The Top 10 Public Gardens to Visit in the Midwestern United States

Published: 18th September 2009
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For the past year I've been compiling a list of Public Gardens for a gardening website I run. These gardens all look like fantastic places to visit, but what are the most popular? I'll continue with this list for the Midwestern region of the United States. The Midwestern states are Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

The most popular public gardens (based on online chatter) in the beautiful Midwest are:

10. Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, Wisconsin

9. Munsinger and Clemens Gardens in Saint Cloud, Minnesota

8. International Peace Garden in Dunseith, North Dakota

7. Boerner Botanical Garden in Hales Corners, Wisconsin

6. Toledo Botanical Garden in Toledo, Ohio

5. Des Moines Botanical Center in Des Moines, Iowa

4. Chicago Botanic Garden in Chicago, Illinois

3. Green Bay Botanical Garden in Green Bay, Wisconsin

2. Cleveland Botanical Garden in Cleveland, Ohio

...and the most popular public garden in the Midwestern USA is...

1. Missouri Botanical Garden in Saint Louis, Missouri

Public Gardens not making my top 10 were Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, Nebraska; Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford, Illinois; McCrory Gardens in Brookings, South Dakota; Bradley Sculpture Garden in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; W. J. Beal Botanical Garden in East Lansing, Michigan; Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory in Fort Wayne, Indiana; Inniswood Metro Gardens in Westerville, Ohio; Foxfire Botanical Garden in Marshfield, Wisconsin; Mabery Gelvin Botanical Garden in Mahomet, Illinois; and Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve in Niles, Michigan.

We really have a fantastic mix of public gardens throughout the Midwest with seven states represented in the top ten, and Nebraska missing out by a only small margin. I always like to see these regional lists diverse in locations so that anyone living in or visiting a region has something nice near them, and this is about as good as it gets.

So get out there and visit some of these magnificent attractions, and be sure to take the time to smell the roses!

I compiled this list by searching for each public garden listed on a number of search engines and ranking them by the number of web pages, discussion forums, photos, videos, etc that are available online.

Check out my complete list of Public Gardens at

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