A guide to public gardens across northern New Mexico from the Albuquerque Biopark to Santa Fe’s Rose Park and Taos’s Overland Ranch.
Beyond and between all of the amazing arts and culture destinations and happenings within this Field Guide are the landscapes, hiking trails, and natural features that make New Mexico such a special place. This year, we highlight a selection of gardens across northern New Mexico, from cultivated to organic and wild, that offer relaxation and respite any time of the year.
Adults and children alike will enjoy New Mexico’s largest botanic garden. Specialty gardens in the thirty-six-acre park include the Old World Garden, Mediterranean and Desert Conservatories, Heritage Farm, Sasebo Japanese Garden, Curandera Garden, Butterfly Pavilion, Fantasy Garden, Dragonfly Sanctuary Pond, BUGarium, and Tingley Beach. The adjacent zoo and aquarium—which are also part of the park—require separate entry fees. The River of Lights nighttime light sculpture displays at Christmas make for a memorable evening.
wed-sun 9 am-5 pm
2601 Central Ave NW, Albuquerque
Albuquerque Rose Garden
The Rose Garden at the Tony Hillerman Library (behind Hoffmantown Shopping Center) is the oldest public rose garden in Albuquerque. The garden was designed by landscape architect Bill Perkins and is maintained by the Albuquerque Rose Society. It achieves the height of its glory in early May.
daily 10 am-7 pm
Tony Hillerman Library, 8205 Apache Ave NE
Gorgeous estate hotel complex and event center, with historic and contemporary New Mexican architecture, renowned restaurants, extensive gardens, lily ponds, acequias, lavender and agricultural fields, and a farm shop that sells farm-produced lavender and other high-end goods. Gift shop and restaurant patrons are welcome to enjoy the grounds.
Kitchen Gardens: Part of the farm’s sustainable fields are dedicated to organic food production for the kitchens, including heirloom, native, and standard crops.
Rose Greely Garden: Formal Spanish-style gardens designed in 1932 by pioneering woman landscape architect Rose Greely. Greely, the first woman graduate of Harvard’s landscape architecture program, was known for designing beautiful residential gardens in DC. Greely’s roommate at Harvard was Faith, future wife of John Gaw Meem. Ruth and Albert Simms hired Meem to do the architecture of the Hacienda and La Quinta, and he brought Greely on to design the garden, her only known work in the Southwest.
Judith Phillips Farm & Field Suites: Fusion gardens feature more drought-tolerant species than have been historically planted at Los Poblanos, as well as specimen plants more typically planted around the property.
Lavender Fields: The Grosso lavender field generally blooms through mid-July, when flowers are approaching full bloom and are harvested to maximize the essential oils used in many of Los Poblanos’s products.
Lily Pond: Across the drive in front of the Hacienda is a beautiful pond lined with weeping willows and many colors of water lily.
daily 9 am-6 pm
4803 Rio Grande Blvd NW, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque
New Mexico Veteran’s Memorial
The twenty-five-acre landscaped Veteran’s Memorial Park features sculptures and monuments, a museum, conference center, and amphitheater designed by Cherry/See/Reames Architects. With more than 400 plants, the Memorial Rose Garden is one of the largest public rose collections in the state.
daily 6 am-10 pm
1100 Louisiana Blvd SE, Albuquerque
Santa Fe Gardens
Canyon Road Area
El Zaguán at the Historic Santa Fe Foundation
One of the great historic homes of Santa Fe is now a museum, offices, and apartments run by the Historic Santa Fe Foundation. The historic garden of this 1854 home, once tended by archaeologist Adolph Bandelier and his wife, is a delight of color and shade in the summer.
mon-fri 9 am-5 pm
545 Canyon Rd, Santa Fe
Nedra Matteucci Galleries
This stunning walled sculpture garden is in the courtyard of one of the country’s most renowned galleries. Once a vegetable farm for Kaune’s Market, the developed garden features a pond (former home to a previous owner’s pet alligators, Elvis and Beowulf!), mature trees, lawns, flagstone paths, and numerous plantings. It’s a tranquil oasis downtown, listed among the top things to do in Santa Fe.
mon-sat 9 am-5 pm
1075 Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe
Stations of the Cross Prayer Garden
A secret refuge tucked behind the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis, this prayer garden is the perfect place to escape for a few moments of quiet contemplation. The stations of the cross sculptures by Gib Singleton are an exhibition on loan for twenty-five years. A sister set was gifted to Sanctuario de Chimayo. The garden’s 150-year-old trees were planted by Bishop Lamy.
daily 9:30 am-5 pm
131 Cathedral Pl, Santa Fe
Santa Fe Botanical Garden
Located just steps from Museum Hill, Santa Fe’s Botanical Garden is a beautiful refuge of quiet beauty. It is designed as a sustainable demonstration garden with both native and non-native species. Specialty gardens include the Meadow Garden, Orchard, Hot Box, and Ojos y Manos—an ethno-botanical garden that grows only local, native crops. A Piñon-Juniper Woodland is currently being developed. The Christmas nighttime “Glow” exhibition is a winter delight. Across the street at Museum Hill is a paved labyrinth with a unique sound feature. Try talking when you reach the center!
Nov–Mar: sat-sun 10 am-4 pm
Apr–Oct: thu-mon 9 am-5 pm
715 Camino Lejo, Santa Fe
School for Advanced Research
The historic terraced garden and president’s garden of this secluded eight-acre former estate date to the 1930s and are resplendent in summer. A redesign of the president’s garden, by Surroundings Studio, will be finished in summer 2021. A great excuse to check out one of SAR’s lectures!
mon-fri 8 am-5 pm
660 Garcia St, Santa Fe
Harvey Cornell Rose Park
Santa Fe’s beloved Rose Park was established in 1957. It features a shady lawn and terraced rose garden with fountains. Local garden clubs planted irises, and the first roses added were “Blaze” climbing roses along the fence at Galisteo Street, which are dazzling in May.
daily 6 am-10 pm
1320 Galisteo Pkwy, Santa Fe
The ten-acre former railyard has been transformed into gardens, an outdoor performance space, labyrinth, and an organically inspired children’s play area with ropes, rocks, and tunnels. The park offers many benches and shade trees, and connects to adjacent museums, art galleries, the farmers market on Saturdays, and an art market on Sundays. Free concerts and movies are presented throughout summer.
daily 6 am-10 pm
740 Cerrillos Rd, Santa Fe
Outside Santa Fe
Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve
The preserve (part of the Santa Fe Botanical Garden) is truly a hidden gem. While not a cultivated garden, its wetlands, rolling hills, wildflowers, native grasses, and ancient cottonwoods are a continually evolving masterpiece of nature’s own creation. Invasive Russian Olives have been removed to preserve the wetlands.
sat-sun 9 am-3 pm
49A W Frontage Rd, Santa Fe
El Monte Sagrado Living Resort
This large contemporary pueblo fusion style hotel complex has incredible interiors that defy description. The extensive grounds feature several unique cottages, abundant plantings, sculptures, firepits, a sacred circle for weddings and events circled by cottonwoods and weeping willows, and a salt-water pool in a tropical greenhouse. It’s truly a unique place to visit, close to the heart of Taos.
317 Kit Carson Rd, Taos
John Dunn Shops
Tree-shaded pathways and color bursts of flowers abound in containers and tiny gardens throughout the area. Shops include street food and patio dining, clothing, books, folk art, ceramics, shoes, gems and fossils, kitchenware, unique gifts, yarn and weavings, beads, and a coffee shop. Between Bent street and Taos Plaza.
120-124 Bent St, Taos
Overland Sheepskin Company’s flagship store is the heart of the Overland Ranch, which features a stunning garden that frames unobstructed views of Taos Mountain and the Sangre de Cristos, an extensive display of wind-driven whirly-gigs, and a koi pond.
sun-thu 9 am-6 pm / fri-sat 9 am-9 pm
1405 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, El Prado