Heading to beautiful Rockford, IL? Lucky you. This city that’s full of surprises is also full of some exquisite gardens. Just take the Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, for instance. This garden started back in 1920 and has a history that is worth learning about.
Read on to find out just how the Klehm Arboretum came about and what is worth checking out.
San Francisco residents can reach Rockford, IL by flying to Chicago O’Hare and then taking the one hour bus with the Van Galder bus company to the city of Rockford.
One hotel to stay in is the Hilton Garden Inn that’s right behind the Van Galder
bus terminus .
Follow Sheila on Twitter (@Sheilamba)
See these previous articles by Sheila on Rockford, IL:
Surprising things you never knew about Rockford, IL
Twilight in the Garden, a Harvest Feast in Klehm Arboretum
At the arboretum the collection contains over 500 woody plant species and cultivars. The collection is the result of three factor – the natural growth of those plants native to northern Illinois;
Klehm Arboretum landscape nursery
the operation of a commercial landscape nursery that has been here for 60 years; and the ongoing acquisitions by the gardens themselves since Klehm came into being.
Klehm Arboretum handicapped accessible
Klehm Arboretum is handicapped accessible and there are paths through the arboretum for 1.5 miles. There are two loops to the trails (east and west) and the join in the center to make a figure eight.
Klehm Arboretum figure eight
If you want to take a leisurely walk around both of the loops, expect to spend around 1.5 hours. The time will go quickly – you’ll be engrossed by the plants!
Klehm Arboretum journey
Your journey through the arboretum should begin with you walking from the back door at the visitor center to the top of the hill, following the sidewalk up.
Klehm Arboretum turn right next
Then you should be sure to turn right when you get to the end of the sidewalk, toward the east loop. Follow the numbered posts sequentially for the best experience. Get yourself a map from the visitor’s center.
Klehm Arboretum some history
It was the Taylor brothers who started the Rockford Nurseries back in the 1920s. They were able to plant cuttings and seeds from different places around the world.
Klehm Arboretum gives to Winnebago
The Klehm family went on to buy out the business in 1968 and later on, in 1985, they donated the land to the Winnebago County Forest Preserve District.
Klehm Arboretum makes stipulation
The stipulation in all this was that the land had to remain as an arboretum. The end result of all this is that now the Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden now maintains the grounds along with the Winnebago County Forest Preserve District.