The Buzz

New Year, New Numbers with your help!

We reached big numbers in 2017 and we hope to make 2018 even bigger with your help.   Thank you for your support in 2017. With your generosity, here are just a few of the things we did in numbers....        6,000 square feet of retail plant selections added with the creation of the Nursery at the  Garden      15,883 feet of lights twinkled throughout Holiday Wonders at the Garden     ... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden at Friday, December 29, 2017

Bulbs Herbs

Planting bulbs in Memphis is not any more difficult than planting them elsewhere, but to many of us it may seem that way. Our mothers—grand, great-grand, and beyond—successfully accomplished this task and evidence of their toil may still be sprouting skyward each spring, reminding us of them. Please be assured that nothing has been lost—we are not orphans to this. All one needs in order to successfully plant bulbs is knowledge of when to plant as well... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden at Monday, December 11, 2017

Winter Pruning

The end of November and December bring the holidays, being with family, decorating, gift giving, being thankful, and eating too much. Yet, there are still many gardening projects to complete: bulb planting, garden clean up, and my favorite winter pruning. December thru February is an excellent time to do pruning on trees and shrubs since the foliage has dropped and the structure of the plant is visible to make pruning easier. Some of the plants that I will be pruning during the winter here... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden at Monday, December 11, 2017

Holiday Plants

I grew up with an aluminum Christmas tree and a color wheel so I promised myself that I would always have a real tree for my kids…until as toddlers, my two boys got pneumonia two years in a row after Christmas and the pediatrician said to start thinking “artificial”. But for those of you lucky enough to have a real tree, should you buy a “cut” tree or a live tree to plant after the season? Cut trees are crops, just like corn. Every year a new crop is... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden at Monday, December 11, 2017

Meet our Imperial Guardian Lions

Meet our Imperial Guardian Lions. Thanks to Jimmy Ishii with Sekisui for this generous donation, these new marble sculptures now guard the entrance of the Asian Garden. Known in Chinese as  shí shī  which means “stone lion," they are often called " Foo Dogs " and are symbolic of power and protection   November is a wonderful time to visit our Asian Garden to see fall color. The Japanese Maples are famous for their fall color... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden at Monday, October 23, 2017

The Good, The Bad, and the Red

  If you were to walk through the formal section of the Herb Garden, you might walk past the Dye Bed.   Passing the dye plants, you might notice the prickly pear cactus and wonder how that plant is used for a dye. Well, there are two sources of dye from this one plant. The fruit of this plant is juiced and allowed to ferment and it produces a lovely dye ranging from light pink to a dark magenta. The second source of dye is a beautiful red produced by….wait... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden at Monday, October 16, 2017

The Yucca Moth

Drab, nocturnal, a little stout, and quite a bit fuzzy, moths are often overlooked by gardeners. But, while you and the butterflies are cozied up for the night, the moths are winging in the moonlight, and performing some very important pollination services. Because colors and shapes are not as prominent at night, moths aren’t drawn to the same flowers that their diurnal counterparts, the butterflies, are. Instead, moth-pollinated flowers tend to be glowing white, and highly fragrant. ... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden at Thursday, October 12, 2017

FALL IS FOR PLANTING! (A statement rooted in truth!)

I’m sure you’ve heard this before. A ploy by nurseries to get you to buy their season ending inventory? To some extent, maybe, IF you hear it from a person’s point of view. From the plant’s point of view…IT IS GOSPEL! Think about the plant’s environment. In the spring, the air warms quickly, the soil slowly. In the fall, the air cools quickly, the soil slowly. Our soil temperature can be... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden at Friday, October 6, 2017


    The Fragrance Garden winds its way through our Magnolia Grove and connects the path outside the Prehistoric Plant Trail to the Hydrangea Garden and Bleckon Pavilion, creating a logical connection between existing gardens. This month is the perfect time to come visit these plants that bloom during the fall - specially Osmanthus. Commonly called Sweet Olive or False Hollies most are large growing evergreen shrubs with very fragrant flowers. Considered a full sun plant,... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden News at Monday, September 25, 2017

"New Vintage Rose" - Plant Pick!

This week the Volunteers at The Nursery in The Garden have chosen a beautiful  pink yarrow named "New Vintage Rose" (we have "New Vintage Red" also).  This is an Achillea millefolium selection that matures to about a foot tall.  Yarrow prefers full sun, well drained soil and does great (and winters) in a container.  Look for these when you come to the FALL PLANT SALE on Saturday, October 7th from 9 to 4. Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden News at Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Turn your herbs into incense!

Want to spice up your life and add a little fragrance to it at the same time while reducing your footprint?   Try making your own incense! Choose the herb or herbs you would like to dry such as red Cedar, lavender, rosemary, sage, or maybe even (if you grow it) a little bit of mugwort.   Cut your chosen herb, bundle the stems with cotton string, and hang out of the way until they are dry. Once they are ready: gather a heatproof container, a hotpad, a charcoal... Read More
Posted by sherri mccalla at Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Magenta Munchkin - Pick of the Week

This week, the volunteers chose a Butterfly Bush (Buddleja) called Magenta Munchkin.   This is a dwarf variety that matures to only 3' tall and wide.  Plant in full sun and deadhead the flowers to encourage repeat bloom.  This is a striking color and we have a number of new dwarf varieties that have proven to be hardier than the first available dwarfs.   Mark your calendar for the fall plant sale...OCTOBER 7TH!!!! Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden News at Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Notes from the Cullowhee Native Plant Conference

I first began attending native plant conferences in 2013, as an intern with the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville. Looking around the 2017 Plant Natives! Conference hosted by Chattanooga’s Wild Ones chapter this past March, the attendees of these conferences haven’t changed much (standing together, we make a nice camouflage blend of Indiana Jones hats, head-to-toe khaki, and floral-patterned blouses), many of the same speakers are “making the rounds”, and the core... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden News at Sunday, August 27, 2017

Forrest Spence 5K

  It is that time of year again!  Time to get outside, enjoy some of the many wonderful things our city has to offer, and time for the Forrest Spence 5K!  For ten years, Memphis has supported the Forrest Spence Fund; a fund that was founded by Brittany and David Spence in memory of their infant son, Forrest.  Raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to provide for the non-medical needs of critically and chronically ill children and their families, the Fund is an... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden at Thursday, August 24, 2017

This week the volunteers chose Salvia greggii "Wild Thing" as their plant of the week!

This week the volunteers chose Salvia greggii "Wild Thing" as their plant of the week.   "Wild Thing" is a chance seedling collected from the wild.  It is vibrant pink instead of red and hardier than the species.   Salvia greggii is a hummingbird magnet and an evergreen perennial that prefers full sun and soil on the dry side.    It blooms from May until October, but often you'll have sporadic flowers throughout the... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden News at Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Indian Pink - Volunteer Pick of the Week

    This week's "Volunteer Pick of the Week" is Indian Pink or Spigelia marilandica.  This is a beautiful shade to part shade native perennial that grows in moist woodland conditions but tolerates dry shade and goes well with Hosta, Columbine and Heuchera .  It grows in clumps, 15" to 24" tall, and blooms profusely in late spring and periodically throughout the season.  Deadheading promotes re-bloom, but it self seeds so... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden at Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Kitchen Classroom

  I am Katie McIntyre, an intern at the Memphis Botanic Gardens, sponsored by The Little Garden Club of Memphis. Over the summer, I have spent my time in My Big Backyard. As part of my internship, I have learned from many specialists about different styles of design, pruning, planting, growing, flower arranging, and color schemes. I have learned about the different varieties of trees, flowers, herbs, and produce, and where they can be best grown in a garden according to the sunlight.... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden News at Thursday, August 3, 2017

This week's PLANT PICK!

Each week's spotlighted plant is grown and chosen by our dedicated nursery volunteers. This week's volunteer pick is a variegated Carex, or Japanese sedge. This is a great grass for a moist to wet location.   It can tolerate full sun, but looks best when protected from the hottest afternoon sun, although it will grow in fairly heavy shade. It matures to about 12" tall, 18" wide, and is... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden News at Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Stomp on over to the Prehistoric Plant Trail

...but don't stomp on our newly planted palms! The adjacent Palm Collection features Chinese Fan Palms selected from ones growing in the mountains of China that are better able to adapt to our winters. The Prehistoric Plant Trail is a child-centered play area that is reminiscent of prehistoric times. There are dinosaur statues, chunks of faux-fossilized wood, a stone cave, and a dig pit for uncovering fossils. Planted in the area are plants that have been around since prehistoric... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden at Tuesday, July 25, 2017

“Scratch N’ Sniff” exhibit in The Little Garden Club Sensory Garden

Hello Everyone! My name is Khadejah and I am completing an internship at the MBG in the Sensory Garden, sponsored by The Little Garden Club of Memphis. The Little Garden Club Sensory Garden, established in 1987, was designed by Tom Pellet to enable individuals with special needs to enjoy and engage in the gardening experience. The garden is handicap accessible, with majority of it [garden] elevated for an easy view from a wheelchair. The Little Garden Club Sensory Garden maintains a... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden News at Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Tropic Heat

  By Sherri McCalla, Herb Garden curator at MBG   Yup. It is that time again: hot and humid. If it weren’t for our winter, we would live in a tropical paradise. Oh,... Read More
Posted by sherri mccalla at Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Art of Watering

Say the weather report for today in Memphis, TN, is 105⁰ and high do I take care of all my plants? Watering plants if you are a novice can be intimidating. I have had great success with plants using these tips; follow them, and you should be fine. First if you can’t water every morning, I suggest  potting your container plants in a heavy mix. This will help ensure that your plants will stay... Read More
Posted by manny pailet at Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Summer Internship

I am excited to be a part of the Memphis Botanic Garden staff this summer. My friend, Michael Fletcher, and I are new summer interns. As members of Collierville Boy Scout Troop 50, we were recommended by our Scoutmaster Len Lawhon for summer intern positions. Michael and I have been working for Mr. Len for over a year at DeSoto Farms, operating landscaping machinery and learning about horticulture. So far, our internship work is very similar to the work we’ve done on Mr.... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden News at Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Summer Colors

Summer Colors   “ They give us those nice bright colors, They give us the greens of summer, Make’s you think all the world’s a sunny day…” Paul Simon was talking about his Nikon camera and his Kodachrome film, but every time I hear the... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden News at Friday, June 30, 2017

3 Ways to Use Your Family Membership This Season!

3 Ways to Use Your Family Membership This Season! Warmer weather means more fun together! Make the Garden a place for family time Your family membership gives you exclusive access to discounted/free events & activities, including FREE year-round access to our 96 acres! Here are some ways to create new family memories and traditions: 1.) Spend Quality Time Together at the Garden Bring a Picnic– All year round! FREE for Members Create your own... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden News at Thursday, May 4, 2017

Meet Robin Howell - new curator of the Japanese and Asian gardens

  My name is Robin Howell, and I'm the new curator of the Japanese and Asian gardens here at the Memphis Botanic Garden.  I'm thrilled at the opportunity here in Memphis to learn more about Japanese gardening and am looking forward to working with the staff and volunteers.  I already have a connection here at the garden; Kyle McLane, our Assistant Director of Horticulture, and I went to high... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden News at Thursday, April 20, 2017

When is Spring?

  When is Spring? Depending on who you’re talking to Spring can have a couple of different definitions.  Most of us are familiar with the solar/astronomical reckoning of Spring which is noted on our calendars between the Vernal Equinox (around March 21) and the Summer Solstice (around June 21).  A meteorological reckoning, based on average temperature, makes the warmest three months... Read More
Posted by chris o'bryan at Sunday, April 16, 2017

Calling All Coneheads….

    What is the tallest living thing in the world?   -a conifer:  Coast Redwood, Sequoia sempervirens , towering nearly 400 feet.   What is the largest living thing?     -a conifer:  Giant Sequoia, Sequoiadendron gianteum , over 52,000 cubic feet. What is the world’s oldest living thing?     -a conifer!  Bristlecone... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden News at Thursday, April 13, 2017

Have you ever stared into the eye of a Dragon?

West of Lake Biwa, just below the Japanese Pavillion, is the lair of Pinus densiflora ‘Oculus-draconis’, Dragon’s Eye Pine. The large green and yellow eyes stare back bewitchingly as one gazes down into the branch ends… This unique pine is native to Japan, Korea and parts of China. A slow grower, Dragon’s Eye can eventually reach 30 feet tall with a spread nearly as wide. It likes full sun, well-drained and slightly acid soil.     Each... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden News at Monday, April 10, 2017

Spring Plant Sale and Herbal Celebration

    Spring has sprung! Winter is here!   No, wait, it is summer! Oops, I mean it is winter!   Ah, well, the first day of spring will have happened by the time you guys are reading this, but who knows what temperature it will be. Sigh.   The only time weather is ever boring here in the Mid-South is in the middle of Desert Time (aka:... Read More
Posted by sherri mccalla at Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Memphis Botanic Garden Tree Team

Pictured (l to r): Deb Foehring, Linnea West, Jan Castillo, Sean Pflaumer, Laurie Williams, and Polly Baxter     As members of Laurie Williams’s volunteer Tree Team at the Garden, we have the great green fortune to walk these 96 beautiful acres monitoring tree health. We document the growing arboretum collection, prune alongside staff, engrave and mount botanical signs, maintain the Conifer Reference Garden that the team established in... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden News at Monday, April 3, 2017

MBG Staff-Keeping it Green at Home

  I have two sons, Mason, age 10, and Hayden, age 7. They have to take a snack every day so we bought a reusable snack bag that they take every day rather than using a plastic bag. We have used a sandwich box and re-usable small containers in the boys' lunches for years to reduce the amount of trash in their lunch boxes. -Kristen Zemaitis, Program Coordinator As Director of Education at the Garden AND mother of four, I am very aware of the stats on health benefits and... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden News at Saturday, April 1, 2017

Outreach Programs Cater to the Young

  Recently, our Outreach program has had to the opportunity to share with some younger sprouts. Studies show that the earlier years, 0-3 are vital in the development of long term interest in and care for the earth. As James J. Heckman writes, “learning starts in infancy, long before formal education begins, and continues throughout life. Early learning begets later learning and early success breeds later success .” 85% of brain development occurs before the... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden News at Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Tennessee Plant Conservation Allianc

Botanic gardens are not just beautiful places to visit, but also serve an important role in the conservation of plant diversity. One of the significant ways that botanic gardens engage with conservation is by safeguarding rare and threatened species.     For example, we have been growing Echicnacea tenneseensis, a species endemic to central TN, as well as Helianthus verticillatus, beautiful sunflower listed as endangered due to its limited habitats in... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden News at Friday, March 24, 2017

The Season of Cherry Blossoms

In Japan, cherry blossoms symbolize clouds, because of the way they bloom in mass. With many spring blooms arriving early this year, everyone is speculating on when we will see the fluffy display of Yoshino blossoms along Cherry Road. Most people don’t realize, however, that we have other types of cherry trees, like the Okame, blooming right now in the Japanese Garden. This March, we invite you to celebrate cherry blossom season with some special events highlighting Japanese culture. ... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden at Thursday, February 23, 2017

Mossin’ Around

Despite the unseasonably warm days we have enjoyed this January, we are still very much in winter. Around the garden, warm-season grasses are brown and brittle, the branches of deciduous trees are bare, and herbaceous perennials are decidedly dormant. There is no winter dormancy for a gardener, though, and our team of horticulturalists remains busy. On a given day you may see us tucking in bulbs, pruning trees and shrubs, laying down mulch, cutting back perennials, and, of course, pulling... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden News at Thursday, February 9, 2017

Behind the scenes of the upcoming Spring Plant Sale

  Starting in October through January, the Memphis Botanic Garden receives plants for the spring's biggest plant sale. This year will be fantastic. We are featuring a wide variety of sun and shade perennials, herbs, and vegetables. There will also be trees, shrubs, and annuals. This year we will have a large number of mini and small hostas, spider form daylilies and Bletilla  (hardy Chinese ground orchid) just to name a few.         Our... Read More
Posted by manny pailet at Monday, February 6, 2017

Just like a bad penny, the grumpy nurseryman is back!

  Hi, this is Jim Crowder (retired from Dan West Garden Center) and I have joined the staff here at the Memphis Botanic Garden.  Retirement was great for me, but my wife Carol said, after 40 years of marriage, getting twice as much husband and half as much money JUST WASN’T WORKING!  So here I am!  I’ll be working about three days a week helping with adult education, planning and acquiring seasonal color, and helping with plant production for the Spring Plant... Read More
Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden News at Thursday, February 2, 2017

Moving Parts; the unseen complexities of the Garden...

Hello! I write this just as I come to the close of my fourth week here at the Memphis Botanic Garden.  As I look out my office window, I see daffodils sprouting up. This, on the one hand, seems early, but, on the other, is hopeful that spring is soon to arrive! Friends and family have asked about my early experiences here at the Garden, and so I thought I’d share those same thoughts with you. Beyond the fact of how beautiful and serene it is here, my first impressions are about... Read More
Posted by Michael D. Allen at Friday, January 27, 2017

Daniel Rudolph - Artist/Gardener

     Meet Daniel Rudolph. An Incognito artist and avid gardener.   Daniel Rudolph has been gardening longer than he has been painting. “I started gardening when I was 12 years old with my mom,” said Rudolph. And he continues this passion with wife Chari.   Born in Wisconsin, then moving from Florida to Oregon to New Mexico, and now for the past two years in Memphis, the Rudolphs have been organically growing flowers, heirloom... Read More
Posted by Bonnie Grosshans at Thursday, January 19, 2017

What is a "Tennessee Naturalist?" Could it be me??

Every year, you probably see the Tennessee Naturalist Program on our list of classes and wonder what exactly that means. Maybe you notice that it is a 40-hour curriculum/40-hour volunteer course, but skim right on past...because what is a Tennessee Naturalist anyway, and why would you want to become one? The personal benefit of the program for many of our students is a often a life-long goal of pursuing a deeper understanding of Tennessee’s rich... Read More
Posted by Charity Siebert at Thursday, January 12, 2017


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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:
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