The outdoor gardens around the Conservatory began as mostly lawn with a few scattered trees.
Over the years, the botanical and horticultural diversity of the Conservatory grounds has greatly
increased. Today, they are a dynamic collection of formal and naturalistic gardens, lovely to visit
in every season.
Stroll around the front of the Conservatory to take in the beautiful Terrace Gardens and notice
the urns on the steps. They were designed by famous landscape architect Frederick Law
Olmstead, who also designed the U.S. Capitol Grounds and Central Park in New York City.
Then, step inside the gates to the west of the Conservatory to see the Regional Garden, Pollinator
Garden, First Ladies Water Garden, and Rose Garden. The Regional Garden highlights the
benefits of using native Mid-Atlantic plants and together these gardens serve as a living
laboratory for botanical education.
A walk across Independence Avenue behind the Conservatory takes you to Bartholdi Park, a two-
acre garden that showcases sustainable gardening practices.
As you walk the garden paths, look for additional audio stops to learn more about what’s
growing and how we developed these plantings in harmony with the local ecosystem.