Named after former Michigan regent Frederick C. Matthaei, Sr. and his wife Mildred, who donated 200 acres of land, the Matthaei Botanical Gardens are operated by the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Spring is a great time to visit and watch the Gardens come to life. Here is a downloadable Visitor Guide to help you enjoy your time there.
Exploration of the Gardens begins at the Visitor Center where you will find trails which all start and eventually loop back to the building. A visit to the unique Alden B. Dow commissioned Conservatory includes the Tropical House, Warm Temperate House, Bonsai & Penjing Collection and the Arid House.
Besides the beautiful plant life, onsite artwork, both visual and performance is important to the overall experience. The integration of the art with plant life is a interesting way to view the works and take in their messages.
The library and resource center, with over 3,200 cataloged books provides visitors a chance to learn all about plants and the issues surrounding them.
Here is a list of all of the trails, display gardens, natural areas and other exhibits throughout Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum.
Enjoy an August, 2007 video sldeshow by videoexchange over at YouTube.
Check out a collection of 360 ° virtual tours of some of the gardens and natural areas.
The Huron Valley Chapter of the American Institute of Architects has created podcasts to accompany a walking tour of Ann Arbor. Included is a Matthaei Botanical Gardens podcast. There is also a downloadable ‘Ann Arbor Guide to Architecture’ which includes a map and description of each entry.
Here are a ton of pics from Flickr to entice you to visit the Matthaei Botanical Gardens.