Botanical gardens and arboretums are parks open to the general public, students, and research scientists. Plants, flowers, trees, and shrubs are collected from all over the world and exhibited in arrangements by family, country of origin, or aesthetics.
Typical visitors to botanical gardens and arboretums fall into six categories: dedicated professional scientists and horticulturists who utilize the gardens’ collections for research purposes or to identify specific plants; professional and amateur gardeners who participate in adult education classes and training programs; horticultural students enrolled in internship programs through their universities; local residents who come to enjoy a peaceful sanctuary; schoolchildren and their teachers; and international travelers and scientists interested in the collections and histories of the gardens.
Botanical gardens and arboretums generally offer public programs such as classes in gardening, question-and-answer hotlines to help with gardening problems, tours of the grounds, and lectures on the various collections.
Although not all, most botanical gardens and arboretums are involved with ongoing research issues. Curators and other horticulturists go on collection trips to add to the types of plants in their gardens and to study the plant life in other geographic regions.
Living plants are added to the grounds, and pressed and dried plants are stored in herbaria and are shared with researchers all over the world.