4 Must-See Botanical Gardens in America

Summer is the season to get out in your garden and work your hands in the soil. While most of the dirty work is done in the spring, there’s plenty of maintenance to do throughout the summer to keep plants and veggies perfect, and flowers in bloom. Whether gardening is a pastime or your passion, it’s important to take a break from all your hard work and step into an expert oasis for leisure and inspiration. No matter what region of the country you call home, you’re never too far away from the fresh experience of world class botanical gardens.

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United States Botanic Garden, Washington D.C.
George Washington is cited as the inspiration for the botanical garden in our nation’s capital. Established by Congress in 1820, it is officially recognized as a museum. With a focus on educating the public about plants and fostering botanical knowledge, it’s a must-see for gardening enthusiasts and environmentalists.

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, Dallas
If you’re looking to surround yourself with the beauty of nature while enjoying an entertaining event, Dallas might be the garden destination for you. One of the top arboretums in the world, it’s dedicated to getting the community involved with events and family activities. It’s newer than most top gardens, but always growing.

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Chicago Botanic Garden, Chicago
Though it’s only been around since the 1970s, the Chicago Botanical Garden is already one of the world’s leading horticultural museums and conservation centers. The garden is born of the city’s rich horticultural history, dating back to the 1893 World’s Fair, and has one of the largest memberships of any U.S. garden.

New York Botanic Garden, New York City
This diverse landscape in bustling New York city is spread over 250 acres and boasts over a million plants. Located right next to the Bronx Zoo, it’s one of the most popular botanical gardens in the country, hosting a healthy 300,000 people every year. It’s also home to one of the world’s largest plant conservation programs.

5 Outdoor Summer Date Ideas

Whether there’s someone new in your life or you want some quality time with a long-time love, summer lovin’ is definitely in the air. Being romantic is easy, but executing the perfect outdoor date night requires some thought and planning. Here are 5 outdoor summer date ideas.farmers-market

Farmer’s Pride Planned or off the cuff, a date to the farmer’s market does not disappoint. If you want to plan it out, research a few recipes with seasonal fruits and vegetables to pick up at the market. You and your partner can take them home to make a spectacular summer meal. If you like to be spontaneous, pick up a few items that are foreign to you and make something you’ve never tried before for dinner. If cooking is not your thing, just going to the market to sample, browse and chat with local farmers can be an adventure in itself.

Game of Love Even if you and your partner aren’t athletically inclined, a game of tennis is a fun way to pass an afternoon. It’s a face-to-face game that requires engagement from both sides of the net. It takes a little bit of effort, but in the summer when all you want to do is be outside, it’s a refreshing activity to get your muscles moving and your heart pumping. At the end of your game, hit the pub for a hearty meal and beverage to close out a summer day.

starsSparkling Sky Take advantage of a clear night and go stargazing! It’s both romantic and educational. Pack a blanket, snacks and beverages and head out to a quiet part of town where there isn’t much light pollution. Spread out your blanket and take turns naming the different constellations. If it’s been awhile since you’ve thought about stars, brush up on your astronomical knowledge with a night sky guide.

Second Hand Date For DIY couples or couples who like to entertain the idea of DIY, make a day of hitting the flea markets and garage sales. You can go about this date in a few different ways: 1) have an idea what you want to buy, repurpose or upcycle and make the day about finding that piece — it can turn into an adventure date! 2) let the sales inspire you for a backyard project 3) drive around and see where the yard sale signs lead you. Anyway you do it, it’s a bonding experience to make a summer day memorable.

botanic-gardenStop to Smell the Flowers A trip to the botanic gardens is romantic and relaxing. With reds, purples and pinks lining your paths and the sweet scent of blossoms in the air, one-on-one time with your significant other at the gardens stimulates all of your senses. Just walking through the green ways may delight you, but a lot of botanic gardens host events all summer long — cooking, movies, music; they’re all activities to keep you and your date interested.

We celebrate every season here at The Lakeside Collection! From summer date ideas to making a magical holiday party, look to Lakeside for great products at practical prices.