Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens has acres of exotic plants and is one of the hidden jewels of Niagara Falls.
Founded back in 1936, this garden is run by the the Niagara Parks Commission, the same folks who bring you those wonderful gardens along the Falls at Victoria Park and Oakes Garden Theatre.
This garden is very special because it's a teaching garden too…
The School of Horticulture has its campus here, and they offer a three-year diploma program in horticulture. I have a fond spot for this place because when I was a teenager I toyed with the idea of becoming a horticulturist and dreamed of studying here. I remember walking around the gardens with my parents, contemplating my future. Life took me down another path but I still have a passion and appreciation for the art of garden design and marvel at the creative vision that can work with nature to create such beauty.
The students at this school develop the park and maintain all the lovely plants you see.
They also operate a small aviary.
Entrance to these gardens is free.
Here are some of my pictures from a recent visit:
Restaurants and shopping
The Conservatory has its own small restaurant with inside and outside seating. You’ll also find a gift-store selling nature-themed items.
Note: Picnicking is not allowed in the Botanical Gardens. If you want to brown-bag it, just drive or bike a bit farther down the Niagara Parkway and you'll find some good rest-stops where you can park and have something to eat. Or go back to the Falls area and have your lunch in the park facing one of the world's most spectacular views.
Within the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens you'll also find the delightful Niagara Falls Butterfly Conservatory (fee for admission).
Other gardens in the area, also run by the Niagara Parks Commission include:
Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens is 10 minutes north of Niagara Falls by car. It's on the way to Niagara on the Lake Ontario, another great day trip destination that you might want to check out while you're here.
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