If you are a gardener and are looking for things to do in Montana, be sure to add Tizer Botanic Garden & Arboretum to your trip itinerary.
Located in the heart of the Elkhorn Mountains, in Jefferson City, Montana, is a delightful botanic garden with a whimsical feel.
The garden is situated on 6 acres with 1/2 miles of walking trails and the visit can be completed in a few hours.
The gardens themselves are located at 5000 feet above sea level, and give visitors an amazing variety of plant life that can be grown at such altitudes.
In fact, the owners told us that the garden focuses on cold hardy, drought tolerant, and high altitude plants.
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The charm of Tizer Botanic Garden
Although Tizer is small by botanical garden standards, don’t let the size fool you. This garden has so much to offer!
The garden is rustic and natural, making the visit almost like one that you might make to a garden-loving friends large property.
This is not your highly manicured botanic garden with everything labeled. But to me, that is the charm of Tizer and what makes it unique!
Prickly Pear Creek meanders throughout the property and the enchanting walkways give the visitor opportunities to enjoy water views in many areas of the garden.
The creek provides water for the plants, a habitat for birds, frogs and fish and a wonderful place to sit, contemplate, and enjoy the beauty of nature.
How old is Tizer Botanic Garden?
Tizer Botanic Garden started from a small piece of land bought in 1997 just 20 miles from Helena, the capital of Montana. The garden is owned by Belva Lotzer and Richard Krott.
We spoke at length with the owners during our visit and learned that the garden began as a hobby born of their combined love of plants.
By the year 2000, so many people had stopped by asking to see the gardens that they took on a life of their own.
Close to 20,000 people now visit the garden in its short 6 month season.
After touring the garden, it is easy to see that the owners have a love of fairy gardens, garden art and whimsical settings. Everywhere you turn, there is another delightful scene to enjoy.
These presentations are a big part of what makes Tizer such a popular place to visit and so special.
The garden has over 1,500 varieties of perennials, shrubs and trees and many more plants. Tizer Botanic Garden is a test and demonstration garden for the Denver Botanic Gardens and Colorado State University.
Tizer Botanic Gardens & Arboretum is one of only 3 internationally accredited arboretums in the US which is privately owned. It is also the only full-time operated Botanical Garden and Arboretum in Montana.
What does Tizer Botanic Gardens have to offer?
Several small areas, each with its own theme, make up this small garden which leaves the visitor with a whimsical feeling, not often experienced at botanical gardens.
No matter your interest, there is likely an area in Tizer Botanic Garden that will delight and charm you.
From a butterfly garden, shade garden or meditation garden to a vegetable and herb garden, rose garden and Chuck’s Garden, Tizer Botanic Gardens has a surprise around every corner.
The entire garden can be enjoyed in a day or less. These are a few of the special areas that appealed to my husband and me.
Fairy Garden – a delightful children’s garden
If you are traveling with children, Tizer Botanical Garden will delight them and make you feel like a child again too.
The Fairy Garden is a place to bring out your inner child!
Gnome and fairy statues tend miniature gardens, and a huge teepee covered in living tree branches give the kids a place to play hide and seek.
As you walk around this area, you’ll find bird houses and bells hanging from tree branches.
If you listen carefully, you will almost be able to hear the fairies having a little chuckle as they scamper around the garden.
The Secret Garden – contemplating life near the Prickly Pear Creek
One of the best things about Tizer is that you never know what will be waiting for you when as you walk through the garden.
It is no surprise that the owners incorporated a Secret Garden in their plan. This garden is chock full of surprises!
The door to the Secret Garden opens to a small garden which is enhanced by the sound of the Prickly Pear Creek flowing by.
Be sure to sit and relax in nature. You’ll be able to leave your cares behind, even if just for a few moments.
Wildflower Walk – with observation deck
Above the children’s garden, you can enjoy a hilly walk that takes you to an observation deck where you will be able to look over much of the botanic garden.
Wildflowers abound on this walk up the rustic steps to the deck.
The Gazebo Garden
This area of Tizer Botanic Garden is a popular spot for weddings and it’s easy to see why.
The gazebo sits near the shade garden, with its collection of hostas and other shade loving plants. A patch of green lawn gives wedding guests a place to sit in the midst of a pretty garden scene with 9 foot delphiniums and climbing clematis plants.
The carefully manicured area is a contrast to the other rustic areas of the garden.
Chuck’s Garden – In full bloom, even in October
Dedicated to an employee, Chuck’s garden. sitting at the top of Tizer’s test garden, was a wonder to behold. We visited around Labor Day and the garden was in full bloom.
Normally, many of the flowers in botanical gardens that we visit have finished blooming by the time we visit the gardens in late summer.
I live in North Carolina, so sights of perennials blooming is so much glory was a special treat for me. Our bloom time is spring and early summer.
Visiting Tizer Botanic Garden
If you are in Montana, be sure to drop in for a visit to the garden. It is open daily from 10 AM to 6 PM during the months of mid-April to October (weather permitting).
You can view the garden at 38 Tizer Road in Jefferson City, Montana 59638. It is located 18 miles south of Helena, MT just off I-15 on Hwy 282.
You can find out more about Tizer Botanic Garden & Arboretum here.
Pin this post for Tizer Botanic Garden
Would you like a reminder of my post for this whimsical botanic garden? Just pin this image to one of your gardening boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.
You can also watch our botanical garden video on YouTube.
More whimsical Botanic Gardens
If you enjoy botanic gardens with children’s garden and a whimsical feeling be sure to check out these posts:
- Beech Creek Botanic Garden & Nature Preserve
- The Memphis Botanic Garden – Children’s Garden – Herb Garden & more!
- Wellfield Botanic Gardens – A Fun Filled Day in a Living Museum
- Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens – Boothbay Harbor, Me
- Cheyenne Botanic Gardens – Conservatory, Children’s Village and More!
- Hahn Horticulture Garden – Virginia Tech – Blacksburg, VA