Celebrate National Public Gardens Day!

Celebrate Mother Nature every May.
Learn about desert plants from around the world on the Desert Discovery Loop Trail at Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.

Learn about desert plants from around the world on the Desert Discovery Loop Trail at Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.

Learn about desert plants from around the world on the Desert Discovery Loop Trail at Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.

Photo by: Image courtesy of the Desert Botanical Garden

Image courtesy of the Desert Botanical Garden

Learn about desert plants from around the world on the Desert Discovery Loop Trail at Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.

Everyone knows to honor your mother in May, but you may not know that the Friday before Mother's Day is a chance to support Mother Nature! Celebrate National Public Gardens Day with free admission to more than 500 botanical gardens, arboreta, museums and zoos, plus special events, tours and festivals. Check out this website to find a participating public garden near you.

“Public gardens are treasures of the communities they serve,” sys Casey Sclar, executive director of the American Public Gardens Association, one of the event sponsors. “Whether the gardens are in urban centers or in rural communities, they not only provide recreation and beauty, but are also indispensable resources in education, the environment and culture. It is important to take time at least once a year and pay tribute to these pillars of the community and educate the public about the importance of plant and water conservation.”

Not that you need a reason to get outside in gorgeous spring weather, but here are just a few suggestions for living museums in your area.

Desert Botanical Garden

One of a few botanical gardens accredited by the American Association of Museums. dbg.org

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Head to the MLA at the University of Minnesota, for an always interesting mix of activities and events. arboretum.umn.edu

Idaho Botanical Garden

Explore the Lewis and Clark Native Plant Garden and all the other fabulous features of the IBG. idahobotanicalgarden.org

Lurie Garden

Take a guided tour of this urban oasis in Chicago's Millennium Park and learn all about the design, history, flora and fauna. luriegarden.org

Cheekwood Botanical Garden

This 55-acre botanical garden and art museum on the historic Cheek estate in Nashville offers exciting programming and garden-centric activities. cheekwood.org

Next Up

Make a Labor Day Garden Arrangement

Celebrate the holiday with flowers and foliage in patriotic red, white and blue.

One-of-a-Kind Movie Theater

Doyle Coffin Architecture redesigned the historic Prospector Theater in Ridgefield, Conn., to house four movie theater screens, a cafe and a street-like marquee area. The eye-catching design boasts skylights, a copper penny ceiling and specialty lighting throughout.

Create a Mother's Day Tea Garden

Put a twist on tea in the garden by planting up vintage teacups.

Party Garden

Favorite plants and old standbys are seen in this Georgia garden.

Mediterranean-Style Garden

Garden designer Amber Freda of Home & Garden Design didn't let rigid landscape rules deter her from creating an outdoor space that suggests a faraway oasis.

Cool Plants From Around the World

These six unusual plants can add an international flair to your garden.

Napa Country Garden

Carole and Keni Kent's Napa Valley garden is filled with thriving plants.

How to Start a Community Garden

Expert Bill Dawson offers tips on starting a shared community garden in your neighborhood.

The Joys of a Kitchen Garden

Good for the soul -- and the stomach -- kitchen gardens are more than just a source of fresh produce. They're a return to simpler times.

A Storybook-Themed Garden

Recycled objects and a whimsical theme fill this special garden.

Go Shopping

Spruce up your outdoor space with products handpicked by HGTV editors.

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