National Public Gardens Day

National Public Garden Day is a holiday observed annually on the second Friday of May. It celebrates public gardens and encourages people to get out and enjoy them. What exactly is considered a public garden? According to The American Public Gardens Association (APGA), a public garden is an institution that maintains collections of plants for the public’s education and enjoyment.

These include botanical gardens, zoological gardens, sculpture gardens, college and university campuses, natural areas, urban greening organizations, parks maintained by every level of government, and even some cemeteries. They are public spaces where people can commune with nature, learn more about plants, or learn more about history.

The History of National Public Gardens Day

This holiday grew out of National Public Gardens Week—a celebration of public gardens launched by the American Public Gardens Association in 2009. The purpose of this holiday is to increase the public’s awareness of the importance of public gardens to education, the preservation of green spaces, and plant and water conservation.

Now, organizations all across the U.S. celebrate this holiday, including research facilities, botanical gardens, zoos, arboreta, and display gardens.

Facts About Public Gardens

We’re not going to miss the opportunity to pass on some great trivia about America’s public gardens that we learned during our research for this holiday. We did quite a bit of research for this holiday and found out some facts that everyone can appreciate. Let’s check them out and see what we can learn, shall we?

  • One of the oldest botanical gardens in the U.S. is the Missouri Botanical Garden, founded in 1859 by Henry Shaw.
  • The Missouri Botanical Garden is close to another historic park: Tower Grove Park, which opened in 1872 and is the largest and best-preserved 19th-century Gardenesque city park in the U.S.
  • Other historic botanical gardens include the U.S. Botanic Garden (opened in 1850) and the Magnolia Plantation & Gardens (opened in 1870).
  • Middleton Place, a Charleston rice plantation from the 18th century, is home to one of the oldest landscaped gardens in the U.S.
  • The Japanese Tea Garden inside San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park is the oldest public Japanese garden in the U.S.

Observing National Public Gardens Day

This holiday is easy enough for most people to observe and is also deeply gratifying. Public gardens all over the world need our support, and the best way we can provide it is by showing up. It is also a good idea for people to spread the news about this holiday using the hashtag #NationalPublicGardensDay online.

When is it?
This year (2024)
May 10 Friday
Next year (2025)
May 9 Friday
Last year (2023)
May 12 Friday
Nature & Environment