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The Memphis Botanic Garden – Children’s Garden – Herb Garden & more!

The Memphis Botanic Garden in Memphis, Tennessee gives visitors a chance to connect with nature in a relaxing and enjoyable way.

Sculptures, plants and water all coordinate beautifully in this lovely botanical garden.

The botanic garden offers lush walking trails with plenty of tall trees to shade visitors from the hot summer sun.

The garden features several long loops to lead visitors towards themed garden areas that will appeal to all tastes and interests.

If you are traveling with children and looing for things to do in Memphis, this botanical garden has many areas which will keep them occupied for hours.

Scenic walk at the Memphis Botanic Garden.

Traveling with children? The Memphis Botanic has The Prehistoric Plant Trail and My Big Backyard that the kids will love. Join me for a virtual tour. Click To Tweet

Touring the Memphis Botanic Gardens

My husband and I are spending a few weeks this summer touring botanical gardens in the Mid-West and Northern part of the USA. The day we spent at Memphis Botanic Gardens treated us to a true garden treasure!

The Memphis Botanic Gardens feature 96 acres of beautiful gardens featuring all types of plants and many different sculptures and theme gardens.

Water garden scene with trees.

No matter the type of gardening that you enjoy, there is something here to interest you. Annuals, perennials, roses and bulbs abound, and are extremely well cared for. For those interested in botanical names, there are plenty of labels to educate you.

The gardens feature many landscaped beds with water features, several walkways and a host of garden sculptures and statues that are sure to delight.

Themed gardens to explore

These lovely botanic gardens celebrate the combination of nature and art in a seamless way. Themed gardens from “My Big Backyard” to a “Prehistoric Plant Trail” offer gardens that will delight the children, and are both inspiring and educational.

The Sculpture Garden

As you enter the gardens, several impressive sculptures and statues await you. The sculptures are modern and several of them make nice transitions from one garden area to another.

Two that impressed me were a scrolling sculpture that was part of an actual handrail. Another was a series of birds in flight that formed an arbor on a pathway to another area of the gardens.

Sculpture of birds in flight in a botanical garden.

My Big Back Yard – children’s garden

This area of the Memphis Botanic Gardens really appealed to my inner child. My husband and I have visited several children’s gardens around the country, but this is one of the best!

Small whimsical areas combine plants with items normally found in the home, such as a bed, bathtub, a cooking range, and other common household pieces of furniture.

This area shows that nature is anyone’s playground!

Plants growing in a bathtub at the Memphis Botanic Gardens.

Reminding one of a childhood story, a yellow door marked “secret passageway” leads visitors through a rustic pathway lined with cute gardening sayings and quotes from literature on the walls of the tunnel.

The tunnel leads to a splashing pool that your child will love to wade in.

Yellow door and garden quotes in a collage.

This colorful area is both beautiful and instructional.

Kids will enjoy the big yellow treehouse, and the fairy house will delight both the children and the young at heart.

A large sitting area with a metal roof gives opportunities for on the spot science teaching. Another area called the Plants Pantry had tiny doors to teach children that most items in the grocery store come from plants.

Wooden cabinet teaching exhibit.

On a rainy day the roof makes a delightful racket.

The gutters come down from the roof, feeding water barrels and then the water barrels feed an estuary.

There is lots of fun for everyone in My Big Backyard!

The Woodland Trail

While this area does contain a steam that wanders through it, the stream was dry when we visited.

Large deciduous trees line beautiful walkways that shelter visitors from the scorching heat.

Signs indicate the presence of poison ivy, so walking in the center of the pathway is suggested.

Paved woodland trail at Memphis Botanic Garden

The woodland trail is meant to show visitors what a natural woodland in the Southeastern United States looks like.

Japanese Garden

Japanese themed gardens are always a favorite of mine. I love their simplicity and peaceful settings.

The Japanese Garden, complete with a curving big red bridge over a lake is a very popular spot with photographers in the Memphis area.

Red curved bridge over a pond

The gardens were designed by Dr. P, T. Tono of Tokyo Japan.

Turtles, Canada geese and koi fish (which you can feed) are abundant inhabitants of the lake. The koi fish are particularly hungry and always waiting for a tidbit to be thrown their way.

Koi fish in a pond.

Both regional native plants and Japanese varieties add to the serene feeling of this part of the botanic garden. It is a wonderful area to sit and meditate, and to enjoy the surrounding scenery.

Shade Garden

The shade garden boasts and impressive collection of hostas, hellebores and other shade loving plants.

The caladiums along rustic wooden railings mark the entrance to this area of the garden and their colors were magnificent when we visited.

A bed of caladium plants behind a rustic garden fence.

Prehistoric Plant Trail at Memphis Botanic Garden

Another area of the Memphis Botanic Garden, designed with kids in mind, is the Prehistoric Plant Trail.

This child-inspired area reminds us of the times when dinosaurs walked the earth!

Dinosaur statues, entry arbor and tree in a collage.

Dinosaur statues, a stone cave and sand pit (great for digging for fossils!) will certainly appeal to your young one. There is even a pterodactyl resting high in a large tree overlooking the area. 

The whole area is planted with ferns, palms and magnolias that give those visiting a feel of prehistoric times.

Daffodil Hill and Blecken Pavilion

For those visiting the botanic gardens in late February to early April, Daffodil Hill is a must see area of the gardens.

Daffodil Hill was originally planted in 1973 and has a spectacular display of daffodils early in the year.

During bloom time, over 300,000 yellow, white and orange daffodil flowers bring the hill alive with color.

When we visited, the blooms were done, but the hill was still lovely. A dry creek bed led up to the huge Blecken Pavilion that overlooks that daffodil planting area.

Blecken Pavilion Memphis Botanic Garden in Tennessee.

Nearby benches offered us a place to relax and enjoy the view.

We even had an escapee from the nearby butterfly garden land on my husband’s arm and remain with us as we first sat and then walked for 30 minutes.

Butterfly sitting on a mans arm

The Herb Garden at the Memphis Botanic Garden

The Herb Garden opened in 2011 and was intended as a teaching garden.

It features many varieties of fragrant, medicinal, and cooking herbs, as well as herbs for tea and dyes. One impressive basil plant had an enormous flower in bloom!

Basil plant with a huge flower stalk.

This part of the botanic gardens is small but features over 300 varieties from around the world, many of them threatened or endangered.

Paved walkways and small trails meander through the area to allow visitors to get “up close” to view and smell the herbs.

Since I am the Gardening Cook, this area also drew me in.

These themed gardens were just a small part of the total number. Azalea Trail, the hydrangea garden and a butterfly garden were other notable areas.

Visiting the Memphis Botanic Garden

Memphis Botanic Gardens are located in Audubon Park at 750 Cherry Road in Memphis,Tennessee  38117.

They are open for central daylight time hours in spring, summer and fall 7 days a week – Mon-Sat from 9 am to 6 pm. Winter hours are 9 am to 4:30 pm.

The staff is friendly and helpful. 

If you are touring this area of the country’s be sure to add the Memphis Botanic Gardens to your list of places to visit. You won’t be disappointed. It is a fun filled day well spent.

Walking trail in Memphis Botanic Garden.

Find out more about The Memphis Botanic Gardens here.

Pin this post about the Memphis Botanic Garden

If you would like to remind yourself of the post about these lovely botanic gardens, why not pin this image to one of your gardening boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later?

You can also watch our video on YouTube.

Pretty garden scenery in a post with words visiting the Memphis Botanic Garden.

More Botanical Gardens

If you enjoy botanical gardens as much as I do, be sure to also visit these posts to learn more about other botanic gardens:

Which Botanical Gardens have been your favorites? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

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Donna Brokaw

Saturday 28th of October 2023

So far, the most beautiful gardens I've ever seen are at Longwood Gardens in Kennet Square, Pennsylvania.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."