Cleveland Botanical Garden - east facade 2 At Cleveland Botanical Garden, discovery is nestled in every corner of the ten-acre site. With lush, beautiful gardens, amazing and awe-inspiring visuals, and award-winning gardens and greenhouses that illustrate an extensive collection of native and exotic, worldly plants, who needs to leave Cleveland to escape the hustle-bustle? Twenty gardens, a cafe, a garden shop and a fairly new glasshouse all make-up the famous Gardens (also called Cleveland Botanical Garden or CBG). There’s so much to do and see in this “walled paradise in the city,” including tons of different species of trees, plants, flowers and different, specific flora fauna families. Green Corps at CBG, which won a 2010 Green America Award, is World-renowned and is also one of the most well-recognized institutions for horticultural learning in the country. The work/study program for ninth and tenth graders is founded upon “learn as you earn” merits and offers high school students a one-of-kind learning experience in cultivating neighborhood farm crops. Working in teams, students plant, weed, prune, harvest & prepare crops for the locally renowned and vibrant farmers’ markets. Aside from Green Corps, there is much for the annual 500,000 + visitors to do at The Gardens. Here’s a Top Ten List of Things to See at CB.*

1. The Eleanor Armstrong Smith Glasshouse

Brimming with soaring strangler fig trees, “upside down” baobabs, the World’s longest chameleon (with, ironically, the world’s longest tongue), and butterflies that flutter from bloom to bloom, The 18,000-square-foot conservatory features two main attractions: The Costa Rican Rainforest and the Madagascar Desert. Equally beautiful, these two tourist draws offer one heck of a breathtaking experience for visitors. Featuring more than 350 species of exotic plants and more than 50 species of butterflies, insects, birds, reptiles and amphibians, this remarkable glasshouse also shows how plants, animals, geology and climate interact in delicate balance.

2. Katherine Phillip Geis Terrace

An outdoor living room, the Terrace is the gateway to the rest of the Gardens at CBG. Its focal point is a 74-foot reflecting pool with floating water lilies and plants galore. The tropical, ornamental and aquatic varieties that are on display always accentuate the reflecting pool with bursts of bright colors, with Comet and Shubunkin goldfish complementing the plants. Geis Terrace also highlights trends in container gardening. Beds and planters change with the seasons, which reflect the themes and exhibits.

3. Orchid Mania

A signature event at CBG that’s been covered by The New York Times and more, it’s a sight you must see to describe. Dazzling Orchid varieties fill the Garden for four weeks in February and March, when this show takes place, and they wow thousands. Like a candy store for photographers, the CBG Orchids are the some of the most photographed flowers in the country! Orchid Mania is a combination of sorts; it’s meant to be a showcase for new ideas in floral design, show these exotic beauties in surprising ways, and let vendors and orchid-fanciers showcase, photograph and buy some of the most valuable varieties known to man. With a champagne reception and a special closing ceremony, the pampering these exotics get is similar to Olympians!

4. Elizabeth and Nona Evans Restorative Garden

This rejuvenating sensory garden at CBG is rife with amazing sounds, sights, smells and more. Your inner greenthumb will come alive through a variety of the aforementioned to tickle your senses and help you realize the true beauty that you not only see at a garden, but hear, feel and smell. In the gorgeous garden space, you’ll find fragrant flowers in quiet hues, water trickling down garden walls and a picturesque reflecting pool. A sense of calm will overcome you here as you peruse around and experience the Garden to its fullest appeal.

5. Educational Programs

Whether you’re an adult, schoolchild, teacher with a third grade class, a family of four or a single Dad, there’s a course for you at The Gardens. The celebrated variety includes Teacher’s Kits for grades Pre-K through 12, summer camps for students, Plants Workshops for Professionals, Science, Reading and Math for kids or adults, plus the legendary “Seas, Trees and Economies” Curriculum for grades 3rd through 8th. There are also art classes, plant-life scientific research courses that are hands-on, Biodiversity classes, Photosynthesis and “Freaky Plant Adaptations” (for university-level studies).

6. Woodland Garden

You won’t know what hit you as you stroll through this cool shady refuge of trees and native plant communities. Three distinct habitats make up the forest-like garden: beech-maple-hemlock forest, mixed mesophytic woods and wooded flood-plane. If you’re lucky enough to catch a songbird’s melody or a butterfly’s breeze, you’ll realize that you’re in complete tranquility among the collection of trees, shrubs and wildflowers. Enjoy many woody and herbaceous plants, including beautiful wildflowers such as Trilliums, Virginia Blue Bells and Solomon Seal. Were it not for Woodland, a good deal of these precious rescued wildflowers might have been sacrificed to real estate development.

7. Wintershow

Obviously, this exhibit is only available from November to end of January, but the Wintershow is very famous with locals all over northeastern Ohio. Wintershow is marked by ice-skating showcases and free skate for everyone, steaming hot cocoa, twinkling lights displays, which are strewn over the entire space and one of the best light spectaculars in the big city. There are also life-sized gingerbread house exhibits & festive holiday plants.

8. C.K. Patrick Perennial Border

With the increasing attention of home gardeners, landscapers and more in perennial plants, the perennial border is a “treasure trove” of inspiration for them and you! The Border showcases the latest and greatest introductions in the entire perennial class and is constantly changing (weekly) from April and on through November. It’s meant to give visitors and professionals an idea about and opportunity in selection. The design of the border expresses color harmony, foliage texture and rhythm through the use of unusual perennials that thrive in the sun or shade.

9. Hershey Children’s Garden

The first public children’s garden in Ohio and one of the few of its kind anywhere, Hershey Children’s Garden closely resembles any child’s fantasy play-land. Here, a child’s imagination can run wild in the maze, the butterfly shelters, native wildflower meadow & fruit and berry garden! Of course, no visit to Hershey Children’s Garden is complete without climbing into the treehouse. Two immense tulip poplars shelter the playful hideaway… There’s also storytime, tree-planting activities, Mud Pie Tuesdays, crafts and fishing on Fridays!

10. The Garden Store

A truly unique shopping experience, The Garden Store is a premier museum-type store and one of the best in all of Ohio. With hundreds of exceptional items to feed any gardener’s appetite, the collection includes modern gardening tools/accessories, rare plants, gorgeous vases, silver jewelry, children’s books/toys, real items from Madagascar & Costa Rica (to complement the Glasshouse varieties), a book selection and too much more to list here! We encourage you to see for yourself! * based on visitors’ reviews, travel brochures, tourism sites, blogs, magazine & newspaper stories. Cleveland Botanical Garden in University Circle 11030 East Boulevard Cleveland, Ohio 44106 Tel: (216) 721-1600 or (888) 853-7091 Email: View Larger Map