Upcoming Botanical Garden Events

Plant Trials Day Symposium

August 27, 2020

plant trials day symposiumJoin us on August 27, 2020 for the Plant Trials Day Symposium! Tickets on sale now! $125

Still piecing this one together but we think I’m off to a pretty good start. First off, we are very pleased to announce that Dan Hinkley will present two talks. Dan is the former owner of the legendary Heronswood Nursery, Kingston Washington. He has traveled the world many times on adventurous plant expeditions. He’s such an excellent garden writer that in a catalog absolutely filled with some of the world’s rarest and finest plants, it was the catalog itself that was actually the catalog’s best seller! Although retired now, he is considered the country’s top plant geek, rivaled only by Tony Avent whom we had speak here two years back. Dan will have a new book publishing right about the time of the symposium, so with any luck we’ll have copies of that for him to sell and sign. Thinking we went strong with the old-guard with last year’s Plant Trials Day presenters, and then again with Dan Hinkley, we reached out to some young guns who are really getting attention in Horticultural circles. Paul Westervelt’s has been flat flooring folks on the East Coast and at various Perennial Plant Association programs, and, yes, we got him. Similarly, Jarrid Barnes from Stephen F. Austin University is a young and dynamic speaker who has already received significant recognition. We have a couple of other lines in the water and more announcements soon. Despite the incomplete lineup, we urge you to consider registering early for this program. Last year it sold out a couple months early with minimal promotion.


  • Dan Hinkley, Plant Explorer, Author, and former owner of Heronswood Nursery
  • Paul Westerveldt, Annual and Perennial Production Manager, Saunders Nursery
  • Jared Barnes, PhD., Asst. Professor of Horticulture, Stephen Austin University
  • Others TBA

Schedule of Events

  • 8am to 850am Registration
  • 9am-5pm Talks
  • 5pm-6pm Social Hour with Cash Bar
Purchase Tickets

Native Plant Symposium

November 14, 2020

The 2020 NPS speaker lineup continues to come together! We now have Thomas Christopher, a longtime garden writer. Thomas has written for The New York Times, the Royal Horticulture Society, and Horticulture Magazine served as a columnist for House & Garden, and a contributing editor at Martha Stewart Living. He has authored over a dozen books, including Nature into Art and In Search of Lost Roses, and he has co-authored Garden Revolution, The Proven Winners Book, and Essential Perennials. In addition to Thomas, Sam Hoadley from the world-renowned Mt. Cuba Center, perhaps the finest garden for native plants, will speak. That should be enough to get you excited, but what if I said we have Michael Dosmann coming. Yep, the Keeper of the Living Collections from the world-famous Arnold Arboretum.

Always sells out early! Register as soon as you can.

More speaker announcements to be announced.

Registration begins at 8am, the event will start at 9am followed by a social hour and a cash bar from 5-6pm.

Purchase Tickets

Native Plant Sale

June 13, July 11, August 8, September 12, September 26
9am – 1pm
Bowyer Farm: 2210 N Mason Montgomery Rd

Adventure is blooming at the Cincinnati Zoo’s Bowyer Farm & Wetland! Join Zoo staff, and Bowyer Farm master gardeners for an adventurous day filled with native plants, pollinators and wetland perusing! Learn about the land’s history and take a piece of it home from the Native Plant Sale. Bowyer Farm houses a reclaimed wetland and an abundance of wildlife. The wetland serves as a home or stopover point for hundreds of birds, and our beehives are home to thousands of honeybees that help pollinate the entire ecosystem! See the farm, hike the wetland and learn about the Zoo’s future plans for this thriving oasis. Then, begin an oasis of your own!

Native plants, including ones found throughout the Bowyer Farm ecosystem, will be for sale. Cash, check and credit card are accepted.

Native Plant Sale Sponsor:


General Events

Zoo Blooms

garden events 1The saturated colors and sun-catching glow of masses and masses of tulips in bloom is a truly spectacular experience. Zoo Blooms delivers not only the region’s largest tulip display, but also hundreds of trees and shrubs in full regalia. Magnolias, cherries, crabapples, serviceberries, viburnums, other bulbs, loads of perennials, and more all in their spring glory! Generally the best tulip display is around the middle of April, but the peak varies somewhat according to the weather. Each week all through spring the landscape continuously changes as the many plants of our extensive collection come into bloom. You need to visit several times to experience the fullness of the season!

Tunes and Blooms

garden events 5Every Thursday evening during April the Zoo hosts Tunes & Blooms. These are FREE concerts in the garden. Enjoy great local bands amongst gardens aglow with the blooms of 100,000 tulips and hundreds of other spring bloomers.

Tree Carnival

garden events 4A rising star in our line up of garden events, Tree Carnival is a fun and educational experience for the entire family. Kids can learn about trees, test their knowledge, earn their Tree Planting License, and take home a free tree! A party atmosphere. There’s even the famous Mr. Tree to hug!

Plant Sales

plantsale2We continually propagate many plants for our own use. Many are rare and unique plants that unavailable or hard to find on the market. Occasionally we hold plant sales and many gems can be purchased. For more information, email [email protected].


garden2Schedule your own garden event at the zoo! Industry groups, Master Gardener groups, garden clubs, plant societies, private companies, families, and others frequently schedule their own garden tours and/or parties. You can too! Email us at [email protected] to schedule a tour.

Native Plant Symposium

garden events 3The annual all day symposium about native plants. Great outside speakers along with the zoo’s Native Plant Program Manager, Brian Jorg.  CEUs available. Affordably priced. Includes lunch.

Plant Trials Day

annnualsThe Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden horticultural staff and volunteers, in conjunction with several other organizations, conducts plant trials on annuals, grasses, and perennials in accordance with regimented protocols. Such trials enable us to develop useful data for gardeners, other public gardens, plant producers, and others in the green community. For more information regarding our Plant Trials programs, please contact us at [email protected].

Sustainable Landscapes Day

gogreenThe concepts of “going green” have come down on the green and building industries in a big way in recent years and a lot of argument over the meaning of sustainability and the means of achieving it has ensued. This program is designed to sort out fact from fiction regarding such issues as soils, irrigation, and the very best low input plants for landscape applications. CEUs available. Affordably priced. Includes lunch.

Home Landscapes Lecture Series

flowerA late winter ten week series of lectures regarding all aspects of landscaping for the homeowner by one of the region’s top horticulturists and the zoo’s Director of Horticulture, Steve Foltz. If you are planning on garden renovation or a new installation in your landscape these classes provide great insight on design, preparation and plant selection with emphasis on plants that do best in the Tri-state area. A different aspect of landscaping is covered each week such as perennial design and tree care, but one way or another everything is covered! Sign up for individual classes, or for the entire series and save! Very affordably priced.