If you find that spring is almost upon you and you start to get that ‘gardens and countryside’ feeling—it’s not a bad thing, because everyone else feels the same way! And while it may be true that more than half the Treasure State is farmland, crops aren’t the only things they know how to grow in Montana.
Across the state, you can find many beautiful gardens and arboretums, some of which are involved in scientific study as well as public enjoyment. If you like to start your first ventures outdoors and into the new season by way of a nice stroll through a garden or arboretum—you are in luck.
You’ll find plenty of pretty gardens in Montana, all offering a variety of picturesque options. Whether it’s the spring wildflowers that grow on the hillsides or the colorful, expertly-pruned flowers of local gardens, Montana is rife with plenty of floral splendor.
As is the case with much of Montana’s scenery, seeing some of the flowers here up close will fairly take your breath away. So let’s take a closer look at a few prime examples of some of the prettiest gardens in Montana.
Seven of the Prettiest Gardens in Montana
- Tizer Botanical Garden & Arboretum
- DanWalt Gardens
- Jackson’s Garden
- Bibler Gardens
- Gatiss Gardens
- Memorial Rose Garden
- State of Montana Arboretum& Gardens
1. Tizer Botanic Gardens & Arboretum, Jefferson City
These amazingly scenic gardens are a member of the American Public Garden Association and they certainly qualify as some of the prettiest in Montana. The gardens cover 6 acres and contain thousands of different high-altitude plants surrounded by some outstanding natural beauty.
The Tizer Botanic Gardens include herbs and vegetables, annuals, roses, wildflowers, perennials, and bulbs, to name but a few. There are a host of different themed gardens including the delightful gnome gardens, a secret garden, a Buddha garden, rose gardens, and herb patches—not to mention a crystal clear creek.
You’ll also encounter a fully-restored Gold Miner’s Cabin and a Hotel—thoughtfully placed on a little island right in the middle of the creek. You can take a self-guided tour and explore garden paths leading to high-altitude plants and flowers.
The gardens are a popular spot for visitors to stop for a picnic lunch taking advantage of the numerous tables in the theme gardens.
The center opens daily from 10 am-6 pm, from mid-April through October depending on weather conditions. The Gardens & Arboretum is open Mother’s Day through October—again weather permitting.
The DanWalt Gardens near Billings is a lively display of colors and features flowering annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees.
The plants contained here are all zoned for the Billings climate, and prime examples include the colorful irises and bright hibiscus that begin to show themselves anytime between June and September.
DanWalt Gardens are a delightful visitor attraction with their thousands of hanging baskets everywhere—not to mention the popular Memorial Rose Garden that is contained here. Some of the garden’s other tranquil features include water features and the surrounding expanse of nature.
The gardens are another popular venue for classy-looking and romantic wedding events, not to mention the fact that they are conveniently located near local hotels, restaurants, and downtown Billings.
The gardens are open 9 am-6 pm under normal conditions of operation.
3. Jackson’s Garden, Sheridan
Jackson’s Garden on Mill Creek is just 2 miles from Sheridan in southwest Montana The gardens first took shape in the early 1970s, and have been through several transformations over the years to become the scenic and peaceful place that they are today.
Surrounded by lovely flowers and huge trees providing shade at the Creekside, the gardens as they stand today came about as a result of much community work and effort. The result is a public space resembling something of an oasis.
The garden features an installed high tunnel greenhouse to lengthen the growing season, as well as an irrigation system. A nature trail is available for the information and enjoyment of visitors.
The floral gardens have parking, bathroom facilities, and other amenities. The location is a popular venue for weddings and includes sweet paths and lush manicured lawns, with overhanging trees for shade.
This spot is just outside of the town of Sheridan and thus has easy access to hotels and other local amenities. Yet the gardens still manage to maintain a slight, off-the-beaten-path vibe which adds to their romantic mountain backdrop appeal.
From its location on a Kalispell hillside, Bibler Gardens looks out across the Flathead Valley. The Swan Mountains can be seen in the background to the east, including some peaks in Glacier National Park.
The 4-acre garden and its stunning floral displays feature artfully-landscaped beds and subtle water features by way of brooks and waterfalls. The water flows into two ponds, which are in turn highlighted by sculpted bridges, a gazebo, and water fountains.
It’s worth considering that many of these features are best seen along with the full glory of the Montana Spring bloom. Early May is absolutely the best time to catch sight of the colorful daffodils and tulips.
Wildlife and nature lovers alike will be pleased to know that various birds and fowl make an appearance. They tend to be Australian black swans, Argentine black-necked swans, and native Tundra swans, which will then roam the vicinity of the pond during the warmer months.
5. Gatiss Gardens, Kalispell
Gatiss Gardens is a rather scenic property of five acres or more located in the north-western corner of Montana. The garden features the style of an English Cottage and a zone 4 perennial garden.
The pretty perennial garden features hardy varieties from the original family homestead in England dating back to 1898.
They have stood the test of time along with the variety of other American heritage garden plants that bloom here—many of which were gathered over the course of more than a century.
Gatiss Gardens is off Highway 35 close to Kalispell and features thousands of varieties of flowers with signs for identification.
The gardens are open during the summer months from 9 am-9 pm, and the grounds feature a trail that stretches around mill creek and is a great way to enjoy the flowers.
6. Memorial Rose Garden, Missoula
The Missoula Rose Society’s initial goal in 1944 was to establish a Memorial Rose Garden. As it turned out, enthusiastic donors from around the state contributed hundreds of flowers, and Rose Society members planted 650 rose bushes around the Memorial in 1946.
At present, there are more than 44 beds planted with over 600 bushes, including an interesting range of hybrid teas, grandifloras, floribundas, and miniatures.
There are also a number of old shrub roses located in the park, and together the floral display serves as a memorial to the casualties and veterans of America’s many 20th-century wars.
The garden came about as a joint effort between the Missoula Rose Society and the Missoula Parks and Recreation Department, and the plaques list the names of those who lost their lives in World War II along with Vietnam and the Korean War and other U.S. conflicts in Grenada, the Persian Gulf, and Panama.
Both the American and Montana state flags are lighted 24 hours a day as symbols of enduring honor. This pretty garden also serves as a quiet place of reflection, and the rose beds can be adopted by individuals, groups, or organizations who want to care for them throughout the year.
The Roses usually start to bloom around mid-spring and are likely to last for a good few months.
The Montana Arboretum and Gardens are located on the Montana State University campus in Missoula, and the Arboretum proper is on the campus’s north-western corner near the West College Avenue and South 11th Avenue intersection.
This small arboretum and gardens are free for the public to visit and feature native plants from the northern Rocky Mountain region for both research and display purposes as well as specimens from the plains and other drier areas of Montana. A Xeriscape garden can be found here, in the designated “Tree Campus USA”.
The arboretum and gardens were established for display and research purposes around a decade back, and feature some pretty and colorful arrangements of native species.
Another one of the gardens’ functions was to engage campus staff and students alike in conservation goals, as well as nurture public interest in nature related to the shrubs, trees, and plants of the local surrounding region.