While balcony container gardeners enjoy their small-space urban gardens, sometimes a few container plants on an apartment balcony above a busy street just isn’t peaceful enough. Balcony gardeners might not be able to have a peaceful, large garden, but there are public gardens and arboretums near every major city. Don’t just fawn over pictures of luxurious gardens, get out there and enjoy a day at a public garden! You may even bring some gardening inspiration home to your own balcony container garden.
If you live in or are visiting the Memphis, Tenn., area, why not visit the Memphis Botanic Garden?
- The 96-acre Memphis Botanic Garden includes 23 specialty gardens, including the Anne Heard Strokes Butterfly Garden, Cactus and Succulent Garden, Conifer Collection, Four Seasons Garden, Herb Garden, Hosta Garden, Hyde & Seek Prehistoric Plant Trail, Japanese Garden of Tranquility and Japanese Maple Grove, Nature Photography Garden, Rose Garden, Sensory Garden, Tennessee Bicentennial Iris Garden and the W.C. Paul Arboretum.
- Children can jump, splash, dig, create and learn in the children’s garden called “My Big Backyard.” With 16 different themed areas, children of all ages can enjoy this unique outdoor area; visitors of the garden can build a fort, have a puppet show, get a birds-eye-view of the garden, splash in water, wiggle through “worm” tunnels, admire artwork from more than 20 local artists, have a snack at the picnic area and much more. Reserve “My Big Backyard” (check the garden’s website for fees) for children’s birthday parties!
- When you spend the day at the garden, make sure to eat at Fratelli’s Café, a certified “Green Fork” restaurant dedicated to sustainability and reducing its environmental impact. Dine on freshly made paninis, foccacias, salads and fresh fruit at the café, which is located on an outdoor terrace between the Water Garden and the Sculpture Garden. Don’t wait too long to eat lunch, though: Hours are 11am-2pm Monday through Saturday. See the menu at fratellisfinecatering.com.
- At the visitor’s center, check out the monthly art exhibits. If you attend the monthly art opening, you can have a glass of wine and meet with the local artists.
- If you live nearby, stop by the garden’s Farmers Market after work on Wednesdays from 2pm-6pm in the Pine Grove.
- Check the Events section on the Memphis Botanic Garden’s website to learn about big events (such as the Daffodil Dash Race, Family Egg Hunt and Mother's Day Jazz Brunch), plant sales, wine tastings and more. In the summer, check out the Live at the Garden Summer Concert Series. Past performers include Ray Charles, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Harry Connick, Jr., Michael Buble, Bonnie Raitt, Diana Ross, ZZ Top, Tony Bennett and Earth, Wind and Fire and more.
- Also visit the garden's website to see what’s currently in bloom at the gardens and the many educational programs available to the public. There are horticultural programs, garden talks, garden workshops, guided tours and more.
Memphis Botanic Garden Quick Info
750 Cherry Road, Memphis, Tennessee, 38117
$8 (adults), $6.50 (seniors), $5.00 (children 2-12)
9am-6pm (9am-4:30 in the winter)