Red Butte Garden is one of the world’s most magnificent botanical gardens. West of the Intermountain. It is part of the Utah State Arboretum, shared by the University of Utah. They are situated on 100 acres in the foothills near the University of Utah campus. Since 1985, the Garden has welcomed visitors to its roughly 21 acres of landscaped gardens and five miles of hiking paths weaving through an immense Natural Area. The Garden is well-known for its diverse plant collections, showcase gardens, 524,000 springtime flowering bulbs, an extensive collection of daffodils, beautiful private event spaces, a world-class outdoor music series, and award-winning horticulture-based educational activities.
History of the Garden
Dr. Walter P. Cottam, the co-founder of The Nature Conservancy and head of the University of Utah’s Botany Department, started utilizing university grounds for plant study in 1930. He analyzed plants for their adaptation to their location for over 30 years.
The Utah State Legislature designated the University’s campus environment as the State Arboretum in 1961, publicly recognizing Cottam’s magnificent collection. The Arboretum’s initial statute required it to “offer resources and facilities for fostering a deeper understanding and public respect for the trees and plants near them, as well as those flourishing in distant areas of the nation and globe.”
The University of Utah engaged Richard Hildreth as a full-time director to launch meaningful interpretations of the collections and to build teaching programs emphasizing practical gardening and plant identification as the Arboretum grew.
The Arboretum’s demand for permanent public teaching facilities and showcase gardens increased in tandem with the University’s. Ezekiel R. Dumke, Jr. and Richard Hwildreth spearheaded efforts to have the University commit 100 acres near the mouth of Red Butte Canyon for a regional botanical park in 1983. Red Butte Garden & Arboretum replaced the State Arboretum as the organization’s moniker. The location provides an excellent chance to display horticulture collections and illustrate the highly diversified natural environment. This possibility prompted the Garden’s expanded goal to include horticulture, conservation, and environmental education.
The Garden originally opened its doors to the public in 1985. George and Dolores Dore funded the Walter P. Cottam Visitor Center, which opened in 1994. The Courtyard Garden, the Fragrance Garden, the Medicinal Garden, the Herb Garden, the Hemingway Four Seasons Garden, the Dumke Floral Walk, the Children’s Garden, the Richard K. Hemingway Orangerie, a theater, a water Conservation Garden, an enlarged gift store are all part of the complex. have all been added over the years. All they’re paid for using contributions from the community.
Red Butte Garden now encompasses 21 acres of exhibit gardens and more than five kilometers of hiking paths. The Garden is among the nation’s best, with 200,000 annual visitors, 10,000 members, and 300 volunteers. The Garden is well-known for its award-winning gardens and stunning flower displays, such as the springtime display of over 524,000 blooming bulbs, outdoor music series, and award-winning educational activities. It has evolved into a multi-use facility for anyone seeking horticultural expertise, fitness, entertainment, family-oriented activities, or a beautiful location for weddings and other special occasions.
To bring people closer to plants and the beauty of living environments.
A community that knows, cherishes protects, and benefits from the plant world.
Plants and Garden
Themed and Garden
Red Butte Garden is the world’s Intermountain West and shares the Utah State Arboretum with the University of Utah. They are situated on 100 acres in the foothills near the University of Utah campus. Since 1985, the Garden has welcomed visitors to its roughly 21 acres of landscaped gardens and five miles of hiking paths weaving through an immense Natural Area. Their foothill position also provides panoramic views of the valley, distant mountain ranges, and the Great Salt Lake.
Four Seasons Garden, Herb Garden, Children’s Garden, Fragrance Garden, Floral Walk, Medicinal Garden, Water Pavilion Garden, Rose Garden, Canyon Meadow, Water Conservation Garden, Six Bridges Trail, and others are among the themed garden sections. Stay tuned as they update this page with information about their themed gardens.
Gardeners’ Corner in the Rose Garden
Kathy Wallentine, a Garden volunteer, worked with the curation team to exhibit seasonal cuttings at the Visitor Center kiosk for more than 1,950 hours. She won the Garden’s Lifetime Award in 2018 for 25 years of volunteer devotion.
Dr. Ezekiel and Edna Dumke Therapeutic Garden, located amid Red Butte Garden’s three Terrace Gardens, between the Fragrance and Herb Gardens, is home to plants recognized or thought to have medicinal virtues.
This garden section has medicinal plants that numerous civilizations have utilized throughout history, as well as several that are useful in current medicine. For example, Foxglove (Digitalis) is the source of the widely used cardiac medication Digitalis. Every day, new drugs are discovered, many of which are derived from plants.
There are widespread worries about plant variety and extinction across the globe, necessitating them to study, conserve, and teach people about the lack of conservation, not just plants but their ecosystems, which include pollinators and decomposers.
The Medicinal Garden was established and planted in 1996 around a planetree (Platanus), beneath which Hippocrates is said to have taught his students the art of medicine on the Greek island of Kos.
This Garden was wholly rebuilt in 2017-2018. Interpretive signs will change semi-annually as part of the new design to convey additional tales about medicinal plants.
Dumke Floral Walk
The Dumke Floral Walk, built by local designer Esther Truitt Henrichsen, runs from the Oak Sculpture to the Rose Garden. The bulk of the plants on exhibit are blooming from February to November.
This garden space is divided into parts based on sun and wind exposure.
- Mediterranean – The topmost section of the Floral Walk has flora with a Mediterranean flair.
- Woodland – Serviceberries (Amelanchier x Grandiflora ‘Autumn Brilliance’) arch over the walkway and offer shade for various blooming plants. Native Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia), which bears fruit in June, Hosta (Hosta), Barrenwort (Epimedium), Lenten Rose (Hellebore), Sweet Woodruff (Galium), a natural insect repellant, and Wood Hyacinth (Hyacinthoides hispanica ‘Excelsior’). More than 19,000 daffodils and other unusual bulbs bloom here in the spring.
- Arbors – Rob McFarland, a local designer, created the pavilions. Fruiting pears planted on each side are being trained to cover and shade the arbors.
- Hot Wall – With total exposure from the south and west, this bed was created with plants that thrive in heat and sunlight!
- Cottage Garden – Part of their collection of Lilacs (Syringa) and Crabapples (Malus), as well as some typical English cottage garden plants: Iris (Iris), Peonies (Paeonia), Roses (Rosa), Columbine (Aquilegia), Asters (Aster), and others may be found in this shadier area.
- The Floral Bouquet – The raised-bed rings were erected in 2002 to commemorate the Winter Olympics in Utah, and they are an excellent site to exhibit annual plants and plant combinations.
For more information, visit their website or call them at (801) 585-0556 Check it out here.