General Information

Mission:

To enrich life by promoting the enjoyment of plants and the environment through beautiful gardens and education programs.

Governed by:

Norfolk Botanical Garden Society

Just the Stats

Annual Visitation: 300,000
Staff: 57 full time, 12 part time, 40 seasonal
Volunteers: 120-200 regularly scheduled, 915 on the active list. Last year volunteers gave 28,586 hours
Members: 8,000
Annual Budget: $3.5 million
Garden Size: 155 acres, 12 miles of paved trails
Accessioned plants (Plants in the permanent collection, does not included seasonal displays): approx. 64,800
Number of taxa (taxonomic entity such as a species or cultivar): approx. 7,000

Admission Fee

Members: FREE
Adults: $11
Seniors: $10
Military: $10
Children & Youth 3 – 18: $9
Toddlers 2 & under: FREE with parent

Year Round Services

Library: Saturdays & Mondays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sundays 1-4 p.m. & by appointment
Gift Shop: Monday & Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday Noon-5 p.m. Closed January.

Seasonal Services

Seasonal Service Spring/Summer (Apr. 1 – Oct. 15) Fall/Winter (Oct. 16 – Mar. 31)
Garden Hours 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Visitor Center Hours 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tram Tours 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. – daily
Tram departs once every hour
Boat Tour 10:30 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 1:00 p.m.
2:15 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 4:45 p.m.
Garden Cafe 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m closes Nov. 1 for the season

Guided Tours

Tram tours/Shuttle service: Free with Admission – see schedule above
Boat tours: Separate charge applies – see schedule above
Walking Tours: Free with Admission – inquire at the visitor desk
Walking tours and boat tours occur weather permitting (canceled for lightning/thunder, not rain).

Visitor amenities

Water Fountains: Located at Cobblestone Bridge, Colonial Garden, Hydrangea Garden, Picnic Area, Tram Circle, Woodman of the World Wayside, World of Wonders Children’s Garden
Courtesy phone For local calls in Visitor Center and Garden Education building
Restrooms: Bristow Butterfly Garden, Garden Education building, Next to the Garden Cafe, Picnic area, Rose Garden Hall, Visitor Center, World of Wonders Children’s Garden
Vending machines: Bristow Butterfly Garden, Garden Education building, Circle Garden, World of Wonders Children’s Garden
Accessibility: Two trams are wheelchair accessible. To request special assistance, please contact 757-441-5830 ext. 324 (front desk). Boats are accessible for manual wheelchairs.  The Garden includes extensive paved paths.

History

1938 – Azalea Garden started with funds from Works Progress Administration
1954 – First Azalea Festival Coronation
1958 – Renamed Norfolk Municipal Gardens
1971 – Airport Expansion reduces Garden from 275 to 155 acres
1993 – Garden became a public-private partnership owned by the City of Norfolk and managed by the Norfolk Botanical Society
1995 – Baker Hall Visitor Center completed and opened
2000 – Garden Education and Conference Center opened
2006 – World of Wonders, a Children’s Adventure Garden opened

Theme Gardens

  • All-America Selections Display Garden
  • Annette Kagan Healing Garden
  • Baker Overlook
  • Bicentennial Rose Garden
  • The Border Garden
  • Bristow Butterfly Garden
  • Circle Garden
  • Cutting Garden
  • Hunter Savage Colonial Garden
  • Conifer Garden
  • Enchanted Forest
  • Fern Glade
  • Flowering Arboretum
  • Fragrance Garden
  • Hummingbird Garden
  • Kaufman Hydrangea Garden
  • Matson Perennial Garden
  • Norfolk International Airport Overlook
  • Purity Garden
  • Renaissance Court
  • Rhododendron Garden
  • Sarah Lee Baker Perennial Garden
  • Sensory Garden
  • Statuary Vista
  • Sunken Garden
  • Tropical Display House
  • Tropical Garden
  • Virginia Native Plant Garden
  • Wildflower Meadow
  • Winter Garden
  • World of Wonders, Children’s Adventure Garden

Climate

Growing season: 245 days
Average rainfall: 44 inches
Average last frost: April 15
Average first frost: November 15
USDA hardiness zone 8 (Min. average temperature 10°-15° F)
AHS heat zone 6 (45-60 days above 86° F)

Education

For details and additional education programs click here

Family Programs

  • Evening programs
  • Polar Express

Adult Programs

  • Classes
  • Lectures
  • Workshops
  • Certification Programs

Rentals

The Garden is available for weddings, meetings and other special functions. Please call 757-441-5830 x 320 for weddings & rentals.

Special Events

  • Seasonal Exhibitions
  • Grapevine
  • Spring Plant Sale
  • Member’s Appreciation Event
  • Garden of Lights