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Road Trippin': Iowa Arboretum, a library of living plants


The Iowa Arboretum is a self-described library living of plants with more than 6,000 trees, shrubs, and flowers in their inventory.

They cover more than 400 acres of this former farm field.

“The land was originally a flat soybean field but as you can see it really has developed into a beautiful public garden,” says Mark Schneider, Executive Director of the Iowa Arboretum.

With collections from Alpine to Wetlands a walk through the grounds provides a serene setting that continues to grow.

“We just started and established a butterfly prairie which is going to take about two years to get established,” says Schneider. “There's a lot of plants that originally grew in the prairie that attracted native wildlife.”

Beyond enjoying the environment, the picturesque gardens can help you pick out plants before you put down roots.

“It's a great place to come and see what maybe you would like to put in your garden or your landscaping,” says Rachel Phifer, a Summer Intern with the Arboretum. “With all of our collections and signs it makes it very easy for you to be able to tell what things look like and where they should go and if it would be a good fit for your home,” she adds.

Whether you walk the winding trails or sit in the garden gazebos the Iowa arboretum is truly a place to relax and refresh.

“I would say it's like working in paradise,” says Schneider. “It's a quiet place where you can come and enjoy what the Arboretum has to offer, if you're having a day that's not going so well you can walk out on the grounds and take in the beauty.”

It’s a simple spot to learn for people that love their plants.

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