, OH

This is a little known large private garden was developed by the very knowledgeable Ted Schnormeier and his wife in less than two decades. It is breathtaking. Immaculately maintained. Wonderful Asian structures and influence. Imaginative use of dwarf conifers. It is open to the general public only a few days each summer. But perhaps, if you have some special conifer credentials and wrote a nice letter....

 
 
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Scott Arboretum
Swarthmore, PA

This arboretum occupies the large campus of the famous Swarthmore College. It is a liberal liberal arts college. Every stick on the campus is perfectly grown and correctly labeled. There are lots of special collections and imaginative container plantings in the various courtyards. A great green-certified Education Center. You'll probably want to visit during the gardening season when you can go to Chanticleer also, but if you are around in late February, their witch-hazel collection is impressive.

 
 
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Tower Hill Botanic Garden
Boylston, MA

Outside of Boston. Absolutely worth the effort to drive there. It is fabulous. Don't miss going here also if you are in the area to visit to the Arnold Arboretum.

 
 
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Tyler Arboretum
Media, PA
 
 
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United States Botanic Garden
Washington, DC

 
 
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Wave Hill
Bronx, NY

A magical place. You could also get to Pepsico the same day, about an hour away.

 
 
 
USA Central
 
 
 
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Bickelhaupt Arboretum
Clinton, Iowa

This is a must visit for any crazed coniferite. It is a huge collection (this is not really a "garden") of every genera of conifer that can be grown in that area. It was lovingly established over many years by the Bickelhaupt couple and has recently begun to establish itself as an public educational powerhouse. Wear comfortable shoes because you'll want to check out every specimen!

 
 
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Chicago Botanic Garden
Chicago, IL

There is so much to see here, I wouldn't know what to highlight. And if you live nearby, you'll want to take advantage of their terrific adult education opportunities.

 
 
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Hidden Lake Gardens
Tipton, Michigan
 
 
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Madison Arboretum
Madison, WI
 
 
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Missouri Botanical Garden
St. Louis, MO

This is a treasure. SO much to see. Extensive educational displays. Wonderful conifers all over, but that's beside the point. Oh, and a *great* bookstore. Their web site is a resource that every serious gardener should be familiar with.

 
 
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Obrich Botanical Gardens
Madison, WI

 
 
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Rotary Botanical Gardens
Janesville, WI

 
 
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University of Wisconsin Madison Department of Botany Botanical Garden
Madison, WI

 
 
 
 
USA West
 
       
 
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Bellevue Botanical Garden
Bellevue, WA

This botanic garden is completely maintained by volunteers and is fabulous. Don't miss it when you are in Seattle, it is only about 45 minutes north. The perennial border has always been its claim to fame, but when I was last there the garden/arboretum was expanding in all directions.

 
 
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Bloedel Reserve
Bainbridge Island, WA
 
 
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Denver Botanic Gardens
Denver, CO

A wonderful botanic garden with wonders to discover all over the place. And great for us garden travelers because it doesn't require renting a car; it can be reached easily by public transportation from downtown Denver.

 
 
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Hakone Japanese Garden
Saratoga, CA

Said to be the oldest Asian estate and gardens in the Western Hemisphere.

 
 
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Hoyt Arboretum
Portland, OR
 
 
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Japanese Tea Garden
San Francisco, CA

"The oldest public Japanese garden in the US". Sound familiar?

 
 
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Oregon Garden
Silverton, OR

The conifer collection is established by the Oregon Association of Nurseries and is immaculately maintained. It is a MUST visit for anyone interested in conifers. You won't want to leave and, anyhow, you'll need to wait for the sun to change position to get just the right shots. The rest of the garden is available for events.

 
 
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Strybing Arboretum
San Francisco CA
 
 
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When in California, go to Wine Country

Hey, while you are touring all these Botanical Gardens connected with the University of California, be sure to drive north of San Francisco and tour the wine country (you'll need a designated driver!)

 
 
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Canada
 
 
 
 
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Devonian Botanic Garden
Edmonton, Alberta
 
 
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Domaine de Maizerets
Quebec, Quebec
 
 
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Montreal Botanic Garden
Montreal, Quebec

This is another 'must visit' public garden. It is near the old olympic park location and is easy to get to by public transportation from downtown Montreal (subway stop Pie IX). Be prepared to spend hours and hours there and do a LOT of walking. It is huge! An you must go all the way to the upper end to the "Tree House" where there is always a wonderful and changing yearly exhibit. And that is where you will find the amazing bonsai collection.

 
 
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New Brunswick Botanical Garden
Edmundston, New Brunswick
 
 
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Van Dusen Botanical Gardens
Vancouver, BC

Great display gardens. Often really interesting temporary installations. And in BC, one is immersed in conifers.

 
 
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University of British Columbia Botanical Garden
Vancouver, BC

A notable collection. Unfortunately it was really stressed by a long hot dry season recently when I visited.

 
 
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Museum of Anthropology
University of British Columbia

Vancouver, BC

A museum? But this is a conifer site! Yes, you MUST visit this amazing museum. The First Nation Peoples of the Northwest built their culture around two conifers: Thuja plicata and Chamaecyparis nootkatensis. Here you will see the totems, long houses, boats, baskets, utensils, etc., all made from conifer wood. It's a riveting experience. And you can walk down the road a short distance and visit the Nitobe Japanese Garden.

 
 
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Europe Continental
 
 
 
       
       
 

Arboretum Kalmthout
Kalmthout, Belgium


 
 
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Berlin Botanic Garden
Berlin, Germany

Easy to get to by public transportation from Berlin Hauptbahnhof. No need to tell you that you shouldn't fail to visit.

 
 
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Bokrijk Arboretum
Bokrijk, Belgium
 
 
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Brno Botanical Garden   
Brno, Czech Republic

If you are going to Prague make your way to Brno. I took the best bus I've ever traveled in to Brno. Unfortunately the garden was closed the day I arrived. But a friendly horticulturist saw me trying to crawl over the tall wire fence and let me in. So I had the place to myself for hours. It's a great botanical garden. But check their days open before making the trip! The only problem with traveling in the Czech Republic is the Czech language which is totally incomprehensible. However the older folks know German and Russian and the young people, of course, speak English.

 
 

Domaine-de-Courson
Courson-Monteloup, France

A wonderful and unique place outside of Paris, where I was invited to give a talk in 2007, just the same month the Encyclopedia came out; their fall garden festival's theme was conifers. It is a magical place.

 
 
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Ellerhoop-Thiensen Arboretum
Ellerhoop, Germany

There is very little bus service here and the bus stop is a long walk from the arboretum entrance. So I suggest you take the train from Hamburg to Ellerhoop and then swing for a taxi from there. It is well worth the effort. But I got there before opening (as usual so the sun wouldn't be too high) and even my most pathetic glance and best German didn't get the gate unlocked before the little hand was at ten. But a great place; allow several hours.

 
 
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Greifswald Botanic Garden
Greifswald, Germany
 
 
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Hamburg Botanic Garden
Hamburg, Germainy

This is perhaps the best botanic garden I've every visited. I have spent so much time here I consider many of the trees my old friends. There is so much to see here you will want to allow at least four hours (provided you have comfortable shoes). It is easy to get to from Hamburg Hauptbahnhof: take the S1 to Klein Flotbek and walk a short distance from the stop. The first tree you'll see when you enter is a Sequoiadendrun...our native tree. In fact many of the public gardens I'm recommending in Germany make far better use of our native flora than you see stateside. I could write pages listing the wonders of this garden. And you won't find a chewing gum wrapper anywhere, or hear a boom box.

 
 
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Hermannshof   
Weinheim, Germany
 
 
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Herrenhausen Gardens   
Hannover, Germany

For your travel pictures of the formal estates of royalty with all the clipped hedges, fountains, and all. But make your way through the back gate to the allotment (Schreber) gardens for real interest. They go on and on, everyone different and interesting. You'll also find large sections of Schreber gardens around all the German cities and towns. There are many in Hamburg easy to get to by U-bahn.

 
 
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Munich Botanical Garden
Munich, Germany

A large Alpine garden and much else to see. If your partner likes roses they'll be happy they came along.

 
 
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Park der Gaerten    
Bad Zwischenahn, Germany

You MUST go here. You won't find it listed in the guidebooks and it's only open seasonally. I hardly know how to describe its wonders. If you could visit only one place in Germany, go here. You will find wonderful small gardens, an Asian garden, sculptures, educational displays, fountains, a large collection/display of mature conifers, most especially (pictured) a well-organized and labeled display of conifers installed by the famous Jeddeloh nursery. You will take the train from Hamburg and then a 15 euro taxi ride to the gardens. The nice ladies at the desk will call the taxi to pick you up when you are able to tear yourself away. Also, Bad Zwischenahn is a resort town loved by Germans and you might consider staying there and exploring further. The famous Bruns nursery is nearby and the there are many wonderful private gardens to snoop over the fence since so many people in the are involved with nurseries. <the soil in that area is amazing>. The private garden of Sabine Jeddeloh of the Jeddeloh Baumschule and the conifer displays at their nursery is spectacular, if you have any connections to visit it.

 
 
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Pinetum Blijdenstein
Hilversum, Netherlands
 
 
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Planten un Blomen
Hamburg, Germany

This garden (it is titled in Dutch--that is not misspelled German) is just north of downtown Hamburg. You can walk there or take the subway which stops across the street. It is huge and wonderful. Immaculate. Wonderful displays, a huge rose garden, a Japanese garden, public performance areas, and a great playground for children with many climbing adventures that would be unthinkable in our litigious country. Of course many mature Taxodiums and Sequoiadendruns....which you see all over northern Germany. A joy to see that it is used by all ages and treated with respect. Not a candy wrapper anywhere. An the well-behaved dogs are always present in gardens in Germany. Is there something in their water that makes them so obedient?
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Royal Gardens
Prague, Czech Republic

 
 
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Schreber Gardens
Near all cities and towns of Germany

 
 
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Trompenburg Arboretum
Rotterdam, NL
 
 
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Von Gimborn Arboretum
University of Utrecht, Netherlands
 
 
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Weihenstephan 
Freising, Germany
 
       
 
 
 
Europe UK
 
 
 
 
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Bressingham Gardens
Diss, Norfolk, UK
 
 
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Benmore Botanic Garden
Edinburgh, Scotland
 
 
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Castlewellan
Belfast, Northern Ireland
 
 
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Dawyck Botanic Garden
Edinburgh, Scotland
 
 
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Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Edinburgh, Scotland
 
 
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Savill Gardens
Englefield Green, UK
 
 
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Sheffield Park Gardens
Sheffield Park, E. Sussex, UK
 
 
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Westonbirt Arboretum
Tetbury, Glos, UK
 
 
 
  Australia and New Zealand    
       
   

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