The Gerard T. Donnelly Grand Garden

A splendid new garden is now open at The Morton Arboretum.

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Now Open

A lush, colorful new garden to celebrate The Morton Arboretum’s centennial is now open

As part of the Arboretum’s centennial celebration, a grand new garden is now open—commemorating one hundred years of planting and protecting trees for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world. The Gerard T. Donnelly Grand Garden will serve as a central new attraction for gathering and enjoyment during the Arboretum’s second century. This splendid new addition to the Arboretum showcases the beauty and diversity of plants alongside delightful water features and spaces for celebration and joy.

A Garden of Celebration and Joy

The Gerard T. Donnelly Grand Garden layout features three main spaces: the Joy of Plants Garden, Centennial Plaza, and the Celebration Garden.

Joy of Plants Garden

To the west, a green lawn and accessible paths will lead through a series of garden rooms. These garden rooms will be shaded by tall trees and lushly planted for color, beauty, and variety, with many places to sit and enjoy their loveliness throughout the seasons.

Centennial Plaza

Arrive at a paved, accessible central circle. Be surrounded by abundant flowers and plants, with pergolas to provide shade and beautiful, soothing pools of water. Enjoy a space to gather, sit, relax.

Celebration Garden

To the east, a magical garden of plants with silvery leaves and flowers will lead to an elegant celebration place. With a central lawn for seating, a terrace for wedding ceremonies and other events, and delightful water features, it will be a place to make lifelong memories.

New Beauty in a Historic Space

The new garden reimagines the historic Hedge Garden, created in 1934. The new garden honors the past view and layout of the earlier garden in a transformed setting. Set on two acres, the accessible, welcoming space is a gorgeous outdoor landscape garden.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Yes, the new garden is accessible for guests of all abilities. Paved walkways throughout the garden will help guests easily explore.

  • There are many benefits to supporting the Arboretum’s centennial initiatives. Details broken down by giving levels can be found on this donor benefits page.

  • The new garden is centrally located, bordering both the Visitor Center and the Administration and Research Center. If you are exploring the surrounding area, consider visiting the Sterling Morton Library or Plant Clinic.

    While visiting the garden, you also have access to 1,700 acres of tree collections, gardens and landscapes, and exhibitions to explore. Browse all of the things to do at the Arboretum for your next visit.


Be part of The Morton Arboretum’s next century. Make a gift to celebrate 100 years of work for trees and people.

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