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Springfield Botanical Gardens at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park

If you enjoy walking trails that immerse you in a tranquil lake scene, with 113-acres of lovely themed gardens, the Springfield Botanical Gardens are for you.Weather Vane, pergolas and a garden bed at Springfield Botanical Gardens

My husband and I spend the summer touring and writing about botanical gardens around the country.  We recently spent some time in Missouri and discovered this little gem of a garden.

One of my favorite searches on Google is “Botanical Gardens Near Me.”  That always takes us to a new surprise and it really didn’t disappoint this time!

Touring the Springfield Botanical Gardens

The Botanical gardens consist of 113 acres of expansive lawns, large shade trees and native wildflower gardens. The whole garden gives the impression of the word grand.Springfield Botanical Garden open space

There are several themed areas and Lake Drummond sits in the center of the gardens.Stone marker for Lake Drummond

I came across the Botanical Garden when I was headed for their Hosta Garden. I originally thought that this was a separate garden, but in fact, it is just a small part of the larger Springfield Botanical Gardens.

Walkways along the garden paths of the Memorial Garden have stones that are dedicated to the memory of those whose have passed away. 

Memorial walkways

Join me on a virtual tour of the Springfield Botanical Garden in Missouri.  It has over 100 acres of themed gardens, a butterfly house and a wonderful hosta garden.🦋🐛🌸🌼 Share on X

Butterfly Garden Springfield Missouri

There are two areas of the botanical gardens that feature areas to view lots of butterflies.  One is a densely planted perennial garden with large ornamental grasses and lots of plants with color.

The butterfly house is named for Dr. Bill Roston and contains many host plants to provide an ecological support system for butterflies and moths.Butterfly house

They were abuzz with both butterflies and bees when we visited. Visitors can enjoy observing the entire life cycle of dozens of species from mid-May until September.

A small butterfly house sat near this garden area. In this house, one can view caterpillars feeding, chrysalises hiding in the plants and butterflies feasting on the extra of flowers in the house.Sign for butterflies and caterpillars

In addition to swallowtails and monarch butterflies, there is also an abundance of giant silk moths such as Luna Moths and Cepropia Moths.Butterfly planter and caterpillar playground at the Springfield Botanical Gardens

Outside, there is an area for children to play, complete with a large butterfly planter sculpture and caterpillar tunnel.

English Garden

The English Garden was small but impressive. It was densely planted with cottage garden style plants and everything was in flower as we passed through this area of the gardens.

Meandering paths, complete with stone wall and a 1750’s era sundial from Yorkshire England complete the look.The English Garden at Springfield Botanical Gardens

Peter Longley, a retired horticulturalist who is a native of Great Britain, created this garden in 2003.

Across from the English Garden sat Lake Drummond. A bronze statue of Anne Drummond watching over the lake was immortalized and added a nice touch to the area.

Bronze Statues at Springfield Botanical Gardens in Missouiri

Other statues throughout the park are those showing gardeners at work and several bronze statues of children playing.

Hosta Garden

The highlight of the Springfield Botanical Gardens, for me, was their hosta garden. This lovely area was nestled under the shade of large deciduous trees.

A large fountain was sat atop some stone paver steps with beds to each side, planted with many varieties of hostas and colorful angel wing begonia plants.The fountain in the Springfield Botanical Garden Hosta Garden

At first glance, the hosta garden looked like a series of garden beds planted with the same plants – hostas and caladiums.Hostas and caladiums in Springfield Botanical Gardens.

There is certainly some repetition, particularly with the large caladiums, but they are only there to provide a cohesive look to the area.

But on second look, instead of seeing just two types of plants, the garden beds were a real find for a hosta lover. There were dozens and dozens of different varieties of hostas in shady garden beds, all labeled as to type.

This was like a dream for me, since hostas are some of my favorite plants and I am always looking for new and unusual types.

I also enjoyed seeing the hosta companion plants which were situated in the same shady area of the garden.

Hosta Gardens with many varieties

The garden had Mammoth hosta varieties, variegated styles and small dwarf sized plants. It was hard for my husband to drag me away!

White Garden

The White Garden sat at the entrance to the hosta garden, and as the name suggest, featured all types of plants, shrubs and trees with white flowers.

If you enjoy this type of garden, be sure to also check out my tour of the White Garden at The J.R. Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, NC.

Large shrub at the entrance of the White Garden

This area of the garden is inspired by the gardens of Sissinghurst Castle, in the UK and features a single shade of white throughout with a variety of perennials, annuals and shrubs.  

Daffodils, irises, lilacs and crab apple trees in shades of white throughout, give the garden a lovely monochromatic look and feel.White caladiums

White caladiums rimmed the picket fences and tied the white garden to the hosta garden behind it.Caladiums of varying colors

A large arch beckoned visitors to enter in order to find what lay beyond it.White garden arch in Springfield Botanical Gardens

The whole effect is a wonderful contrast to the dark foliage of plants such as huge tropical elephant ears in this area of the garden.Huge tropical elephant ears plants in the White Garden at Springfield Botanical Gardens

Daylily Garden

The Springfield Botanic Garden is known for its daylily garden. Unfortunately for us, the daylilies were done flowering. This garden is best viewed in June and July.daylily garden with gazebo

However, it was easy to imagine how beautiful this area of the garden would be earlier in the summer months. 

There were many dozens of different varieties of daylilies, all marked with plant markers sitting in front of a large and ornate gazebo.Wooden gazebo in Springfield Botanical Gardens - daylily garden

Each of the plants had a marker showing the name of the daylily, its hybridizer and the year it was introduced to the Springfield Botanical Gardens.

The Greenway in the Springfield Botanical Gardens

A 7 mile greenway connects all areas of the Nathanael Greene park and circles around Lake Drummond. It is the perfect venue for walking, running and biking.The greenway trail is filled with shade trees

There are loads of trees that give shade to those on bikes, and those walking and jogging.  It’s a wonderful greenway system.Wooded area of the Green Way part of Springfield Botanical Gardens

The paths overlook each of the garden beds as well as the expansive lawn areas. The trail spans from McDaniel Park Trailhead to Wilson’s Creek Greenway and would be a beautiful place to get some exercise.

Master Gardeners Demonstration Garden

This area of the botanical garden includes an ornamental perennial and shrub border with themed herb garden beds and plants that are native to Missouri.Master Demonstration Garden

The purpose of this area of the garden is to provide an educational opportunity for visitors to the garden.

It is hoped that people visiting will learn more about the pleasures that gardening has to offer on two fronts – for its aesthetic beauty and also for health and culinary purposes.

Other areas of the Springfield Botanical Gardens

These areas are not the only ones to explore.  We spent a few hours here, but it would take a day to see it all.Butterfly bushes and impatiens plants

The area of the park is very large. Some other notable areas of the park are:

  • Redbud Garden – with 25 species of Asian and North American redbuds.
  • Founders Garden – with stone markers of 11 founding friends.
  • Dogwood Garden – containing 18 pink and white varieties of dogwood trees – Missouri’s state tree.
  • Winter Garden – has plants that add an interest through the winter months. Some of the earliest spring flowers are found in this section.
  • Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden – A 7.5 acre traditional Japanese Garden established in 1986 – the only part of the Botanical Gardens that has a fee to view it.

Visiting the Springfield Botanical Gardens

If you are visiting Missouri and find yourself near Springfield, take some time to spend a few hours at the Springfield Botanical Gardens.Springfield Botanical Gardens Touir

Although not one of the most impressive gardens that I have visited, it does have its charm and some special spots within it – especially the hosta garden.

You can find the gardens on 2400 S Scenic, Springfield MO 65807. The gardens are grounds are open sunrise to sunset.  The Japanese Stroll Garden and Butterfly House are open April through September with limited hours in October.

Admission is free, except for the Japanese Garden which does have an entry fee.

Have you visited the Springfield Botanical Gardens? Please leave your impressions of it in the comments below.

Pin this garden tour post for later

Would you like a reminder of this tour of the Botanical Gardens in Springfield Missouri? Just pin this image to one of your gardening boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.

Springfield Botanical Garden virtual tour

Be sure to check out the video of the Springfield Botanical Garden on YouTube, too.

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Deanna Haworth

Tuesday 17th of May 2022

I work in this garden as a volunteer , this is mostly an all volunteer maintained garden and no admission fee , I've been to many botanical gardens all over the USA and abroad and this is still my very favorite . It is an example of neighbors giving back to neighbors, the vegetable garden in the master gardeners demonstration garden grows thousands of pounds of produce every year and donates to local food pantries

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