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The origins of Omaha's botanical garden and arboretum date back to planning in the early 1980s for the privately-funded project, which opened in 1982 with the completion of the gardens' first stage of development. The famed rose garden was completed in the mid-1990s and new gardens, exhibits, and art are added nearly every year. Lauritzen Gardens also offers seasonal exhibits and events, as well as indoor gardens that are available to visit year-round. The Gardens also offer summer camps and educational programs for children and adults.

Greenhouse Conservatory Addition

Greenhouse Conservatory Addition

Opened with a small garden in 1982, Lauritzen Gardens has grown to include an arboretum and many acres of gardens. Preliminary planning for the gardens was led by Omaha-World Herald columnist Helena Street, and the gardens began from nothing more than a "field of weeds" according to the paper. In 1995, the construction of the rose garden began and three years later the organization acquired an additional 30 acres. The visitor center was dedicated in 2001 and offers a 32,000-square-foot space with an education wing and floral display hall.

The privately funded urban oasis is also known for conservation horticulture efforts and education and includes a horticulture library. In 2003, the Garden in the Glen and the woodland trail projects were completed. 2004 saw the rose garden staircase and woodland waterfall. In 2005, the Mt. Fuji and Sunpu Castle gate additions were completed, and elements were incorporated into the larger Japanese gardens. The English perennial border and tree peony garden were added in 2006, with the model railroad opening the following year. Spring 2009 saw the opening of the Garden of Memories. The conservatory opened in 2014 and includes a tropical garden.

During the winter months, poinsettias are often featured inside of the indoor garden. The organization also hosts special events such as the Japanese Ambience Festival, Victorian Garden, Orchid Show and Sale, and Chrysanthemum Show.

Visitors to Lauritzen Gardens can enjoy a variety of areas from the rose garden, Japanese garden, fern grotto, herb garden, model railroad garden, and children's garden. There is also the Majorie K. Daugherty Conservatory with indoor tropical plant life situated within the glass gallery. The Conservatory expansion is a 20,000-square-foot, $21-million addition that houses tropical plant varieties.

[1] “Lauritzen Gardens Blossomed under Retiring Director Spencer Crews.” Omaha World Herald. Accessed December 10, 2019.

[2]“Sherman, Caroline R.” ."., December 16, 2019.

[3] Gratzfeld, Joachim. "What is Conservation Horticulture?" BGjournal 14, no. 2 (2017): 14-17.

[4]Moore, Kathryn Cates, and Lincoln Journal Star. “Lauritzen Gardens Conservatory Is a Clear Winner.”, October 19, 2014.

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