The Central Utah Gardens: A Desert Oasis

I have a lot of stressful days.  Days when I wish I could just find a place to escape and get away from it all.  A few summers ago I discovered the Central Utah Gardens and instantly knew I'd found my retreat from the world.

Operated by the Central Utah Water Conservancy, the Central Utah Gardens are an educational facility focused on sharing water-wise landscaping information.  Located on University Parkway in Orem, I expected to find a noisy road-side attraction, and so, was completely surprised as soon as I left my car.  With lilting music piping out of the main building, the mood is instantly set for an enjoyable outing.

Walking through the gardens is relaxing.  There are hundreds of colorful plants, grasses, and shrubs.  There are a number of shaded paths and nooks where you can find yourself alone, reflecting, and enjoying the solitude.  Unless you're specifically looking, it is entirely possible to forget the drone of traffic whirring by on just the other side of the garden walls.

The Central Utah Gardens are a great place to take the kids as well.  They've built two miniature homes with lawns to showcase the difference between a "normal" yard and a water-wise one.  The houses are open for the kids to play in and have simple beautiful murals painted on the inside walls.  Add the sprinkler feature, which showcases the many options for watering the yard, and your kids will be entertained for hours (mine were literally enthralled for at least 60 minutes).

Throughout the summer the Central Utah Gardens offer classes for both adults and kids.  They have a small ampitheater where they host free concerts, and they hold an annual Summer Festival to celebrate the coming of the season.  Any one of these events are well worth looking into, and also keep this place in mind the next time you're dreaming of an afternoon retreat and get-away.

I know there are Water Conservancy Gardens across throughout the state of Utah.  
Do you have something similar in your neck of the woods?

Directions and Information:
The Central Utah Gardens are open May-September 8AM-8PM, and the rest of the year from 8AM-4:30PM.  More information is available at


  1. Looks like a perfect local escape. I need to get me one of those!!!

  2. Is that tulips ? in Utah???? Surely you don't have those as native plants? What a beautiful place!

  3. Well, no, I suppose not native, but they do grow well here. We have another place, Thanksgiving Point, with 55 acres of beautiful gardens to walk through. They do a Tulip Festival each spring with 250,000 tulips. It's amazing!


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