Sawtooth Botanical Garden
An Afternoon in Idaho’s Garden: Visit The Sawtooth Botanical Garden
You are in Idaho. You are in awe of the natural beauty surrounding Sun Valley. You cannot wait to get outside and enjoy what mother nature has to offer. But, before you do, take a moment to learn about southern Idaho’s native landscape. Since it’s cool at night and hot during the day, some plants grow like weeds. Have you seen all the wildflowers? Of course you have! An hour or two spent exploring the Wood River Valley’s Sawtooth Botanical Garden is the thing to do when you want to learn about what mother nature does for our town. Besides – it might just satisfy your inner green thumb. Here is what we know:
Taking root (pun intended) in 1994, the SBG was founded by a small group of environmentally conscious locals striving to promote Idaho’s natural world and a public garden. As a non-profit 501(c)3, the SBG provides an introduction to the Wood River Valley’s distinct ecology through information, education, and exploration of both native and cultivated plants. It’s a great place to see your curiosity bloom!
A quick 5 miles south of Ketchum, the SBG is located at 11 Gimlet Road on the east side of Highway 75. With five acres of designated space for walking, meditating, or a contemplative afternoon there is something for everyone. You’ll be able to stop and smell the roses! There are gardens that inspire, calm, teach, and bring joy. There is a Garden of Infinite Compassion with its prayer wheel honoring the Dalai Lama’s 2005 visit to the Wood River Valley. There are Education Beds on the southeast corner of the property for hands-on experience digging in the dirt. There is the Sawtooth Sandbox complete with sandbox toys providing a creative play space for kids while parents relax on the sidelines. The solar greenhouse is the location for children’s programs, classes, workshops, plant collections, and so much more encouraging respect and understanding of Idaho’s natural world. Bring a lunch! Spend the afternoon! There are picnic tables and opportunities to sprout one’s curiosity. You might even catch water skippers in the nearby stream.
Before hopping in your car or on your bike – yes, you can access the SBG from the bike trail – check what is happening on their website. The SBG has been know to host an event or two. In summer, there are many outdoor garden spaces to hold functions as well as the Ellen Long Garden Pavillion nestled between mountain views, richly textured gardens, and a riparian pond. In the colder months, the solar greenhouse is beautiful and has a full kitchen facility. Year round, there are kids’ specialty camps and classes for young and old. Each spring, there is the Bug Zoo while in summer, there are wildflower walks, the Annual Garden Tour in July, and an Annual Summer Gala every August. There is even the adventure of a Pumpkin Chuck’in in the fall! Calling ahead is a good thing. Time spent at the Sawtooth Botanical Garden is worth it!