Discover Ames

Reiman Gardens

Reiman Gardens is an award-winning 17-acre public botanical garden, complete with a tropical indoor conservatory, an indoor butterfly wing with up to 800 exotic butterflies in flight, and a gift shop. Established in 1995, Reiman Gardens offers a year-round destination, featuring distinct gardens that change with each season. Explore a large variety of plants, flowers, trees, and native prairie species. Reiman Gardens was named one of the Top 10 Gardens Worth Traveling for in North America for 2024 by the American Public Garden Association, Canadian Garden Council, and the Mexican Association of Botanical Gardens.

Some of the most popular attractions at Reiman Gardens include:

  • A world-renowned collection of roses (Ranked as a Top Ten Rose Garden in the World by USA Today)
    • Griffith Buck Rose Collection: This world-famous collection of more than 85 roses features the breeding work of the late Dr. Buck, a professor in the Iowa State University Horticulture Department.
    • Helen Latch Jones Rose Garden: One of the most picturesque areas of the Gardens, and a popular spot for weddings, this garden was designed as a sustainable rose garden that requires no spraying, no winter protection, and less labor.
  • Trial Gardens: One of the most colorfully diverse areas of the Gardens in the summer months. This garden contains blocks of annual plants and new-to-market or unreleased plants that companies have sent to Reiman Gardens for “trial” as part of the All-American Selection Trials.
  • Hillside Water-wise Gardens: Offers a great aerial view of the Gardens through its tiered walkways and grand staircase through a variety of plants which reflect sustainability and the ability of selected cultivars to grow in dry climates.
  • Hughes Conservatory: An indoor tropical conservatory with a lush collection of colorful and rare plants.
  • Patty Jischke Children’s Garden: One of the most popular areas for children, this section of the Garden contains elements of an Iowa farm, complete with an open corn crib (perfect for picnic lunches), a splash pad with spitting frog fountains, tumbling mounds, and a scenic covered bridge.
  • Sycamore Falls: The “wow factor” always reaches its pinnacle with a trek into the deepest part of Reiman Gardens. Established in 2021, it is named after the 80-year-old sycamore trees that line the wooden boardwalk entrance. Complete with an iconic tower that overlooks the area and a series of cascading waterfalls, this garden area explodes with color April through October.
  • Elwood, the World’s Largest Concrete Gnome: Standing at 15 feet tall and weighing 3,500 pounds, Elwood was created in 2010 as part of a Reiman Gardens theme called “A Celebration of Garden Ornamentation.” He was built to be the world’s largest gnome, but during construction, it was revealed that there was a taller gnome in Poland, so Elwood simply became the world’s largest concrete Regardless, he’s very loveable and is always one of the most photographed spots at Reiman Gardens. Everyone wants their photo with Elwood!
  • Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing: The most popular year-round exhibit at RG, This tropical paradise (always 80 degrees!) is home to up to 800 live and exotic butterflies representing up to 80 different species from around the world. The structure of the iconic glass building resembles the shape of a butterfly.

In addition, there are many exciting public events that take place at Reiman Gardens each year. Some of the most popular include:

  • Orchid Festival: Features a wide variety of exotic orchids available for viewing and purchase each February at Reiman Gardens.
  • Spring Enchantment: Spring officially arrives at Reiman Gardens with the blooming of more than 50,000 tulips and bulbs each April.
  • Garden Art Fair: One of central Iowa’s largest outdoor art festivals each July with more than 80 vendors.
  • Spirits in the Gardens: View 1,000 intricately carved pumpkins at this kid-friendly Halloween event each October.
  • Winter Wonderscape: Experience the wonder of the holidays with Iowa’s largest outdoor holiday light display each December. Features more than 150,000 lights 150,000 lights, holiday-themed decorations, and plenty of Instagrammable backdrops!


Testimonials (taken from Google Reviews)

“A little piece of heaven.” –Qusai A, Google Review

“Photographs like a dream.” –Jamie Tobin, Google Review

“Outstanding family experience.” –Dana Gorbet, Google Review

“Great place for the kids!” –Charles Schmaltz, Google Review

“Fantastic for a quiet date.” –Glenn Silkman, Google Review

“The grandkids loved it!” –Keith Lemon, Google Review

“The best botanical garden I’ve ever been to!” –Gabrielle Pray, Google Review

“The butterfly enclosure is magical.” –Holly Konz, Google Review

“A great day trip. Always something new to see!” –Terri James, Google Review

“Our community is lucky to have this treasure.” –Ali Harrelson, Google Review


Named a Top 25 Best Things to do in Iowa with Kids (2024)

Named a Top 10 Garden Worth Traveling For in North America (2023)

Named a Top 25 Best thing to do in Iowa (2023)

Named Best Wedding Venue of Story County (2023)


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