Photo: Courtesy of Huntington Botanical Gardens

For Garden Travelers looking for some inspiration, as well as ideas for this spring’s plant shopping list, just published its Top 10 Public Gardens in the U.S., in honor of April as National Garden Month.

While public gardens may not offer the intriguing personalities found in the private gardens on the garden tours that will be coming up this time of the year, wonderful gardens, such as the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, are a fabulous opportunity to see which plants do well in that part of the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.


Photo: Courtesy of Missouri Botanical Garden

Plus, you’ll see plants that are properly labeled, well-tended and healthy. And unlike the transplants in the garden center, it’s easier to evaluate a mature plant and decide if you want to invest the time (and your back) digging that hole in your own garden. Then there’s the added bonus of refreshments in a garden café usually readily available, along with plenty of strategically arranged artistic benches and fully-stocked gift shops.

So, bring your iPad or old-reliable pen and notebook and don’t miss an opportunity to take notes as you pay a visit to these gardens if you’re in the area. After all, if a plant is deemed worthy of a spot at Chanticleer, maybe it’s worth considering for your garden as well.

TripAdvisor’s ten best public gardens in the U.S. for 2013, based on reviews and opinions online:

  1. Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens: Boothbay, Maine
  2. Longwood Gardens: Kenneth Square, Pennsylvania
  3. Missouri Botanical Garden: Saint Louis, Missouri
  4. The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens: San Marino, California
  5. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum: Tucson, Arizona
  6. Brookgreen Gardens: Murrells Inlet, South Carolina
  7. Hillwood Museum & Gardens: Washington, D.C.
  8. Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park: Grand Rapids, Michigan
  9. Sarah P. Duke Gardens: Durham, North Carolina
  10. Chanticleer: Wayne, Pennsylvania