Botanical gardens offer you the chance to interact with exotic and local plants in your area. Rochester boasts a wealth of gardens and conservatories filled with stunning flowers and eye-catching plants. Botanical hideaways are also enjoyable to visit in summer and fall. Here’s a list of top botanical gardens to add to your itinerary in Rochester.
At the Lamberton Conservatory, upstate NY residents can get a taste of what life near a tropical forest is like. Located right in Rochester, the conservatory has a lovely selection of tropical plants, plenty of exotic blossoms, humble house plants, and several economy crops, such as banana trees and coffee trees. Every April, the Lamberton puts on the glorious “Spring Show.”
Never pass up a chance to visit the 12.5-acre George Eastman estate when you find yourself in Rochester. The National Geographic Society deemed the museum one of the top public gardens in both Canada and the United States. You can roam the gardens without paying a dime, although it costs a fee to visit the main house and its museum. Come in February for the Dutch Collection, a celebration of amaryllis, daffodils, freesias, hyacinths, and tulips. The flowers bloom in the same shades that George Eastman himself planted a century ago.
Highland Botanical Park is one of the most beautiful outdoor gardens in Rochester. It hosts the Lilac Festival every May, a time during which the sweet fragrance of the lilacs wafts all over the city. In addition to a selection of 1,200 lilacs, the park features a collection of Japanese maple trees, 35 different types of magnolias, and a rock garden filled with dwarf evergreens. You'll find 700 kinds of rhododendrons, along with azaleas, Andromeda, wildflowers, and mountain laurel.
If you’re a fan of roses, Rochester has a garden dedicated to the fragrant blooms. At the Maplewood Rose Garden, which spans over a full acre, there are over 300 varieties of roses in every color and shape you can imagine. If you have the chance to time your visit, try to come during the second week in June. Not only can you attend the Rose Festival, but it's also the peak time for the rosebuds to bloom.
At the Rochester Museum and Science Center, you can stroll through 12 acres of towering trees that dapple the grounds with shade. During your explorations, keep your eyes peeled for vibrant annual flowers, stunning wildflowers that are native to the area, and herb gardens that will inspire you to start your own. The gardens and museum are right in the center of Rochester, offering a fresh, green respite in the middle of the hustle and bustle.
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