Orchid by Greg Zenitsky


The Terrace Gardens

The Terrace Gardens in summer

The gardens surrounding the Visitor Education Center display the most up-to-date annuals and tropical plants. The colorful beds  showcase the beauty of plants like a painting, using flowers and foliage as paint.

Each bed changes three times a year: spring planting begins around March 15 but is not fully installed until April 15; summer favorites appear in mid- to late May; and fall favorites shine in September and October. The spring and fall gardens include flowers that are frost and cold tolerant while the summer displays show plants that thrive in our heat and humidity!

These dramatic beds are never the same and always are embellished with some of the finest container plantings anywhere.


The crown jewel of Powell Gardens’ Visitor Education Center is the conservatory where you can be inspired by plants at a comfortable temperature during every season. The conservatory changes displays six times a year.

At the beginning of the year it provides a comfortable place to observe the beautiful wintery landscape outside while ensconced in the beauty and fragrance of seasonal flowers including paper whites, cyclamen, stocks, cinerarias and primroses.

Early spring brings a change to publicly display our extensive collection of orchids and give a preview of springtime’s glory. Classic tropical plants set the display in May until midsummer. The Conservatory is transformed into a butterfly paradise for our annual Festival of Butterflies in August.

Fall brings a theme of foliage and autumn flowers like salvias and chrysanthemums while the holiday season is a poinsettia lover’s dream.


Evergreen and Hummingbird Garden

Hummingbird at Powell Gardens

The gardens outside and below the visitor center’s east terrace walls showcase plants with ornamental characteristics that shine in the winter. On a cold winter’s day visitors can enjoy lustrous, hardy types of Southern Magnolias, hollies, viburnums and many rare and unusual gems, including two species of hardy palms. Don’t miss the ‘Hazel Smith’ Giant Sequoia tree just below the conservatory, the hardiest selection of the world’s largest tree.

The terrace outside Café Thyme is planted with flowers that attract hummingbirds for a delightful experience. These flying jewels are present from late April until early October. In late April through May, visitors also will see our colorful Baltimore and Orchard Orioles.

The Dogwood Walk

Dogwood WalkThe Dogwood Walk from the Visitor Education Center to the Island Garden showcases the beauty and diversity of this wonderful group of flowering trees. Missouri’s state tree, the flowering dogwood, can be found on the upper half of the walk with spectacular white, pink and red-flowering varieties in April.

Hybrid “stellar” dogwoods reside in the middle section of the walk and bloom white and pink in May; and Kousa dogwoods flower along the lower walk in late May to Memorial Day.

Our dogwoods include many variegated varieties with beautiful summertime foliage but they all shine in autumn when their fall colors from purple to red are some of the best in the garden all through October and into early November. Other flowering trees and shrubs are found in this area including many varieties of magnolias, doublefile viburnums, flowering-quince and more unusual shrubs like snowbells and bladdernuts.

Did you know? Architect Fay Jones designed the Meadow Pavilion's four-layered redwood trellis with several angled ends to create a moving shadow. Learn more »


The Vineyard in the Heartland Harvest Garden is a gorgeous space for an outdoor wedding.

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The Byron Shutz Nature Trail includes interpretative signs along the way.

Explore the Trail »
Fountain Garden

Beauty in every season! A membership includes FREE general admission all year.

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