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Garden Gateway

Discover some of our visitors' favorite areas including the All Seasons Garden, Japanese Garden, Azalea Glen, Learning Garden, Cypress Swamp and Visitors Center.

Escape to the Japanese Garden, a serene area artistically created with rocks, gravel, hills, a pond, flowing water, trees, shrubs, and a stone path that crosses a reflecting pool. Japanese gardens are an art form with a focus on the beauty of the natural landscape. The Japanese Garden at The Dawes Arboretum was designed in 1963 by Dr. Makoto Nakamura, a lecturer in Landscape Architecture at the Kyoto University, Japan.   Our Azalea Glen, located just south of the Visitors Center, is especially beautiful when in bloom during spring season. Stroll through and enjoy our collection of azaleas, rhododendrons and other shrubs with brightly colored flowers. Hydrangeas take center stage with their luxuriant blossoms in late summer.   Recently installed, the Learning Garden features an arbor, tables and chairs, raised beds of vegetables, an ADA-accessible walkway and beautiful plantings in the surrounding areas.  This courtyard overlooks a pond and is located in the center of the Zand Education Center.   The Cypress Swamp is one of the northernmost bald-cypress swamps in North America. Come in late winter through spring if you are hoping to see Jefferson and Spotted Salamanders. Regardless of the season, stroll down the swamp’s boardwalk and marvel at the trees’ “knees.”   The witch-hazel collection, Hamamelis, has a species that blooms in fall and spring and intermittently throughout winter, making for a beautiful collection in any season!