The Buzz

Happy New Year from the Garden

We are excited to bring in the new year with our new Executive Director Michael D. Allen. Mike joins the Memphis Botanic Garden having spent the past six years as President and CEO of Catholic Charities of West Tennessee. His leadership and experience will be an asset to the Garden, and we look forward to an amazing year. Mike says, “I am thrilled to join the experienced team of professionals and Board members at the Memphis Botanic Garden and I look forward to exploring each and every... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden News at Tuesday, December 20, 2016


The weekend before Thanksgiving brought spotty frost and the first cold weather of the season to the area. I debated how to dress the following Monday, and opted for the long-johns, the neck gaiter, and the knit cap. That turned out to be a good thing, since the morning temperatures in the Herb Garden did not get out of the 40’s, and the bumblebees were still so sleepy that we could pet their little backs. (There was a wasp-nest on the prairie dock [ Silphium terebinthinaceum .] We... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden News at Monday, December 12, 2016

We NEED you!

2016 has been a great year! Here are some of our accomplishments: ` 34,930 were served through our field trips and outreach programs. ` We continued our Free Membership Program, ensuring access to need-based  households. ` Families have been “digging” the Dirt Pile, a new interactive feature in My Big Backyard. ` We drew record crowds (again!) for our  16th season of Live at the Garden , launched a new Live at the Garden website, and grew... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden at Friday, December 9, 2016

Tis the season to be at the Garden

Tis the season to be at the Garden whether it be for a stroll throughout the grounds or a holiday evening at Snowy Nights in My Big Backyard.      The entire staff here at the Garden has been spending their time hanging thousands of lights in preparation for Snowy Nights which starts December 2nd. A lot of work, sweat and tears goes into this event to completely transform the Children's Garden into a magical, enchanted holiday celebration perfect for all ages.... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden News at Thursday, December 1, 2016

Conifers: They're not just for Christmas...

This is the time of year when it seems that evergreens are everywhere you turn, with Christmas tree stands popping up in parking lots, decorations in and on retail establishments, and, maybe, (if you are way ahead of me) lovely holiday greenery decking your halls. Evergreen trees, wreaths, and garland have been used by many cultures since ancient times to represent eternal life, and it is no wonder that they are so symbolic. As the vibrant colors of autumn fade into winter, evergreens give us... Read More
Posted by Jana Wilson at Monday, November 28, 2016

Transforming the Woodlands

  My big upcoming project for the fall and winter of 2016 is to begin organizing the renovation of our (roughly) 5 acre woodland located at the center of the Memphis Botanic Garden. I will be working in conjunction with other knowledgeable members of the Horticulture Staff as well as the Education Department. The main idea at the moment is to once again make the woodland more accessible and enjoyable to our guests by creating a tidy space with a large diversity of (mostly)... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden News at Saturday, November 26, 2016

Sustainable Solutions for Winter Gardening

Every gardener has most likely experienced the bitter-sweet feelings that arise with the changing of the seasons. The cool, crisp air of fall and winter can be such a relief from the seemingly relentless heat of summer here in the mid-south, and the onset of shorter daylight hours leads inevitably to a slower pace. Yet for gardeners, this relief comes with a sad price, for there are few plants that provide the same kind of comfort, delight, and diversity of color and texture in the winter... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden News at Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Japanese Garden Open House

         Members of the Memphis Botanic Garden recently enjoyed a nice fall evening in the Japanese Garden of Tranquility (Seijaku-En). As traditional Japanese music played in the background, guests enjoyed a candlelit walk around this Garden, giving visitors a chance to learn more about the folklore and symbolism behind the design as the sun set. The horticulture staff shared information on the significance behind the Japanese and regional native plants... Read More
Posted by Bonnie Grosshans at Friday, October 28, 2016

Blecken Pavilion in the Fall

  As the seasons change and we long for cooler weather and colorful leaves, our horticultural staff is preparing to make new changes to the Hydrangea Garden. Our Hydrangea Garden was installed in the spring of 2007 and now surrounds the Blecken Pavilion. The Mid-South Hydrangea Society was instrumental in helping us create this collection and is working with the MBG horticulture staff this fall to update some of the original plantings. Hydrangea macrophylla, commonly... Read More
Posted by kyle mclane at Thursday, October 27, 2016

Sip-n-Shop! Party to support the Garden

Why wait for the holidays to shop and support your Memphis Botanic Garden? It's been a long, sunny summer, and we're ready to welcome fall with a sip-fest of wines, hors d'oeuvres, and local artisan vendors. What: Vine to Wine at the Garden: Siptember Sip-n-Shop When: Tuesday, September 27, 5-8 pm Where: Memphis Botanic Garden, Goldsmith Room and Sculpture Garden Cost: Members $35/Non-members $45 Tickets: Buy online here or call... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden at Friday, September 23, 2016

Growers' Choice? What's new and different about our Fall Plant Sale...

For the past few years, our Fall Plant Sale has been a major 2-day production, featuring landscape vignettes, educational talks, lawn and garden vendors, and more. It was an impressive event, but, quite frankly, the logistics were massive, the impact to the grounds was noticeable, and everyone was wiped out at the end of the show. So, we asked some of our best regular customers for their input, and the answer was clear: WE JUST WANT TO BUY PLANTS! Folks want to buy plants that... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden at Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Lausanne Sophomore Intern Project

The Memphis Botanic Garden is always looking for volunteers, and this summer we were excited to welcome four Lausanne sophomore interns. Isabella Bodini, Kaleb Cox, Koby Jeffries, and Anthony McGhee joined us from August 22 nd -26 th , and learned about a multitude of components essential to running the Memphis Botanic Garden. Each day this team of young people gained hands-on experience, shadowing different staff members in My Big Backyard to learn enough information to carry out their own... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden News at Monday, September 12, 2016

The Coors Memorial Garden

The Coors Memorial Garden is in memory of Jeanne Parham Coors and Cristy Coors Beasley. Jeanne was President of the MBG Board of Directors and members of the Coors family have been  long-time supporters of the Garden. This new woodland garden will connect the path outside of Prehistoric Plant Trail to the Hydrangea Garden and Blecken Pavilion; creating a logical connection between existing gardens.  The Coors Garden will wind its way through our Magnolia Grove, providing a... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Cosby at Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Planting for Caterpillars

I moved to Memphis from my hometown of Asheville, NC in April, 2015. Having interned at the Asheville Arboretum and the Highlands Biological Research Station Botanic Garden, I was excited to accept a position at the Memphis Botanic as a Horticultural Assistant. With a background in environmental science (I received a BA in the field from Mount Holyoke College in 2013) and a strong interest in native flora, my assignment as curator of the Anne Heard Stokes Butterfly Garden felt like an... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden at Monday, August 15, 2016

Forrest Spence 5K race - guest blog post

   Over the years, our family, like countless other families in Memphis and the Mid-South, have come out to enjoy the beauty of the Memphis Botanic Garden and fun of My Big Backyard.  There is nothing quite like spending the day watching our kids climbing into the big tree house, enjoying digging in the sand, playing in the creek, as well as learning how we can better protect our environment  and preserve our natural resources.    Spending time walking... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden News at Friday, August 12, 2016

Summer Internship at the Garden - guest blog

My name is Jordan Podwoski, and I am a senior at Mississippi State University.  I am currently majoring in horticulture, with a concentration specializing in fruit and vegetable production. I have lived around the Memphis area for most of my life and now reside in the nearby town of Olive Branch, Mississippi. My dream is to one day work in the field of genetic modification of edible plants so they can better survive in harsher environments and be grown more efficiently and abundantly for... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden at Monday, August 1, 2016

Anne Heard Stokes Butterfly Garden-by Carson Ellis

As a child, my hobbies included collecting dead butterflies and moths, which I mounted in frames hung on my bedroom walls, and capturing caterpillars to rear in jars (perhaps, born a little later, my hobby would have been catching Pokémon instead-- I’m glad I wasn’t!). These lepidopterans fascinated me, lazily drifting through my mother’s garden on their colorful, powdery wings, and the first plants I learned to identify were stuffed into jars to feed picky... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden at Friday, July 29, 2016

PokemonGo, as played by a middle-aged marketing director

A couple of weeks ago, my 24-year-old son stopped by my desk to show me this new "PokemonGo thing" that he said was going crazy in the Garden. I needed to know, he said, because the Garden was a mecca of "Pokestops," with 4 "gyms," Ratattas, Pidgeys, and Magikarps galore. Flashing him a dramatic eyeroll, which he has also perfected under my tutelage, I took a look at his screen, googled PokemonGo, and got the okay to offer discounted weekend admission to anyone who... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden at Thursday, July 28, 2016

Summer interning at the Garden - guest blog

Hello all! My name is Will Embry and I am a senior Biology major at the University of Memphis. I have been working at the Memphis Botanic Gardens now for 4 months. I would like to take some time to tell you about our partnership with Le Bonheur in creating this year’s attraction in the Idea Garden. We took what was once a vegetable garden and a hobbit house and have transformed it into a Lost Boys Lagoon! The project began with the planting of Chinese Windmill Palms and... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden at Friday, July 22, 2016

Family Gardens: A User's Guide for Designers and Horticultural Professionals

The American Horticultural Society has been hosting The National Children & Youth Gardening Symposium for over 20 years and this year it will be held in Columbia, SC July 13 - 16. Staff members of the Memphis Botanic Garden attend almost year. Thanks to the Misner Scholarship Fund that promotes MBG staff training, four MBG employees will be in attending to network, learn, and act as resources to the horticultural community. Chris Cosby, Senior Manager of Gardens, will be doing a lecture on... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden at Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Living Wall at Live Garden

This month the sunflowers are in full bloom and it’s the perfect time to stop by the International Paper Living Wall. The Living Wall is a planting that runs along the west side of The Live Garden. Whether you are here visiting the Garden or at a concert this summer, be sure to stop by this blend of architecture and landscape of beautiful sunflowers. International Paper, who funded The Living Wall, worked together with Memphis Botanic Garden to create a sustainable... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden at Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Hydrangeas at the Garden

Hydrangeas at the Garden As I was taking my daily drive around the garden to check on various things, I noticed white particles of flowers peeking up in various areas of the garden. When I got a closer look, I realized that they were oak leaf hydrangeas (hydrangea quercifolia), mid-way to peak bloom. These are the species native to our South Eastern U.S. These hydrangeas are the ones at The Live Garden area that brighten the walls at the entrance  and in the Woodland Garden. ... Read More
Posted by kyle mclane at Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Pack Your Picnic: Memorial Day/Summer Symphony Herbal Picnic Recipes

Memorial Day brings thoughts of gratitude for the many men and women who fight and have fought, many giving their lives in the process, to keep our country safe from outside harm. This very safety allows Americans a simple luxury: picnicking. Traditionally, Memorial Day is the day when, unofficially, summer arrives. School is over and freedom prevails. The Garden , along with the Memphis Herb Society, just hosted the 2016 Herbal Celebration. Herb Society members provided tasty herbal... Read More
Posted by sherri mccalla at Friday, May 27, 2016

The Chusan palm

  We get a lot of plant questions while working in the gardens throughout the year, and it seems that each season there is a particular plant that really sparks visitors' interest. This season it's the Chusan or Chinese Windmill palm, Trachycarpus fortunei, a grove of which forms the basis of our Idea Garden design this year in My Big Backyard. Visitors ask how we keep them alive through the winter and are astounded when we tell them that the Chusan palm is perfectly... Read More
Posted by chris cosby at Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Rose Garden

  May is a beautiful time to visit our Rose Garden, which was completely renovated thanks to a generous gift from John D. Canale, III in honor of his father,  John D. Canale, Jr.  The Rose Garden was renovated in the summer of 2015 with multiple design concepts in mind. First and foremost was to make the garden more botanically educational and inviting for our visitors. We added suitable trees, shrubs, perennials, and annuals to create a "garden with roses', rather than a... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden at Thursday, April 28, 2016


LUSH INTERIORS is a new collection of mixed media works aimed at exploring sensual machines, a term the artist uses to describe the mechanized trappings of modern life, as we all become increasingly enmeshed with our gadgetry. Common household appliances burst apart to reveal human anatomy and vegetation, both in various states of bloom and decay. From a distance, the works appear as vibrantly colored, otherworldly scenes, but a closer viewing reveals grim details: human teeth and... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Cosby at Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Farmer's Market Season Opening-April 27th!

This year, we'll be changing things up a bit, so come on out and see what's new! For one, our hours have changed. We've received so many requests over the past few years, that we're changing the market times to 1-5 p.m. That means that you can take a late-ish lunch and swing by for fresh produce and prepared foods. Secondly, we will be setting up in the parking lot rather than the Pine Grove. Our horticulture experts say that we need to give the trees a break, (Driving and... Read More
Posted by Jana Wilson at Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Seasons and Plants

Those of us who work in the plant industry are often asked why a certain tree or shrub performed as it did this spring or early spring. Some questions can be answered by looking back at the previous seasons of fall and winter.  This fall and winter seasons started out mild and warm, then progressed to cold and rainy. This weather pattern contributes to the spring color experience, as it does every year.  For example, a warm dry fall will typically cause a shorter fall color season.... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden at Thursday, April 7, 2016

Exploring Place with Plants

We’ve heard the adage, “Right plant, right place." This is helpful garden advice, but also a reminder that we gain a sense of place by observing and knowing plants as they grow in our environment. I grew up in Asheville, North Carolina, and my memories are of the dense shade under Rhododendron maximum, picking Gaylussacia ursina berries in July, and the unmistakable, musky odor of Galax urceolata colonies. Whenever I pass our specimen of Tsuga canadensis on the Woodland Trail, I pause,... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden at Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Bamboo Fencing

Bamboo, or take ’ in Japanese, is probably one of the most consistently used plant materials in Japanese gardens; although not in the way you might initially think. Being a grass, bamboo is terribly fast growing, abundant, and is very aggressive, impeding all other plant growth in its vicinity. It is typically not planted in the garden for these reasons, but, due to its copious nature, structural stability and straightness, it makes for a fantastic building material, especially for fencing. ... Read More
Posted by nick esthus at Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Edibles as Ornamentals

  One of the biggest challenges for our Horticulture staff is choosing which plants to use for the seasonal displays each year. As plant people, we are aware of literally thousands of interesting and beautiful candidates, and one of the easiest ways to narrow the choices down is to choose a theme and use it as the guiding design principle. I'm not sure how many of our visitors are aware of the theme, but we use this approach each season to guide our selection process. In keeping with... Read More
Posted by chris cosby at Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Trees for Wildlife - by Linnea West

... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden at Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Memphis Arbor Day 2016

 Approximately 50 people showed up to help celebrate the official City of Memphis Arbor Day. As one of Tree City USA’s requirements, the Memphis Tree Board holds an Arbor Day celebration each year. Tennessee recognizes the first Friday in March as Arbor Day. After the proclamation was read, Jan Castillo shared some thoughts on trees and the group went outside to plant a special Redbud tree that had been donated by The Dabney Nursery.  Dabney’s chose this particular Cercis species for... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden at Saturday, March 19, 2016

Guest Blog by John Peterson, Memphis Herb Society member

  A garden in late winter is a place full of promise, of possibility. A few plants—the deciduous magnolias, the camellias—are in flower, and the occasional daffodil is blooming, letting us know that spring has not forgotten us. But there is a different kind of magic now in unopened buds, in tender growth hidden under leaves, in roots of quiet dynamism. In the shady section of the herb garden, the magenta flowers of lungwort ( Pulmonaria longifolia ) seem to glow. Close by,... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden at Friday, March 4, 2016

The Memphis 10 // Visitors Center Gallery

ABOUT THE SHOW AND THE ARTISTS The Memphis 10 is a group of talented and diverse women, who, through the love of painting, meet every other month to discuss, critique, and share their artistic endeavors. Approximately twenty years ago, ten local artists started meeting routinely and eventually became The Memphis 10.   Peggy Pollard Felsenthal, Nancy Hunter, Barbara Lieberman, Marty McKee, Betty Peyton, and Virginia Schoenster were among the early members. Betsy Bird and... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Cosby at Monday, February 29, 2016

Artist's Choice // students of the Fred Rawlinson Atelier in Fratelli's Cafe Gallery

ABOUT THE SHOW "Artists  think and feel  in a particular medium. Their  special meaning  is conceived and expressed in colors, shapes, forms, lines, textures, value and contrast. The task of the observer (appreciator) is to receive the artist’s message in the same terms in which it was conceived. Why is art generally misunderstood? The tendency of humans is to translate the meaning of all things into words. To phrase the meaning of art...or music...into... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Cosby at Monday, February 29, 2016

What Nettles You?

  Once upon a time, I read that if you ask permission to gather the nettles, then the nettles will be appeased and will not sting you. Right. I had to cut back the mugwort and the nettles in the area between the old meadow and Eurasia in the Herb Garden. This was to make the area look not so much like a jungle, and allow me the chance to rake up the leaves from the oaks and elm trees. This also allows the plants to look just a little more “refined”. If you were in the garden that... Read More
Posted by sherri mccalla at Friday, February 12, 2016

Frosted color-changing pinecones

Frosted Color-Changing Pine Cones These can be made and be placed on a hearth or in an arrangement before use, as the wax and salts give the pine cones a sparkly, snowy look. When placed in a campfire, the different salt chemicals will burn in different hues, some subdued, others quite bright.  Food should not be cooked over the fire until the salts and wax have burned away. 1. Prepare a pot or use an old crock pot (one that can be dedicated to crafts) to melt wax. We used white... Read More
Posted by Charity Siebert at Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Light And Shadow - Luz y Sombras // Agustin Díaz and Francisco Gonzalez in Visitors Center Gallery

About The Show Life is a duality which is expressed and creates destiny, it is an internal fight between positivity and negativity, between the truth and the absence of it; and it is determined by the search of authenticity or imitation. Light floods everything, revealing a world of shapes and colors, obscurity gives us shadows and the tones that compliment it. “Light and Shadows” are eternal opposites that reach a harmonic equilibrium in the plastic arts that we present to you here.... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Cosby at Monday, February 1, 2016

Perchance 2 // Chere Labbe Doiron in Fratelli's Cafe Gallery

PLEASE NOTE THIS EXHIBIT HAS A CLOSING RECEPTION! About The Show By both chance and intention this group of oil paintings draws subject matter and inspiration from the 1939 paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe,  commissioned by The Dole Company of Hawaii.  The deep divides, presence of water and flowers, represent soul searching dreams and visions, spiritual openings toward personal growth, discovery and autonomy. About The Artist Chère Labbé Doiron is a painter and... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Cosby at Monday, February 1, 2016

Winter Plant Sale

  When the winter blues get the best of me, I often visit greenhouses and floral shops, diligently searching for green-leaved and brightly-blooming house plants to take home and brighten my home surroundings. On February 5th and 6th the Memphis Botanic Garden is having its annual winter plant sale from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., benefiting the horticulture and education departments. The sale provides a great opportunity to dispel those winter doldrums with plenty of green and vivid... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden at Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Incognito 2016 - Silent Art Auction and Gala

January 29  5:30-8:00pm           Buy tickets here! Every January we have an art auction to raise funds for the great programming at MBG. The auction and gala are called Incognito because the artwork is not labeled with artist's names. You bid on art you love, not who the artist is, and the artists come to the gala in various incognito disguises— it's fun! The event is catered with a full cash bar (you get two free drink tickets and a bid number... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Cosby at Wednesday, January 20, 2016


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Enhancing lives by connecting people with plants to increase awareness and appreciation of our environment.


Central Daylight Time Hours:
9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Central Standard Time (Winter) Hours:
9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

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We are located at:
750 Cherry Road
Memphis, TN 38117
(Between Park & Southern)

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