Botanical Gardens

Regardless of the time of year, the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens offers unique and unexpected pleasures. From the wildflowers draping the hillsides to the fiery hues of sumac and persimmon, peruse our botanical gardens and take in their seasonal splendor:

Garden NameDetail
Welcoming Garden
Welcoming Garden This garden is at the entrance of the Arboretum on 179th Street. It beckons visitors with a colorful array of shrubs, ornamental grasses and flowers gracing our beautiful hackett and limestone walls.
Erickson Water Garden
Erickson Water Garden The first of the botanical gardens, the Erickson Water Garden is home to bird and butterfly plants, wildflowers and ornamental grasses. Spring brings out more than 40 varieties of daffodils along with other spring bulbs. Relax on benches and enjoy the sound of water tumbling over falls and along the streamways.
Legacy Garden & Ailie's Glade
Legacy Garden & Ailie's Glade The Legacy Garden and Ailie's Glade showcase plants that may have been seen on Kansas homesteads. The Grape Arbor offers a quiet spot to enjoy the garden while listening to a babbling brook. Four time capsules that are opened every 25 years reside in this garden.
Monet Garden
Monet Garden

The one-acre Monet Garden, attempts to capture the subtle blending of soft colors and shapes typical in the original Monet gardens. Willow trees, perennials and annuals surround ponds, creating a colorful palate that will make you feel as though you are in one of Claude Monet's paintings. Relax on benches and enjoy the bridge that spans the upper and lower water gardens.

Children's Discovery Garden
Children's Discovery Garden

In this garden, young visitors can climb to the top of the Sky Watch, a spiraling walkway, and visit the inhabitants of the frog pond. They also can conquer the grass maze, run through the shrinking tunnel, explore the fossil dig and enjoy the shade of our Story Tree and Puppet Theater.

Marder Woodland Gardens
Marder Woodland Gardens

Marder Garden is a shady walk accompanied by a burbling brook which runs through the garden from end to end and right down the middle. Paw-paw, ferns, dogwood, hickory, jack i the pulpit, mayapple and much more. There are several areas that can be reserved here. The Marder Pergola is a tree covered arbor with views into the garden to the north and south; the Koi Pond and small waterfall, adorned by fern beds.

Xeriscape Garden
Xeriscape Garden Xeriscape (zer-i-scape) gardens are based on key principals demonstrating that water-efficient gardens are not only practical and functional, but also visually pleasing. Plants are selected for and grouped by their water needs. This garden is located next to our Visitors Center.
Cohen Iris Garden
Cohen Iris Garden

The Cohen Iris Garden is home to over 300 varieties of iris, including the well-known Tall Bearded Iris, plus a selection of Louisiana, Siberian, Pseudata, Reticulatas, and more. Many of the cultivars were gifts of the national convention held in the Kansas City Metro area in 2009. This new garden is designed to showcase Irises as well as provide interest throughout the year. As do all our gardens, water is an integral part of the experience.

Train Garden

Train Bridge

This year-round garden includes a life-size caboose and box car, and seven G-Scale (1/22nd of the actual size) model train tracks that winds through 9-foot tall bluffs, over lake and streams, and along Strang Line through a replica of Downtown Overland Park.

Phase I and the Leatherwood Depot opened in 2012 with three G-Scale tracks running.  

Plans are underway for the Arboretum's version of Old Downtown Overland Park.

Plantings are reminiscent of trains crossing the prairie. These prairie plants are all improved varieties of Little Bluestem and Big Bluestem, Black-eyed Susans and more. 

The trains are operated by volunteers and will run from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., unless wet weather prohibits. Please call 913-685-3604 if you would like to volunteer to operate the trains or confirm if they are running.

Lakeside Amphitheater  
Wedding at Lakeside Amphitheater A beautiful location for a wedding or celebration. Available to reserve.
Proposed Master Plan for the International Sculpture Garden
Overland Park staff members have been working with members of the Arts and Recreation Foundation of Overland Park on development of a Master Plan for a proposed International Sculpture Garden. The ISG would be located on portions of the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens and Kemper Farm, which are adjacent to each other. The master plan divides the properties into various art mediums.