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Better Homes and Gardens Test Garden

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Address: 1716 Locust Street, Des Moines, IA 50309, Des Moines, IA 50309
Phone Number: 515-284-3994
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Description:

Right in the heart of the city is a half-block long blaze of beauty -...

Right in the heart of the city is a half-block long blaze of beauty - Better Homes and Gardens' testing ground for various landscape designs that the company documents and photographs. The area is one large area made of many mini-backyards, complete with annuals, perennials, bulbs and typical backyard structures like fences and gates.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Simply gorgeous!

Tricky to time your visit when they are open, but so worth it if you can manage to do it. Better Homes and Gardens uses this garden for many pictures in their publications, and... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 4 weeks ago
809libbyy
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29 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Tricky to time your visit when they are open, but so worth it if you can manage to do it. Better Homes and Gardens uses this garden for many pictures in their publications, and also tests plant varieties here. Beautiful fountain.

Helpful?
Thank 809libbyy
Urbandale, Iowa
Level Contributor
52 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2015

I expected much more due to reviews and Trip Advisor ranking. This is a small set of gardens tucked away surrounded by offices and sidewalks. I found the gardens less than appealing. To be honest, some of my beds are nicer. The flower selection wasn't unique either.

Helpful?
Thank Diana R
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2015

There is nothing to unlike about a garden used for testing by internationally known publication. I RAVE about this hidden gem!

Helpful?
Thank mimabeelia
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
68 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2015

The BHG Test Gardens at Meredith have a fountain at the center that totally draws you in. Walk around to explore the garden on your own--it really has a lot to show off in the tiny space! Metered street parking is available nearby. LIMITED VIEWING: It's generally open to the public only for a few hours on Fridays during the... More 

Helpful?
Thank Kristina M
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2015

I was luckily visiting Des Moines on a Friday and was able to visit in the short viewing hours of 12-2pm. As a long-time reader of the magazine I was excited to see the garden in person. It was fascinating to see the wide variety and design elements throughout he garden. It's hard to find, look for the grey walls... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank qtntraveler
Texas
Level Contributor
30 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2015

Enjoyed our visit in the gardens. They have everything labeled but if you walk on the grass to read the labels a rude person may tell you to stay off of the grass. They should have signs to warn you.

Helpful?
1 Thank Bootsy2
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2015

It's like stepping into a cover of one of the Better Homes and Garden's publications. The tours are excellent. I forgot I was on the edge of downtown as the garden's are enclosed. The traffic is muffled by the landscaping and pond. Excellent place to sit down and eat a picnic lunch (table at center by fountain).

Helpful?
Thank MuseumFan01
RHODE ISLAND
Level Contributor
1,651 reviews
380 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 298 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2015

this was a wonderful garden to walk along. my wife is a master gardener and she liked it a lot. located in downtown Des Moines,Iowa. Check to make sure it is open as it is iffy. However if you call them you can get there in no time and it worth the trip. If you like gardens this one is... More 

Helpful?
Thank Barry N
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2015

It is well worth it to figure out WHICH Friday, and figure out where the entrance is (in the center of the south wall). Within this small walled compound is a beautifully designed garden with helpful staff who are happy to engage the novice or advanced gardener. Bring your lunch and enjoy!!

Helpful?
1 Thank kgia
Decorah, Iowa
Level Contributor
145 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2015

The Better Homes and Gardens Test Gardens in Des Moines are a HIDDEN GEM in a city!! The Test Gardens are only open to the general public from noon to 2 on Friday afternoons. The Gardens are exceptional with plenty of staff and interns to answer any questions that you may have on the plants and flowers. The end of... More 

Helpful?
5 Thank jameslouie

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