All American Selections Display Garden

The All American Display Garden is located outside the propagation greenhouse next to the Potager Garden.

All-America Selections National and Regional Winners have been tested for garden performance by a panel of expert judges. Varieties that perform best over all of North America become AAS National Winners. Entries that performed particularly well in certain regions are named AAS Regional Winners. The AAS Winners offer gardeners reliable new varieties that have proven their superior garden performance in Trial Grounds across North America, thus, our tagline of “Tested Nationally and Proven Locally®”. Only the best garden performers (best scores) become AAS Winners.

AAS Display Gardens provide the public with an opportunity to view the newest AAS Winners in an attractive well-maintained setting.

PLANTS TO LOOK FOR:

  • Spring: Violas, Kale and Cabbages, purple carrots; foxgloves
  • Summer: Zinnias, tomatoes, peppers, vinca, petunias, and many more
  • Fall: Late blooming annuals and vegetables
  • Winter: : Violas, Kale, Cabbages, and other cool season annuals
Annette Kagan Healing Garden

The Healing Garden is dedicated not only to introducing the visitor to plants with healing properties, but to provide a peaceful haven of rest and healing. It features medicinal plants, a gentle stream and pools, and is privately nestled among the woods. The quiet setting provides a soothing stop for visitors walking through the Garden’s woodlands.

Plants to look for:

  • Spring: Disporum, Lilly of the Valley, Solomon’s seal
  • Summer: Butterfly weed, Elecampane, Hydrangea
  • Fall: Black Gum, Smooth Sumac
  • Winter: Heavenly Bamboo, Holly
Bicentennial Rose Garden

The rose garden was dedicated in 1976 as a bicentennial tribute to the nation. This garden has been accredited as one of 130 All-American Rose Selections Display Gardens. Over 3,000 rose plants representing more than 300 varieties grow in this garden. At the height of bloom, mid-May through October, more than 250,000 rose blooms may be seen. This garden has an accessible terrace overlooking seating areas, fountains, and picturesque garden surroundings.

Roses are one of the Garden’s primary collections. Learn more about the collection.

Border Walk

One of the Garden’s main pathways leads through the Border Garden. A variety of flowering shrubs including a row of white-flowering ‘Diana’ hibiscus provide a backdrop to mixed plantings of perennials and annuals. Inspired by the soft and romantic gardens of renowned landscape designers Beatrix Farrand and Gertrude Jekyll, this garden is filled with flowers in pastel hues. Perennials like gayfeather, peonies, roses, verbena and phlox tumble together reminiscent of the Impressionistic style of painting.

Bristow Butterfly Garden

The 2-acre Bristow Butterfly Garden provides a habitat to attract and support butterflies and moths during all stages of their life cycle. Within the garden you will find a swallowtail and monarch nursery, nectar garden, moonlight garden and butterfly bush collection.  Our Butterfly House opens seasonally and provides an up close experience with a variety of butterflies.

Visit our Butterfly House page for more detailed information.

Butterfly House

The enclosed house provides an unbelievable opportunity to observe butterflies as they circle and land on their favorite nectar flowers providing guaranteed amazement and educational opportunities. It’s the perfect compliment to the 2.5 acre Bristow Butterfly Garden and the giant Butterfly Maze. Included with regular Garden admission.Graceful flight and dazzling colors mesmerize the children and the adults. Learn about the habits and life cycles of each type of butterfly, as you spot their eggs on host plants and watch as the caterpillars continually eat and grow. The opportunity to witness their final transformation as the chrysalis opens to reveal a winged beauty is what makes the Butterfly House so thrilling.

Circle Garden

This garden, behind the administration building, features changing displays of plants during the year. An array of glazed stoneware pottery arranged throughout the Circle is home to imaginative, unique and beautiful container gardens year round. Gardeners with any size yard will find inspiration in these sophisticated flower pots.

The public programs hut in the garden features a green roof, covered in plantings of sedum and sempervivum.

After stopping at this garden, visitors can choose to visit a variety of gardens radiating from circle, including the Sarah Lee Baker Perennial Garden, the Fragrance Garden, the Sunken Garden, the Kaufman Hydrangea Garden and the Holly Garden and Turner Sculpture Gallery.

 

Cutting Garden

Everyone loves a bouquet of flowers cut fresh from the garden! This cutting garden was planted specifically so that our floral designers will have all the beautiful cut flowers they need to make the gorgeous arrangements that make them famous. Enough perennials, bulbs, shrubs, and annuals are grown in this little garden to make scores of arrangements every year.

Fern Glade

A cobblestone lined path leads visitors into a sanctuary of ferns and other shade loving plants. A forest of red maples, sweetgums, hollies and pines provide the shady canopy. Two cobblestone patios with benches offer quiet and secluded rest stops in the heart of the Garden.

Flowering Arboretum

The Flowering Arboretum fills 17.5 acres in the center of the Botanical Garden. In 1982, a section of Crapemyrtle trees was added to the original acreage. Today the arboretum contains 336 different flowering trees. Because it displays a wide variety of fragrant and colorful flowering trees, homeowners and horticultural students look to the Arboretum as an excellent reference.

 

In 2015, the Flowering Arboretum will take on a new look that will benefit the environment and wildlife. Visitors will notice areas that are not mowed. As the grass grows mowed pathways will be created for increased visitation in the Arboretum. Visitors will expect to see wildflower meadows with increased activity for pollinators and wildlife.

Four Seasons Garden and Wildflower Meadow

This meadow features a mixture of more than 50 species of wildflowers and 10 species of grasses. The area is an outdoor classroom where one can observe wildflowers and the birds and insects they attract. It demonstrates an alternative to traditional high maintenance urban landscaping. Most importantly, the flowers and grasses present a constantly changing vista of natural beauty for those who stroll along its pathways or relax near the flowing fountain in the shade of the gazebo.

Perry E. Morgan donated money for the establishment and maintenance of The Bunny Morgan Memorial Wildflower Meadow, now the Four Seasons Garden, in honor of his late wife, who had long  been a wildflower enthusiast.

Plants to look for:

  • Spring: Five Spot, Poppies, Bachelor’s Button
  • Summer: Tickseed, Gayfeather, Sunflower
  • Fall: Native Grasses
Fragrance Garden

Located adjacent to the administration building, the Fragrance Garden was conceived as a garden therapy project in the spring of 1963. The City of Norfolk financed the construction and planting of the garden. A variety of fragrant trees, shrubs, perennials and bulbs bloom during the year. This garden is designed for all who enjoy fragrant plants.

Plants to look for:

  • Spring: Candytuft, Fringetree, flowering bulbs
  • Summer: Allspice, Peppermint, Summersweet
  • Fall: Bayberry, Magic Lily
  • Winter: Wintersweet, Holly Olive
Hummingbird Garden

Behind the Education building, this garden includes plants that attract hummingbirds and other nectar loving animals. A mixture of annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees welcome visitors. Keep your eyes open while you are here, because the hummingbirds move fast.

Kaufman Hydrangea Garden

This 1.5 acre garden features approximately 300 hydrangeas representing 20 different species and 200 different cultivars. The most prevalent species in the garden is the Bigleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla) but many other interesting types are found here too.

The hydrangea collection was named an Official North American Collection by the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta’s North American Plant Collection Consortium (NAPCC). The Garden is one of only 21 National Collection holders designated by the NAPCC, and currently the only one focusing on hydrangeas.

A variety of groundcovers grace the woodland floor including toadlilies, wild gingers and barrenworts.

Plants to look for:

  • Spring: Barrenwort, Daffodils, Saucer Magnolia
  • Summer: Gold Dawn Redwood, Hydrangea, Sedge, Wild Ginger
  • Fall: Black Gum, Chinese Pistache, Toad Lily
  • Winter: Arum, Camellia, Hellebore, Witchazel
Matson Garden

Created with excavated soil from the canal, this peaceful spot offers visitors a view of the waterway and surrounding gardens from its two-tier deck and gazebo. Relax under the shade of a mature oak tree overlooking broad sweeps of plants selected especially for their color and texture. Drought tolerant plants grow near the top of the hill while moisture loving plants thrive at the bottom.

PLANTS TO LOOK FOR:

  • Spring: Epimedium, Saucer Magnolia
  • Summer: Bear’s Breeches, Butterfly Bush, Glossy Abelia, Summersweet
  • Fall: Bluebeard, Linden Viburnum, Salvia, Stonecrop
  • Winter: Japanese Holly Fern, Wintersweet, Witchhazel
NATO Overlook

Surrounded by majestic redwoods and blue atlas cedars this spot is centrally located in the Garden. At the top of the overlook, NATO Tower provides a bird’s-eye view of much of the Garden. The tower and overlook are named in honor of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) which has its North American headquarters here in Norfolk.

The colorful Flowering Arboretum, vibrant Matson Garden, formal Renaissance Court, lush Tropical Garden and snaking canals are all visible from the overlook. A vareity of drought tolerant plants grow on the slopes of the overlook.

Norfolk International Airport Overlook

The Airport Overlook is a display that features a detailed map of Norfolk International Airport and a description of how planes work. Visitors can monitor airport ground communications and learn about wind speed and direction. Visitors can also monitor live feed of airport traffic.

Purity Garden

The Purity Garden’s semicircle of camellias provides the backdrop for Cataldi’s sculpture of Madonna and Child. Pure white flowers and deep green foliage surround the focal sculpture in this cool, peaceful garden.

Sarah Lee Baker Perennial Garden

This spectacular 1-acre garden honors Sarah Lee Baker, who funded many features throughout the garden with her husband Isaac “Junie” Baker. Moving water in the central limestone fountain and terraced canals creates a soothing and cooling effect. The formal circular garden is divided into wedges that overflow with more than 200 different varieties of perennials of all shapes and sizes.

Plants to look for:

  • Spring: Bluestar, Fothergilla, False Indigo, Iris
  • Summer: Canna Lily, Rose Mallow, Speedwell, Whirling Butterflies
  • Fall: Confederate Rose, Joe-Pye Weed, Salvia, Stonecrop, Ornamental Grasses
  • Winter: Kerria, Paperbush, Yaupon
Statuary Vista

The Statuary Vista is a unique outdoor sculpture gallery set in a 400-foot long double border garden stretching from the back of Renaissance Court to the edge of Lake Whitehurst. This is one of the few shady perennial gardens at Norfolk Botanical Garden and each 14-foot wide, 400-foot long display bed is packed with a variety of bulbs, perennials and annuals. Set against the deep green backdrop of clipped Holly Olive hedges, the statues, flowers and foliage create a stunning display.

The sculptures by Sir Moses Ezekiel in Statuary Vista received the 2011 People’s Choice award in the Virginia’s Top Ten Endangered Artifacts program.

Plants to look for:

  • Spring: Hardy Orchid, Saucer Magnolia
  • Summer: Calla Lily, Hosta, Ornamental Grasses, St. John?s Wort
  • Fall: Aster, Chrysanthemums, Cotoneaster, Virginia Sweetspire
  • Winter: Chinese Fringe, Holly Olive, Paperbush, Sweetbox
Tropical Garden

Descend the steps below NATO Overlook and enter a different world. Tropical and subtropical plants that thrive outdoors in Hampton Roads line the bank of the canal. A warm microclimate created by the water and protected hillside help these plants survive a winter here but not elsewhere in Virginia since Norfolk is at the northern edge of USDA zone 8.

Plants to look for:

  • Spring: Bird of Paradise
  • Summer: Voodoo Lily, Willow-leaved Jessamine, Cigar Flower, Indigo
  • Fall: Bottlebrush, Winged Crown Beard, Hibiscus, Lions Ear
  • Winter: Daphniphyllum, Dioon, Gum tree, Coontie