Nestled between the Japan House and the President's House lies the Idea Garden, bursting with 18,000 square feet of vibrant flowers, vegetables and plant life. As part of Illinois Extension and the College of ACES, the Idea Garden serves as an educational tool that hosts public workshops and demonstrates how to design and care for a garden in an environmentally responsible manner.
Each year, volunteers work more than 4,500 hours in the garden to provide a source of inspiration, relaxation and continuing education for its visitors. Much of this volunteer work in the Idea Garden is performed by Champaign County Master Gardeners. The Master Gardener program is a state-wide program delivered by county-based Illinois Extension offices who train volunteer gardeners. These knowledgeable volunteers learn and share home horticulture information, gain practical experience in gardening and want to positively impact beloved green spaces in their community. They also provide valuable information to the public through presentations and their Horticulture Question Hotline. No matter where you are, you can ask plant identification or disease questions and receive advice. Learn how to become a Master Gardener.
Free and open to the public, the Idea Garden is enjoyed by thousands of residents, out-of-town visitors and international guests annually. Complete with a children’s corner and located only a short walk from the arboretum, there is truly something for everyone in this tranquil garden.
Visit the Idea Garden website for more information about specific plant and butterfly species you may encounter at the garden.