Guest Author - Donna Ledbetter
When the cooler, hotter weather hits, flowers bloom, and when they do, itís a field day for the senses. Pets, children, and adults alike enjoy traipsing through the grass, soaking in the array of broad garden colors, and feeling the tickle of leaves and petals against their nose with each stolen whiff. The MidAtlantic has gardens galore where visitors can experience these delights of a spring or summer garden at these free gardens open to the public.
National Botanical Garden
This botanical garden tops the list of best public gardens because of its sheer variety of plants. In addition to its creative selection, the gardenís curators also offer in depth plant exhibits and accompanying research. Yet the garden continues to remain friendly to the demands of a varied audience and creates exhibits and programs that cater to a wide range of tastes.
American University Arboretum & Gardens
The gardens of American University capture the essence of the coexistence of man and nature. An innocent stroll around the campus features several dozen varieties of trees amid the buildings and asphalt that comprise the university grounds. It is beautiful in its simplicity and in the way it becomes a natural part of an otherwise manmade landscape.
Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
Located at Pennsylvaniaís southern tip, Longwood Gardens offers over 100 acres of manicured trees and plants in luscious displays. Of particular interest is the topiary garden, filled with evergreens trimmed into delightful shapes, and the fountain garden, flowing waterworks unparalleled to the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.
Ladew Topiary Gardens
Topiary enthusiasts will squeal in delight with a visit to Ladew Gardens, which features acres of land devoted to sculpted, manicured evergreens trimmed into shapes that reach beyond standard expectations. Walking through the garden is like walking through a storybook. Each grouping of sculptured trees leaves visitors to their own imagination, free to allow their thoughts to wander as carelessly as a meandering stroll.
Pepsi Sculpture Garden
The Pepsi garden does not feature plants and trees as the other gardens on the list do, but it did make the list because of its sheer novelty. Pepsi, well known for beverages, chips, and fantastic oatmeal, opens its gardens to the public free of charge and offers a related tour.