The mission of the Garden Conservancy is to preserve, share, and celebrate America's gardens and diverse gardening traditions for the education and inspiration of the public.


In partnership with garden owners, gardeners, communities, horticulturists, garden designers, and historians, we work to preserve outstanding gardens across America. We help new and emerging public gardens become community-based public resources by drawing upon the expertise from our own dedicated staff as well as that of our network of experts in all aspects of garden design, management, and restoration. We also contribute to the welfare of existing public gardens, helping them manage both natural and manmade challenges to their survival. Many of the gardens we work with are National Historic Landmarks or on the National Register of Historic Places. Read more.


The best way to learn about gardening, garden design, and the transformative power of gardens is to experience gardens in person. Since 1995, some 3,000 private gardens have participated in our signature Open Days program, welcoming more than one million visitors in states across the country. In 2017, we opened the gates to 300 private gardens in 17 states, allowing thousands of visitors to explore beautiful spaces not normally open to the public. We also offered forty special educational programs along with the Open Days. 

Our garden-study tours and wide-ranging public education programs further the sharing of ideas as well as distinctive gardens.

Through all of our programs and outreach, we champion the vital role that gardens play in our history, our culture, and our quality of life.

The history of the Garden Conservancy

A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization incorporated in New York State, the Garden Conservancy was founded in 1989 by renowned plantsman Frank Cabot.

Since 1989, the Garden Conservancy has helped more than 80 outstanding American gardens survive and prosper. Every year since 1995, our signature garden-visiting program, Open Days, has been opening the gates to hundreds of private gardens across the country, allowing thousands of visitors to explore beautiful spaces not normally open to the public.

We celebrated our 25th anniversary year in 2015, which also marked the 20th anniversary of our Open Days program. Our quarter-century timeline shows a few highlights from our beginnings, our growth, our challenges, our successes, and our hopes and plans for the next quarter-century.

Our Silver Anniversary Annual Report includes quotes from people who partipicated in the first twenty-five years of the Garden Conservancy. It provides many perspectives that illuminate not only what the Conservancy does, but how it makes a difference.

For more information:

Audited financial statements

Form 990

Donor Privacy Policy

Website Privacy Policy

2018 Annual Report (published June 2019)