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Reference Gardens

Since 2008, the American Conifer Society has been partnering with public gardens throughout the United States to recognize noteworthy conifer collections through a special designation,   ACS Reference Gardens.   These gardens provide wonderful opportunities to educate the public about growing conifers, using conifers in a home landscape and building enthusiasm about conifers and the American Conifer Society. To receive this Reference Garden designation, a garden must meet several criteria, including the number of conifers in their collection, accurate labeling of the conifers and appropriate maintenance of the conifer collection.

View a map of the Western Region gardens.

CO – Denver Botanic Gardens

  The Largest Collection of Conifers in the Rocky Mountain Region In early 2016, Denver Botanic Gardens was designated as the seventh Western Region ACS Reference Garden. Although conifers are found throughout almost all of the gardens at DBG, either integrated into the design or acting as a backdrop, there are several collections of particular…

WA – Washington Park Arboretum

Washington Park Arboretum, designated in September, 2016 is Washington’s second reference garden and the 8th in the Western Region. Given its close proximity to the Arboretum at South Seattle College, Seattle is now even more of a destination for conifer enthusiasts to learn more about these wonderful trees. To learn more about the arboretum, its…

UT — Red Butte Garden

ACS Western Region is proud to announce the induction of its new reference garden, Red Butte Garden and Arboretum in Salt Lake City, Utah. In the future will publish more information about the garden. In the meantime, please visit their website for information and upcoming events.  

CA – San Francisco Botanical Garden

  San Francisco Botanical Garden became an ACS Reference Garden in 2014. In the Garden’s own words, ‘conifers are among [our] cornerstone plants…framing our vistas and truly setting the tone for our 55 acres of plant life’. View, Download and Print SFBG Suggested SFBG Conifer Walk SFBG has a mild, maritime climate that allows a…

CA – Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

  Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens Mendocino County, CA is a favorite spot for tourists, with its dramatic coastline, the sweeping vistas and thundering waves of the Pacific Ocean and the iconic stands of ancient redwoods.  It is also a great spot for plant lovers, as its climate is exceptionally mild and moister in summer than…

CA – Quarryhill Botanical Garden

Quarryhill, one of the pre-eminent Asian botanical gardens in the world, became the first ACS Reference Garden in California in 2013. The 25-acre garden features one of the largest collections of documented, wild-collected Asian plants, many of which represent ancestors of horticultural favorites found throughout the western world. Quarryhill’s core programs include conservation, education, expeditions…

OR – The Hoyt Arboretum

  By Martin Nicholson, Curator Hoyt Arboretum is Portland Parks and Recreation’s ‘Global Garden in the Wild’. Founded in 1928 to conserve endangered species and to educate the community, Hoyt Arboretum encompasses 187 ridge-top acres, accessible by trails covering 12 miles. A place of beauty and serenity in all seasons, the Arboretum is easily reachable…

OR – The Oregon Garden

  History of The Oregon Garden The creation of The Oregon Garden is one of the rare examples in the history of public policy where seemingly opposing forces – private individuals interested in public gardens and government agencies in charge of sewage treatment – came up with a solution that served the interests of both….

WA – South Seattle College

  The ACS Reference Garden program is a partnership between the Society and established gardens that feature exemplary conifer collections. Of the many ACS Reference Gardens across the country few examples of this partnership are better executed because the crown jewel of the Arboretum, the Coenosium Rock Garden, was conceived and largely designed and planted…