5 Breathtaking Botanical Gardens Budding Herbalists Will Love
As an herbalist or herbal medicine student you know how inspiring Nature can be. Going on a wildcrafting expedition can charge your batteries for days. There’s something about the herbaceous smell of freshly harvested herbs that lingers and reminds you why you love plants and being an herbalist.
But, sometimes it’s just as rewarding to look and not touch. Sometimes you just want to wander through some nature and absorb the beauty or gain some fresh inspiration for your garden boxes, community garden plot, or herb beds.
Enter the botanical gardens. Whether you’re looking to pick up some new design tips or techniques for growing beloved herbs, botanical gardens are a great way to get outside and learn something new.
Five Great Botanical Destinations for Herbalists
The following gardens are known not only as beautiful recreational spaces but also as educational destinations. Several of these parks even teach you how to create your own compost or start your own herbs, which are great skills for budding herbalists.
Balboa Park Botanical Building, San Diego, California | Image Copyright: Bernard Gagnon, Wikipedia CC BY-SA 3.0
1. Balboa Park in San Diego, California
Balboa Park contains the EthnoBotany Children’s Peace Garden, an educational exhibit designed to teach the young and the young at heart about human kind’s past and present relationship with plants. It is the park’s first sustainable and edible garden containing herbs, fruits, and vegetables. It is also a San Diego Master Gardeners Certified Earth Friendly Garden and a Certified Wildlife Habitat with the National Wildlife Federation.
Atlanta Botanical Garden welcome center | Image Copyright: Rob Bixby, Wikipedia CC BY 2.0
2. The Atlanta Botanical Garden in Atlanta, Georgia
The Atlanta Botanical Garden features the Orangerie, containing many tropical and subtropical plants of medicinal value. Also featured are popular spices (such as ginger, pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, nutmeg, and vanilla), fruits, and even poisons!
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden | Image Copyright: Knight Foundation, Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0
3. The Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, Florida
This Floridian garden is a combination of beauty, preservation, and education. The Edible Garden features tropical fruits and vegetables as well as herbs (such as peppermint, spearmint, rosemary, Thai basil, lemongrass, marjoram, stevia, and German thyme), a beehive, and composting to teach visitors the value of natural gardening.
The Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden | Image Copyright: Jim Henderson, Wikipedia CC0
4. The New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, New York
This garden is a national historic landmark. Along with its Corpse Flower Happy Hour when the Amorphophallus titanum reaches its height (clothespin for your nose is optional), the NYBG includes the Nancy Bryan Luce Herb Garden. Surrounded by elegant boxwood, the garden contains common herbs, such as bay laurel and sage, as well as hops, and edible flowers to accent summer salads.
Kona Coffee Living History Farm Trail | Image Copyright: Renee Long, 2017
5. Kona Coffee Living History Farm, Kona, Hawaii
Run by the Kona Historical Society, this gorgeous Hawaiian gem provides living history programs and exhibits. Enjoy guided tours through the farm where you’ll see the process of growing infamous Kona coffee (of course!), and other medicinal plants such as turmeric, mugwort, ginger, and more!
Where is your favorite botanical garden located? Let’s keep the list going in the comments!
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This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.