More than half the Treasure State is farmland, but crops aren’t all Montana knows how to grow. Across the state, you can find beautiful gardens and arboretums, several of which contribute to scientific study as well as public enjoyment. A few of our favorites are:
Tizer Botanic Gardens & Arboretum-Jefferson City
Tizer Botanic Gardens & Arboretum began in 1998 as a small backyard garden. Today, it contains more than 1,500 woody plant varieties and more than
1,000 varieties of perennials and other plants. It is the only full-time operating botanical garden and international accredited arboretum
in the state of Montana open to the general public, with approximately 800 individual shrubs, containing more than 300 different varieties. More than 265 different varieties of deciduous trees grow here, along with more than 400 varieties of conifers.
Old Lexington Stamp Mill & Gardens-Butte
At the corner of Granite and Arizona, Butte’s Old Lexington Stamp Mill and Gardens is as beautiful as it is historic. It contains the town’s first ore crushing machine from 1867 and is located at the site of Butte’s first smelter, first high school, and one of the community’s first patented mine claims.
Memorial Rose Garden-Missoula
Located near the center of the “Garden City,” the Memorial Rose Garden was established to honor members of the armed forces from Missoula County that were killed in WWII. It later became an American Rose Society test ground. At present, 44 beds are planted with over 600 bushes, including a variety of hybrid teas, grandifloras, floribundas, and miniatures. There are also a number of old shrub roses located in the park.
Montana Arboretum & Gardens-Bozeman
In 2012, Montana State University earned the designation of “Tree Campus USA” from the Arbor Day Foundation, in honor
of its commitment to effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. The university’s arboretum and gardens are located on the campus grounds, featuring native plants from the north Rocky Mountain region, the plains, and drier areas of Montana.
ZooMontana Botanical Park & Yellowstone Arboretum-Billings
ZooMontana cares for 56 different species of animals, while also serving plant life
as a botanical garden and accredited arboretum. The ZooMontana Botanical Park includes a 4,000-square-foot sensory garden, with walking paths, a fountain, and flowers to (gently) touch and smell. The Yellowstone Arboretum stretches throughout the zoo and contains numerous specimens, including a Tolleson’s Weeping Juniper, one of the first trees planted on the grounds in the 1990s.
The Capitol Grounds-Helena
One of the most striking features of the Capitol Grounds is the northside flowerbed shaped like Montana, with its flowers that spell out “MONTANA” and the current year during the summer months. Trees and shrubs are used to great effect throughout the grounds, including two commemorative trees—the George Bush Memorial Elm (1989) and the Prisoner of War and MIA Freedom Tree (1973).