Come see what's blooming in 2019

Visitor Center

The Visitor Center is open Mon-Sat, 9am-5pm, and Sun, 12pm-5pm.


Let our docents take you on a guided tour — schedule yours today!

Artist of the Month

View (and purchase!) beautiful local art and photography on display from April – October.



Upon your visit to The Botanic Garden, you will be welcomed by our Visitor Center. This beautiful building was once the Traverse City State Hospital’s Granary, built around 1886. Come inside to see the original stone walls and tunnel that originally connected the farm’s root cellar to the Granary’s lower level.

The Visitor Center’s lower level includes a gift shop, information desk, restrooms and drinking fountains. In our display area, we feature a special artist of the month. Upstairs, on the second floor, is a classroom/meeting room where most of The Botanic Garden classes and workshops are held. This bright and beautiful room is also available for rental year-round for your special event.

Because environmental sustainability is a guiding principle of The Botanic Garden, many components of the renovation were designed for LEED certification. Energy saving lighting, heating & cooling and water conservation systems were incorporated. The Visitor Center’s V-shaped roof collects and stores rainwater for garden irrigation. Recycled materials were utilized wherever possible, including wood paneling from Manistee’s Vogue Theater. Even old cast iron cow water buckets from the adjoining barn now serve as lighting fixtures in the classroom!

Interested in renting the Visitor Center as a space for your next personal or professional event? Click here to learn more!


Mondays: 9:00am to 5:00pm
Tuesdays: 9:00am to 5:00pm
Wednesdays: 9:00am to 5:00pm
Thursdays: 9:00am to 5:00pm
Fridays: 9:00am to 5:00pm
Saturdays: 9:00am to 5:00pm
Sundays: 12pm to 5:00pm

Visitor Center: Spring
Visitor Center: Fall
Visitor Center: Summer
Visitor Center: Winter



We love to show off the Garden and share the transformative story of this historic park. Our Garden team looks forward to meeting and visiting with folks from all over America – and all over the world!

Our Botanic Garden Tours are guided explorations of our property’s unique past, present and future. Visitors are introduced to areas like our Visitor Center, Pavilion, multiple garden spaces (some that are currently works in progress), the Historic Barns, and more.

Our Guided Tours are scheduled to begin Monday-Saturday at 10:00am, 11:30am, 1:30pm, and 3:00pm, and Sundays at 1:30pm and 3:00pm.

Please complete the form here on our website to request a specific date and time for your tour!

Tours last approximately 45-60 minutes (it depends on the Docent and the group interaction!)

The Tours do involve walking and we have golf carts, ramps and automatic doors available for those who may need some extra support.

As you’re looking at dates and times for your tour, please note that our Visitor Center hours are Mondays through Saturdays from 9:00am to 5:00pm, and Sundays from Noon to 5:00pm.

There is no set fee for our tours and donations are requested to help The Botanic Garden grow. There are several options for donations, including Membership sign-ups and renewals (available on-site), as well as a Donation jar in the Gift Shop. Please plan to bring your donation with you to your tour.

Thank you and we’ll see you soon!


PLEASE READ before completing the tour request form!

Due to popular demand, please complete the form below to request a specific date and time for your tour.

Please understand that by completing the form below, you are submitting a tour request.

Once you submit your tour request, you will receive a confirmation email from a Garden team member verifying that your tour has been booked.

If you are requesting a tour with less than 24 hours notice and/or if you do not receive a confirmation email within 24 hours, please call our Visitor Center at (231) 935-4077.


Ready to request a Garden Tour?

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A R T I S T   O F

T H E   M O N T H

The work of the Artist(s) of the Month is on display in the upper level of the Visitor Center at the Botanic Garden from April – October. Please check in with the Gift Shop on the lower level for more details on viewing and purchasing artwork.


Steve Tavener and Louise Bass

About Steve Tavener
North Shots Photography
Steve Tavener, retired biology teacher and avid naturalist, kayaks nearby waterways and hikes trails and woodlands in search of captivating shots of northern Michigan. “When I venture out to take pictures, I first rely on my experience as a biologist to get me to the right spot at the right time. Then I need patience while waiting for the special moment that allows me to capture the beauty of nature.” Each note card is a hand-crafted, signed photograph with identification that is a display of Steve’s appreciation of the natural world, especially local landscapes, fauna and flora. One of Steve’s favorite places to take photographs is right here at The Botanic Garden! We hope you enjoy a shot of Up North!


About Louise Bass
10/29/29 – 9/23/17
Born and raised in the Detroit area, Louise trained in fashion illustration and worked in an art studio. After she met her husband Jack, they went to Papua New Guinea as missionaries. In New Guinea, Louise illustrated reading primers, bible stories, and painted portraits of the nationals.Her husband Jack died in 1979 after returning to the United States. Louise ended up moving up to Traverse City and supported herself and her children with her art for many years. Louise was a talented oil painter, but also very skilled with pen and ink. She would draw very detailed images of people’s homes in the Traverse City area on commission.She had many opportunities to travel abroad, and always had a sketch pad with her. She loved to paint local scenes, both plein-air and in-studio. She also sold notecards in local shops featuring a variety of her artwork.In 2013, Louise wrote a book about her experience as a missionary artist called “Sketches of a Bible Illustrator.” The book can be purchased for $10.00 by emailing her daughter Jackie.


Ken Scott Photography

About Ken Scott
Ken Scott Photography

Ken Scott’s photography is the result of 30+ years of “experience” plus “lots of patience …

Recognizing the right place at the right time, but not necessarily for the “intended image” …

A self-taught photographer, Ken now works with a digital camera, sometimes on a heavy tripod.

While living/raising his two children in Leelanau County, Michigan near the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, he finds much of the inspiration for his work.

Photographer of 9 regional coffee table books:

Leelanau Trek (2016)
Back Pages of Leelanau County (2015)
Why We Preserve (2015)
Ice Caves of Leelanau (2014)
Leelanau (2000)
Up North in Michigan (2000, now in 2nd printing)
Charlevoix (1997, out of print)
Still, Michigan (1990, out of print)
Michigan’s Leelanau County (1988, out of print)

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1490 Red Dr
Traverse City, Michigan

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(231) 935-4077