“Step into the garden, lift your face to the sun, and just breathe. It will help you remember all that is beautiful and right in the world.” -Unknown
In my home town of Norfolk, Virginia, there is one place that we enjoy returning to year round, again and again: Norfolk Botanical Garden.
As we travel, we enjoy botanical gardens of all shapes and sizes but at home, we are lucky enough to have Norfolk Botanical Garden on our back doorstep where we can enjoy beautiful flowers all spring and summer and a spectacular holiday light display in the winter. This family-friendly spot is a great place to host a wedding or just spend an afternoon.
Founded in 1938, the garden is 175 acres of meadows and gardens that can be explored by tram, boat, or on foot.
With over 60 themed gardens, the garden is very diverse and there is something for everyone. Our favorite time of year is April to the end of May when over 3,000 rose bushes in the Bicentennial Rose Garden are in full bloom and the fragrance of the blooms welcomes you as you approach along the path. Other gardens include the Japanese Garden, Kaufman Hydrangea Garden, Bristow Butterfly Garden, Children’s Garden, Friendship Pond, Colonial Herb Garden, Hofheimer Camellia Garden, the NATO Overlook, Sarah Lee Baker Perennial Garden, and Statuary Vista, to name only a few. The garden also offers educational program for adults, children, and schools, sunset kayaking, Yoga and T’ai Chi classes, even Sunday Dog Days allow the family pooch can enjoy the garden.
The garden’s next door neighbor is Norfolk International Airport (ORF) and while the sound of the jet engines can sometimes break the tranquility of the garden, there is an overlook from the garden onto the airport tarmac where visitors can listen to airport ground communications and watch jets take off and land. This is always a fun vantage point for kids of every age!
If you plan to visit the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area, consider adding Norfolk Botanical Garden to your list of things to do. It is easy to find and depending on the time of year, the garden could be alive with color or an exhibit worth checking out could be open to enjoy.
The Norfolk Botanical Garden can be found online at https://norfolkbotanicalgarden.org. Be sure to check out their website prior to your visit for events and programs that may be of interest and for detailed ticketing information.
I hope that if have time to visit the garden, that you enjoy your time there as much as we do!