Inside and out, the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden gives public art a ‘living form’

Last fall's opening of outdoor gardens multiplies beauty of floral wonderland

The Water Garden and Conservatory of the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden are lovely in the spring.

“Living forms of public art.”  That’s how the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden accurately refers to its outdoor gardens, which opened to the public in October 2014.

While the outdoor gardens and the new Café Trellis are wonderful additions to the conservatory and its indoor gardens, these milestone expansions are part of a larger master plan aiming to continue expanding the outdoor gardens.

A rose garden lines the parking lot, and the entrance to the new outdoor gardens is through the conservatory.  The new outdoor area consists of seven discrete gardens: the half-acre Water Garden, the Riverside Garden, the Conifer and Gravel Garden, the Hillside Garden with its cantilevered waterfall, the Koehn Garden and the Allée and Belvedere Gardens.

While these “living forms of public art” are beautiful both indoors and outside, the view of the Des Moines skyline from the Botanical Garden is especially spectacular.

During my recent visit, there was some work taking place on top of the dome of the conservatory.  I’m quite sure the views from that perspective were even more spectacular, but I have no plans to find out for myself.

The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden is located at 909 Robert D. Ray Drive in Des Moines and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. photos by Laura Stebbins


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